Wings, Zetterberg agree on 12-year deal
Wednesday, 01.28.2009 / 11:01 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
|Henrik Zetterberg has been one of the league's top two-way players over the last five-plus seasons. Zetterberg|
In his sixth season with the Wings, the new deal essentially amounts to a lifetime contract for the Swedish star, who has averaged 30 goals and 36 assists in each of his previous five NHL campaigns. Zetterberg will be 40-years-old when the contact expires after the 2020-21 season
Last spring’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Zetterberg has 17 goals and 26 assists in 45 games this season.
The Red Wings drafted Zetterberg in 1999 with 209 prospects going before him that year. He joined Wings in 2002-03 as a 22-year-old rising star, who quickly gained the respect of teammates, as well as members of the organization’s front office staff.
Despite the nagging lower back injuries, Zetterberg has performed as an elite two-way player, and one of the most productive offensive wizards that the NHL has seen in recent years.
Last season, he put together his finest offensive totals, netting career-highs in goals (43), assists (49) and points (92) – that’s a 1.23 points per game average.
A highlight of his young career occurred in Game 4 when he locked-down Sidney Crosby’s stick on the side of the Red Wings’ net, preventing the Penguins’ star from scoring during Pittsburgh’s critical 5-on-3 power play late in the third period of a one-goal game.
Zetterberg, just the second European player to be named the playoff MVP – Nicklas Lidstrom was the first in 2002 – has told DetroitRedWings.com last season that he preferred to stay in Detroit and really didn’t have any other clubs on his radar.
An indication that he was staying put was the announcement that he had created a scholarship fund for high school hockey players in Michigan. The Henrik Zetterberg Michigan High School Hockey Scholarship will be awarded each spring to two senior students-athletes. This spring, $1,500 will be awarded to one male and one female playing for a Michigan High School Athletic Association member school.