Alright so listen. Obviously this news sucks. Zetterberg is a stud, he seems like one of the best dudes in the NHL, worked his balls off to go from a 7th round draft pick to a certified Hall of Famer (you win a Conn Smythe, you go to the Hall of Fame). One of the best 200 ft players over the last couple of decades. So having his playing career come to an end obviously sucks copious amounts of male genitalia. But I already wrote about all that shit and what a stud Henrik Zetterberg was the other week so if you want the sappy “goodbye Z” stuff, you can read that right here.
Now let’s move on to some real business shit here and start putting some wagers on how long it’s going to take before Henrik Zetterberg and his contract get passed along to Arizona a la Chris Pronger, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa. Because as I mentioned in the blog before, Henrik Zetterberg is still under contract for 3 more seasons in Detroit and it’s not like he can just retire to get that money off their books. I mean if Zetterberg really wanted to he could announce his retirement since his contract was so front loaded that he’s only making like 5% of his total contract over these next few years. But he’d be blasting Detroit in the ass if he did that because then they’d have to pay a heavy ass salary recapture penalty, and I doubt that a guy who has been a captain of that organization for the last 5 years would want his last moment as a Red Wing be dicking the squad over like that. So in the meantime, Henrik Zetterberg will be placed on LTIR to help relieve some of that cap space for Detroit.
But the thing about LTIR is that it’s confusing as fuck. I’m sure the guys who are calling the shots for the Red Wings know about it a little more than I do and that’s why I’m a blogger instead of a general manager. But LTIR still seems like an absolute bitch to deal with. So the best way to handle LTIR if you’re a general manager? Pretty simple. You just trade that contract to another team who needs that contract to reach the cap floor, and now it’s their problem to worry about. Honestly that’s the best way to handle all of your problems in life. Just pawn them off to somebody else. Works like a charm every time.
So you thank Henrik Zetterberg for everything he’s done for the organization. You tell him that if he ever wants a job with a team, there is one waiting for him after his contract expires and he can retire. You send his contract to some place like Arizona. You bring in Steve Yzerman after this year. You already have Dylan Larkin locked up for a few more years. Now you actually have a little cap space to work with as opposed to maybe a dollar. Stevie Y does his thing and all of a sudden the Detroit Red Wings are relevant again. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the Detroit Red Wings rebuild is going to go drastically smoother and much faster than the Ottawa Senators’. You can mark down that take if you’d like.
P.S. – No better metaphor for Henrik Zetterberg’s playing style than the fact that he wore #40 for his whole career. That’s a number you give to some scrub who gets called up for a game or two in the middle of the season. Nothing flashy about it at all, just pure heart. Blue collar number right there. Zetterberg and Alex Tanguay.