Zetterberg confirms it: He'll miss training camp, start of season
Henrik Zetterberg on his future with the Red Wings: "We will have to wait and see."
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg has finally confirmed what has been suspected for much of the summer:
He will not be able to participate in training camp or begin the season because chronic back problems have not allowed him to train in the offseason.
"I have not managed to work properly throughout the summer,'' Zetterberg told Swedish publication Aftonbladet. "So, I will miss training camp and thus also the start of the season. Then we will have to wait and see. I'll drive on with rehab here in Detroit now."
Sunday, Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said that if Zetterberg could not start the season, he will likely not play in 2018-19. And that could mean his career would be over.
The Wings' captain had major back surgery in February 2014, shortly after withdrawing from the Olympics. He has managed the pain, playing in all 82 games in each of the past three seasons.
"It actually started last season," he said. "I felt in February that something was not right, and then we decided that I would stop practicing and just play games. That way I could complete the season."
Zetterberg, who turns 38 on Oct. 9, said his back feels fine when he’s not trying to train, but exercising causes pain.
He has three years remaining on his contract at a salary cap hit of $6.083 million. His actually salary is $3.35 million for 2018-19 and $1 million in each of the following two seasons.
The Red Wings can place him on long-term injured reserve at the start of the season.
If Zetterberg can't play, Blashill said he'd likely move Andreas Athanasiou to center, joining Dylan Larkin, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening at the position.