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St. James on Zetterberg’s outlook

The Free Press's Helene St. James discusses Henrik Zetterberg's 2017-18 season outlook this afternoon:

Zetterberg turns 37 on Oct. 9. That’s getting up there in age, but Zetterberg has put in two straight 82-game seasons, and missed only five games in 2014-15. He’s figured out how to adjust his workouts relative to his aging body, and having had back surgery in the spring of 2014. He’s still such a smart player, and still difficult to knock off the puck. He still inspires teammates with the sort of shift that changes a game.

How much longer will Zetterberg continue to carry the Wings though, one wonders. Zetterberg signed a mammoth 12-year, $73 million deal in 2009. It was front-loaded, and after this coming season the actual salary drops to $3.5 million (still a truckload of money). The final two seasons, however, sees the salary drop to $1 million a year. The good thing is that if Zetterberg walks away before the contract ends, it comes off the books because it took effect before Zetterberg turned 35. (Datsyuk’s last contract did not, hence the mess his year-early departure created).

Zetterberg has been integral to the Wings’ success since he embraced a burgeoning role around the mid-aughts, making his mark as captain in similar vein to the quiet, example-setting leadership of predecessors Nicklas Lidstrom and Steve Yzerman. Even in the twilight of his career, Zetterberg remains a marvel.

Continued

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Comments

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Although some may think that adults are too old to have favorite players, Z is my favorite Wing. He was incredible last season. Never gave up even when it was clear the playoffs were not going to happen. Just a wonderful example for the others.

Posted by Ilovekermit on 08/18/17 at 12:19 PM ET

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Zetterberg has already made almost $80M of salary in his career. Let’s say he’s paid 50% taxes. Still leaves him with $40M. If he had been investing this at a very conservative 4% rate of return he’s likely sitting on at least $60M in the bank.

So why does HSJ say $3.5M (before taxes, so likely more like $1.75M) is a TRUCKLOAD of money. No it isn’t. When you have $60M+ sitting in a bank account, then adding another $1.75M to that is not really significant. But leave it to HSJ to make stupid comments like that.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/18/17 at 12:26 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

But leave it to HSJ to make stupid comments like that.

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, the auto-hatred for HSJ rivals that of KH around here! To a journalist, $3.5mil is a truckload of money. Maybe in your profession, FS, it’s chump change, but to most of us that’s a lot of money. I agree with you 98% of the time FS, but give it a rest.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 08/18/17 at 01:24 PM ET

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Zetterberg’s captaincy being tied to the end of the streak, to me is the saddest part of this downward spiral the Wings find themselves in.  Watching him answer the same questions after every game last season was painful.  The guy plays his arse off night in and night out.  Hopefully some of his work ethic rubs off on the next generation.

Posted by Steve1306 on 08/18/17 at 01:32 PM ET

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So why does HSJ say $3.5M (before taxes, so likely more like $1.75M) is a TRUCKLOAD of money.

Probably because this is a world where people were falling over themselves to marvel at how Conor McDavid accepted a contract worth only $12.5M per year instead of the $13.25M per year that was rumoured.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 08/18/17 at 02:16 PM ET

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Jesus Tapdancing Christ, the auto-hatred for HSJ rivals that of KH around here! To a journalist, $3.5mil is a truckload of money. Maybe in your profession, FS, it’s chump change, but to most of us that’s a lot of money. I agree with you 98% of the time FS, but give it a rest.

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 08/18/17 at 02:24 PM ET

Yes. $3.5M is a lot to the average person. So is $1M. So is the minimum of $600K. So put it in context. HSJ is not talking about the guy pumping gas or a journalist. She’s talking about an NHL player. So when she says $3.5M is a lot of money…but then refers to $1M as cheap…then it’s clear of the context. $3.5M would be a truckload for say AA or Larkin, but not a guy like Zee who has made $80M and likely has a $60M bank account.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/18/17 at 02:36 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

give it a rest.

a thousand times more of this, please.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/18/17 at 03:08 PM ET

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  The good thing is that if Zetterberg walks away before the contract ends, it comes off the books because it took effect before Zetterberg turned 35. (Datsyuk’s last contract did not, hence the mess his year-early departure created).

What a dumbass, it’s a front-end loaded deal. That money doesn’t just come odd the books. He walks away The Wing’s get hit with recapture penalties. If Z were to retire next summer, he’s on the books for roughly 4.3 mil til 2021, if he retires summer 2019, he’s on the books for almost 5.1 mil til 2021. How does this dumbass still have a j.o.b???

Posted by benzanato on 08/18/17 at 03:10 PM ET

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Correct me if I am wrong but with the cap recapture if Z walks away from his contract it doesn’t just come off the books. Based on the info I can find the cap recapture could be in the 5M range depending on when he retires and this is untradeable unlike Datsyuk’s contact. That part seems to be missing from the linked article so maybe someone pointed that out to her.

Posted by postman on 08/18/17 at 03:11 PM ET

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I need to clarify those are the numbers through season 2020-2021 not 2021-2022 season.

Posted by benzanato on 08/18/17 at 03:14 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

Correct, if Zetterberg was to retire early there would be a Cap hit.  If Zetterberg didn’t want to finish his contract for whatever reason he can go on LTIR. With his history of back problems he can do it. He still gets paid and the Red Wings get Cap relief. Both sides would be happy. LOL

Posted by bigfrog on 08/18/17 at 03:23 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Also this, so I am not seeing an age rule on the cap recapture. It looks like it depends on the length and amount of back dive.

https://www.wingingitinmotown.com/2016/4/25/11487900/red-wings-cap-recapture-penalties-zetterberg-kronwall-and-franzens

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/18/17 at 03:37 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Honestly, this is why I read the headline and skip to the comments most of the time (re: articles from MLIVE and HSJ). It’s very clear that all of us have it down better than some of these writers do.

It really says something about the state of journalism though and it’s why I tell people that as much as I love hockey, i’d never want to be a mouth piece for a team like many of these writers seem to be.

Then again, if I was paid enough to follow the team and game I love, maybe I’d consider it. Then everyone here can hate me too. raspberry

So the real conversation we should be having, instead of another rant about how crappy the beat writers are…

If Z regresses and retires early, would we be willing to accept that as part of a total rebuild? Would Kenny accept that as a key to start a rebuild? How bad does he have to regress to accept it? etc.

Can Z really hold up another year, playing all those games without health problems, let alone at the level he played at last year?

Who takes over the captaincy once Z is gone (there is no natural successor like the line of Yzer - Lids - Z).

All of these are better topics than copy and pasting “pathetic journalism” ever single post.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/18/17 at 03:52 PM ET

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HSJ has no clue about recapture.

Ansar can’t decide if rosters have 21 players, or 22, or 23?

Brendan Savage had no clue how the expansion draft worked. That was one of my all-time favourite articles. He was protecting young players who were exempt, he didn’t protect Nielsen because he had an NMC so he was exempt, he didn’t bother protecting Mantha because he wasn’t elligible. Like it was literally the most poorly-researched article I have ever seen. I actually emailed him directly and pointed out his mistakes and he claimed I was the one who didn’t know what I was talking about. Then came a flood of readers laughing at him. So MLIVE took down the article and re-wrote it with some apology about the original article had SOME inaccuracies. Later that week, Brendan was given an assignment to go to a Tigers game and write a food review of the concession options. Haha. MLIVE is a complete joke.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/18/17 at 04:12 PM ET

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If Z regresses and retires early, would we be willing to accept that as part of a total rebuild? Would Kenny accept that as a key to start a rebuild? How bad does he have to regress to accept it? etc.

You guys actually think Zee is going to retire early? Kronwall too? How naive. I’m certain the players and their agents understand the negative implications on the organization if they do that. Nothing is written, but pretty sure there is a mutual understanding. The organization has been very kind to you. So the understanding is you either play this out, or go on LTIR. It will not be hard to find a doctor who will declare Zee’s chronic back injury has flared up again. Or that Kronwall’s knees are too damaged to continue. That’s not even asking a doctor to lie. They can truthfully say that, if the player wants to stop playing.

No different than the Hossa situation. He was finished. And they found a way to make that work. The handful of others on these silly deals will find a way as well. And I think the league understands that this is stretching the truth to some extent, but they’re willing to look away given the fact they changed the rules on the fly.

Nothing to see here. Wings will never, ever face recapture.

 

Posted by fatsavage on 08/18/17 at 04:28 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Hey fatsavage, why don’t you apply for the hockey writer job at the respective papers where they have a less qualified writer than you seem to imagine you are?

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 08/18/17 at 06:42 PM ET

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Abby is next captain after Z

Posted by benzanato on 08/18/17 at 07:05 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Abby is next captain after Z

Posted by benzanato on 08/18/17 at 08:05 PM ET

Quite probably.  However, if Captain Hank sticks around for a couple of more years, Larkin might be ready to take it.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 08/18/17 at 07:45 PM ET

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I vote Glendenning.  Intangibles.  Went to UofM.

Posted by ThatGuy on 08/18/17 at 09:42 PM ET

damndog's avatar

No one.worked harder on the Wings last year than Z and I agree he did all he could to carry this team into the playoffs and deserves tons of accolades.

Abby does not deserve to be Captain of this team or any team. He doesn’t have the psychological make up. He is overly emotional and he has no control of it.

Posted by damndog from The Eastside of Detroit on 08/18/17 at 09:56 PM ET

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I don’t fully understand all the rules on the salary cap, but I don’t think I would sign a contract that takes a mob hit to take me off the books. That’s just plain crazy, keep thinking the term he’s outlived his usefulness.

Posted by stateofmifan on 08/19/17 at 08:44 AM ET

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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