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The Malik Report

The overnight report: Two more years of Zetterberg; an obituary, a stat of note and fundraising

Updated with more Zetterberg stuff at 7:32 AM: Of Red Wings-related note this morning:

1. Henrik Zetterberg gave a long interview to his hometown paper, Sundsvalls Tidning, but the interview is behind a paywall. The interview's teaser suggests that Zetterberg focuses on his foundation's charity work in Africa, that he discusses the close call with career-ending injury that was the Sochi Olympics, and discusses Detroit's situation...

But there's also tidbit about "tricking the system" that drew the interest of Aftonbladet's Andreas Kack, who peers behind the paywall (noting that the interview appeared in several different online newspapers) and shares Zetterberg's take on his contract. What follows is Kack's report, and it's roughly translated:

"It's obvious that you try to trick the system"

Henrik Zetterberg, 36, believes that he'll put his skates on a shelf in two years.

A year later, his contract with the Red Wings expires.

"It's quite obvious that you try to trick the system," he says to Sundsvalls Tidning.

Henrik Zetterberg has no plans to do as Jaromir Jagr does. No, the Swedish star, who is 37 years old, is beginning to see the end of his career.

When "Z" was interviewed by RadioSporten's Christer Johansson for an audience in Kvissleby last week, he told me that there will probably be two more seasons in the NHL before he finishes his career.

"Misses Sweden"

Then there may be a move home to Sweden.

"If you asked me seven years ago, I'd probably stay that I'll stay in Detroit when my career is over, but now it's quite clear that I'm moving home. After about 15 years there, it's become a home; I have many friends and acquaintances there, but I miss Sweden more and more," says Zetterberg.

It's somewhat noteworthy that he, [seemingly] unaware, concludes that he will probably not complete his contract, which extends to the 2020-21 season.

Signed a 12-year contract

Zetterberg is one of many NHL stars on a long-term contract. In 2009, he signed a 12-year contract with a $6 million salary cap hit, and the contract was designed to earn about $7 million during his first seasons, but he'll only earn $1 million during [each of] the last two seasons.

"The only reason why we signed such a long contract was because of the payroll. It's quite obvious that you try to trick the system. Actually, I may have two years left, but I have also learned to take it one year at a time. But I probably won't play until then" (2020-21, when the contract expires), Zetterberg says in the interview, according to Sundsvalls Tidning.

Recently, the NHL has tightened the rules regarding such long-term contracts. For example, they did not approve of the New Jersey Devils' offer of a 17-year contract(!) to Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010.

I've heard some suggest that this upcoming season is certainly Zetterberg's last; whatever happens--if he's taking it a year at a time, perhaps we should, too--it's becoming clear that we're definitely in both the twilight of Zetterberg's hockey-playing career and his time in North America.

Also of Red Wings-related note:

2. Hockeybuzz's Bob Duff penned an obituary for former Red Wings forward Parker MacDonald, who passed away at 86 last Friday;

3. The Hockey News's Sam McCaig penned "Five No. 1 Numbers," including this stat...

6: Number of shootout wins by Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek, who went 6-0 in the goalie-vs.-shooter showdown. No goalie won more shootouts in 2016-17 (or lost fewer). It’s a good thing Mrazek performed so well in the shootout. Otherwise, he won just 12 of 42 decisions, ceding the starting job to Jimmy Howard in the process.

4. This isn't the strongest entry to post a reminder, but I am still attempting to raise funds for my trip to the Red Wings' fall prospect tournament and main training camp. I can't get there without your assistance, and thus far I've raised about 10% of the $2,000 I need to raise by September 7th (that's just under three weeks away).

If you're willing to lend a hand, I'm using Paypal for donations, and the donation page can be found by going to http://www.paypal.me/TheMalikReport I'.;ll take donations of all denominations as they pave my way up to Traverse City and allow me to stay there for two weeks, producing content that I hope will be worth paying for. Thank you for your time and your support.

 

Update: Expressen's Carl-Fredrik Eriksson posted more of the interview:

"I've gotten a little too much credit for it"

Henrik Zetterberg has harvested success on the hockey rink.

But he's also been praised for his community efforts outside the arena.

In an interview with RadioSporten, he discusses the charity projects he runs with his wife, Emma Zetterberg.

"Maybe I've gotten too much credit for it, it's my wife Emma who has done most of the work," he said to Allehanda.se.

Henrik Zetterberg appraoches the end of his career.

In two years, the 36-year-old believes he'll end his successful career, which includes a Stanley Cup title and two All-Star games.

But the Swede has also been acclaimed and noted for his efforts outside the hockey rink. He's received, among other things, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which goes to those who have demonstrated their humanitarian efforts in society.

Zata: "My wife has done the most"

Together with his wife Emma Zetterberg, he works with several charity projects to help vulnerable people in both Detroit and Ethiopia.

"Maybe I've gotten too much credit for it, it's my wife Emma who has done most of the job. Among other things, we've built three schools in an Ethiopian city and started some projects for women and children. Emma was the first white person to be in the village, he said in an interview with RadioSporten, according to Allehanda.se.But the project in Ethiopia didn't have the effect they wanted, and "Zata" and Emma were forced to reconsider it.

"Although we built schools, we noticed that the children didn't come, they had to bring water to their families instead. Then we started a water project where we installed wells at the schools, so they could go to school and bring water when they went home," he says.

Henrik Zetterberg on playing

Henrik Zetterberg has a contract with the Red Wings that extends to 2020, but he plans to leave before then.

In 2009, the 36-year-old signed a 12-year contract. The NHL subsequently reviewed the so-called "cheat deal," and, among other things, stopped Ilya Kovalchuk's crazy 17-year contract with the New Jersey Devils.

"The only reason we wrote up such a long contract is because of the payroll. It's quite obvious that you try to fool the system. Actually, I may have two years left, but I've also learned to take it a year at a time," says Henrik Zetterberg about his contract.

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Comments

Figaro's avatar

Although we built schools, we noticed that the children didn’t come, they had to bring water to their families instead. Then we started a water project where we installed wells at the schools, so they could go to school and bring water when they went home,” he says

That’s great. It’s nice when people stick it out and not just do something like pay to build a school and walk away from the project.  I think it shows that they’re actually dedicated to the cause, and not just doing it because it looks good in the press.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 08/21/17 at 08:17 AM ET

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Going to the media with your plans makes it trickier to go on LTIR. Zee should keep his mouth shut, like Hossa did.

With that said, the recapture only hurts you if you are truly contending during those years, which we won’t be. So I’d be in favour of trading Zee right now. Add another 2018 1st. Add another younger asset. Wish him well. And if he does retire then you just eat the cap hit. Might even force Kenny or his future puppet not to sign someone else to stupid deal.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/21/17 at 09:13 AM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

That’s great. It’s nice when people stick it out and not just do something like pay to build a school and walk away from the project.  I think it shows that they’re actually dedicated to the cause, and not just doing it because it looks good in the press.

It also pays to listen to the people on the ground who are affected.  too many programs in the states just come up with a plan in committee or the board room and role it out without ever thinking to work with the folks who are impacted.  then usually blame those same folks when the program fails.

Posted by MoreShoot on 08/21/17 at 10:00 AM ET

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It would be a really sad day when Z retires. Yzerman - Lidstrom - Datsyuk - Z. These are THE 4 for me. Kronwall is not exactly in the same category for me personally and will probably retire at the same time as Z anyway.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/21/17 at 10:43 AM ET

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It would be a really sad day when Z retires. Yzerman - Lidstrom - Datsyuk - Z. These are THE 4 for me. Kronwall is not exactly in the same category for me personally and will probably retire at the same time as Z anyway.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/21/17 at 11:14 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

So Zetterberg signed a contract he had no intention of completing it and will probably retire leaving the wings to deal with a cap hit or trading it away, thus losing assets? Because he wants to go home? Because likely he’ll be too old/injured to keep up with the rigors of the NHL?


Huh.


I wonder how many people that crushed Datsyuk will be OK with this?

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 12:07 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

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 05:28 PM ET

Oops. #absolutes

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 12:14 PM ET

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So Zetterberg signed a contract he had no intention of completing it and will probably retire leaving the wings to deal with a cap hit or trading it away, thus losing assets? Because he wants to go home? Because likely he’ll be too old/injured to keep up with the rigors of the NHL?

Huh.

I wonder how many people that crushed Datsyuk will be OK with this?

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 01:07 PM ET

I never crushed Datsyuk. He is free to make his decision. Kenny drafted up that contract. Kenny knew he was hinting about going to Russia. It was Kenny’s responsbility to make sure his player understand the implications of walking away. Pav, this isn’t like when Rafalski did us a favour and walked away. This is going to put the team in a bind. The fans may turn on you. Do you understand this? It sounds like that simple conversation never really happened. If it was me…hey Pav. We love you. We want you hear for as long as possible. What salary do you want? $7.5M? Great. We’ll do that. Every single year that you want it. But we can only do 1-year at a time (for the aforementioned reasons).  If you suck and score 12 points…don’t worry…next year there is another $7.5M waiting for you. But it has to be a handshake deal. Go ask Cleary how that works. This is also exactly how I handled Lidstrom near the end…a series of 1-year deals for whatever money he wanted.

Very simple. If Pav didn’t like it. Then trade him. But don’t agree to a stupid 3-year deal with a player that wanted out, and then shrug your shoulders like you had no idea this would happen.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/21/17 at 12:16 PM ET

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How about trading Zetterberg for Nugent-Hopkins? Equal cap hits. Oilers get a veteran to lead them on a Cup run. Zee gets to play for a Cup for a few more years. We get a young 2C. Not a star. But a guy that can slot as a 2C for 5-10 more years.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/21/17 at 12:48 PM ET

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I wonder how many people that crushed Datsyuk will be OK with this?
Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 01:07 PM ET

Kind of an apples and oranges comparison.  Hanks deal with definitely signed with no intention of being totally played out.  The CBA has since changed screwing the Wings.  There was a time when everyone thought KH was a genius for working up deals that were cap friendly. 

I feel the Datysuk situation was a bit of incompetence by the Wings in terms of not clearly laying out the repercussions of him leaving early and Pavel not being 100% clear on his intentions.

Posted by Steve1306 on 08/21/17 at 02:38 PM ET

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I wonder how many people that crushed Datsyuk will be OK with this?

You are comparing signing a 3 year deal with the intention to leave after year 1 and being begged to stay after year 2 vs a 12 year deal signed before the current CBA deal was even in place?

Posted by VPalmer on 08/21/17 at 02:40 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

The comparisons are right there in my post. He’s going to leave a cap hit that we either have to shoulder or deal. And that deal may cost us another ultra mega superstar (sarcasm) player like Chick Run (sic).

The suggestions for Datsyuk to suck it up and play the last year - are those the same that people will throw that suggestion at Z so he doesnt “screw the Wings” ???

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 04:04 PM ET

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The comparisons are right there in my post. He’s going to leave a cap hit that we either have to shoulder or deal. And that deal may cost us another ultra mega superstar (sarcasm) player like Chick Run (sic).

The suggestions for Datsyuk to suck it up and play the last year - are those the same that people will throw that suggestion at Z so he doesnt “screw the Wings” ???

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 05:04 PM ET

Sounds like a big apologist that still loves the trade. A real deep thinker.

1) Eat Datsyuk’s deal
2) Draft Chychrun
3) Draft Hronek who was on the board next round. So we lose out on Givani Smith. Oh the horror.
4) Instead of a $30M contract to Nielsen, you just suck it up and sign a cheap option like Gagner or Vrbata or Parenteau. You know, like we did with Vanek.
5) While we’re at it, how about we not sign Helm and Glendening either. But I digress.
6) Fast forward 12 months and draft Liljegren. So now you have Liljegren, Chychrun, Hronek, Saarijarvi in your system. Starting to sound pretty decent.
7) You also enter the expansion without Nielsen, Helm, Glendening on your books. So you have an extra $11M+ of cap space to get creative. Maybe we could even make a hockey trade?

But instead we drafted Cholowski and Rasmussen…a project d-man and a future 3rd line center. And we blew all our cap space on Nielsen, Helm, Glendening…none of whom are needed on this rebuilding roster. But rather than admit the flaws of this course of events, it’s easier to exaggerate with childish comments about Chychrun being a superstar, which absolutely nobody has ever claimed. But he does have the making of a solid 3-4D that may have a 10-15 year career ahead of him. While Liljegren has the potential to be a 1D star. But hey, I hear Cholowski is shaving now. This is exciting.

Posted by fatsavage on 08/21/17 at 04:18 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Dang, even when you put (sarcasm) people still dont read it. lol.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/21/17 at 04:49 PM ET

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——The comparisons are right there in my post
——-I am not sure if you really believe what you are saying or just trying to stir up the pot. Z signed his contract 10 years ago when no penalties were in place for early retirement. Dats signed his contract 4 years ago clearly intending to leave early. More importantly for me is the fact that Dats did not retire, but went to play for another team, because, well, he just wanted to. Z will indeed retire. The cases are not even close to compare.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/22/17 at 04:17 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

There are consequences now.
One of the premises of this type of contract is that players would retire on the lesser salary years.

Z misses sweden. Datsyuk missed russia.

Not even close to compare?

lol.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/22/17 at 06:46 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Of course the situations arent exactly the same. Z would be leaving on better terms than Datsyuk by all means.

But im interested to know how many people will crush him for the reasons above.

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/22/17 at 06:50 PM ET

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Dats did not retire. If he retired, nobody would have said a word.

Posted by VPalmer on 08/22/17 at 07:26 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Dats still would have left a 7.5 mil cap hit because it was a 35+ contract.

Your concern is about him leaving to play in Russia. fair enough.

Many people whined because he left a cap hit and the series of events that FS copy and pasted from the last time he cried about this. It tarnished his legacy, how could he not stay one more year, now we lose out on X guy, etc.

Z retires in 2 seasons = 2 seasons more of a 5.5 mil cap hit which will either have to be traded or kept when ole kenny boy is trying to be a contender.

So again…how many people that chastised Datsyuk for leaving will do the same to Z?

Posted by ilovehomers on 08/22/17 at 07:44 PM ET

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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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