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Red Wings’ Henrik Zetterberg Had Surgery Today

Updated 12x at 2:37 PM, and the resume of Zetterberg's operating physician, Dr. Frank Cammisa, Jr., is impressive: Big news and kind-of-sort-of-good news from MLive's Ansar Khan:

The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness confirms:

Update: Niklas Kronwall spoke with Aftonbladet's Per Bjurman about Zetterberg (whose $6.08 million cap hit will obviously go on the LTIR, freeing up some space for the Wings to make a move if necessary, even with Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen healthy):

The Tre Kronor had to work without their captain and undisputed leader Henrik Zetterberg in the semifinal against Finland--in two senses.

Not only was he forcd to leave Sochi and fly home to the U.S. with his injured back previously, but he also got on the operating table as soon as he landed in New York and couldn't continue.

"He sent a text and told me he'd be sedated during the entire game, but he wished us luck and said he wanted to wake up and see that we won. It feels good that we could give it to him," says his friend Niklas Kronwall.

Otherwise, Zata didn't say much to the team before he flew home.

"He and I talked a lot during the week, but when he left, it was pretty hasty, so he had to check in briefly," said Kronwall.

How long Zetterberg will be out is unclear, but it's been said that this kind of back surgery requires 6-8 weeks of rehabilitation, and in that case he won't be able to play until a possible playoff game in mid-April.

Update #2: Here's MLive's Khan's article, via RedWingsFeed, and Khan says there's still hope that Zetterberg will return:

"It went very, very well,” Red Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. “They removed part of a disc that was rubbing on a nerve. It was what they thought it was. The recovery process looks very, very positive.”

It’s believed that Zetterberg will need eight weeks to recover, which means he could return during the first round of the playoffs, if the Red Wings qualify.

But Martin said there’s a chance Zetterberg could return before the playoffs. He said Zetterberg was expected to be up and walking today.

“It’s a really good sign,” Martin said. “They feel confident this procedure will help in the long term.”

Update #3: St. James confirms:

Update #4: More from Khan:

No decision has been made yet on how Zetterberg’s absence will affect roster moves. The Red Wings hope to have forwards Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) and Johan Franzen (concussion) back the first game after the Olympic break, Wednesday at Montreal, but they haven’t been cleared yet.

Riley Sheahan, Tomas Jurco and Luke Glendening will practice with the Red Wings Saturday and Sunday. Beyond that, it hasn’t been determined if they’ll remain with the Red Wings or be sent to the Grand Rapids Griffins.

“It’s contingent on the health of Weiss, Franzen and the coaches’ decision on the lineup,” Martin said. “We’ll make roster decisions on Monday or Tuesday.”

And St. James:

Update #5: The Free Press's George Sipple also weighs in:

Update #6: Here's St. James weighing in from Sochi:

Two days after he returned from the Sochi Olympics, Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg has undergone surgery.

General manager Ken Holland said that Zetterberg "will be out seven to eight weeks, then he will be re-evaluated."

Zetterberg was diagnosed with a herniated disk in his lower back after playing one game for Team Sweden at the Olympics. He woke up last week in so much pain that he could hardly move. He returned on a red-eye from Sochi to Newark, N.J., on Wednesday. He underwent surgery this afternoon, Holland said.

The procedure was performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

"Part of his disk, which was rubbing on the nerve, was removed," assistant general manager Ryan Martin said of Zetterberg's surgery.

Martin said surgery was decided to be the best solution "for his long-term prognosis."

And the Wings are confirming:

Update #7: The Windsor Star's Bob Duff (via RedWingsFeed) also filed a report:

Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, who was also chosen to lead the Swedish Olympians at the Sochi Winter Olympics, underwent successful sugery on his back Friday morning.

“It went very very well,” Detroit assistant general manager Ryan Martin said. “They removed part of a disc that was rubbing on a nerve. It was what they thought it was. The recovery process looks very, very positive.”

The Wings aren’t certain as to a timetable for Zetterberg’s return, though he was already up and walking around after coming through the surgery.

“It’s a really good sign,” Martin said. “They feel confident this procedure will help in the long term.”

Update #8: The Wings have filed an official press release:

HENRIK ZETTERBERG UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL BACK SURGERY

Detroit, MI…Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg today underwent successful surgery on his back.  The procedure was performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.  The team will re-evaluate his status after eight weeks.

Zetterberg has missed 13 games during the 2013-14 season due to injury.  He currently leads the team with 48 points (16-32-48) and a plus-19 rating in 45 games played.

Update #9: St. James, extensively revised:

General manager Ken Holland said that Zetterberg "will be out seven to eight weeks, then he will be re-evaluated."

Holland said Zetterberg "had a floating piece of a disk lodged in a nerve in his back."

The surgery was performed by Dr. Frank Cammisa this morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Holland said Zetterberg should be up and walking by the evening and will remain in New York at least through the weekend for a follow-up visit early next week.

"They went in and removed the fragment," Holland said. "The surgery was very successful. They said it was one one disk level that was dislodged, which is good."

Assistant general manager Ryan Martin said surgery was decided to be the best solution "for his long-term prognosis."

...

Pavel Datsyuk, who was playing on inflamed knee headed into the Olympics, is at home in Yekaterinburg, Russia. He is expected to fly home Monday, be at practice Tuesday and play Wednesday.

Update #10: Here comes Ted...

His article reads as follows:

"Everything went very well," Martin said of Zetterberg's procedure. "This was something that needed to be done for the short-term and long-term, and should benefit Henrik. It's going to relieve him of the symptoms that he had been experiencing. It was basically what they thought the problem was (all along)."

Zetterberg has been bothered by a herniated disc since December. He missed 11 games in December with pain in his back, but returned in time to play two games before the Jan. 1 Winter Classic.

Zetterberg consistently stayed in the lineup until missing two games in late January. He was named captain of Team Sweden for the Winter Olympics, and played the first game in Sochi, Russia, before experiencing what he called pain "20 times worse" than before.

Zetterberg, 33, has had issues with his back before. He missed 19 games in 2006-07 with an inflamed disc, seven games in 2007-08 with back spasms and a sore back, and three games in 2008-09 with back spasms.

"They (the doctors) feel this procedure will help in alleviating any long-term issues," Martin said. "Everyone is real confident."

...

The availability of Franzen and Weiss largely will dicatate what the Red Wings do with Luke Glendening, Tomas Jurco and Riley Sheahan, all of whom will practice with the Red Wings for now, but could be bound for Grand Rapids.

Martin said Pavel Datsyuk will return to practice with the Red Wings on Tuesday.

Update #11: The Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness finally weighs in:

Henrik Zetterberg underwent successful back surgery Friday that will sideline him at least eight weeks.

“It went very well,” Wings assistant general manager Ryan Martin said in a phone interview Friday. “They had to remove part of a disc that was rubbing on a nerve.”

There’s a chance Zetterberg could return for the first round of the playoffs, if the Wings are able to qualify.

“It’s exactly what they thought it was so the recovery process looks very positive,” Martin said.

Martin said that Zetterberg was expected to begin walking around Friday.

“That’s a really good sign,” Martin said. “We feel confident this procedure will help in the long term.”

Update #12: Fox Sports Detroit's Art Regner's also weighing in:

Zetterberg will be placed on long term IR. Martin declined to comment if the Wings will seek offensive help on or before the March 5 trade deadline.

What the Wings will do with their forward-heavy roster is a bit unknown. For now, Luke Glendening, Riley Sheanhan and Tomas Jurco will continue to practice with the Wings and won't be sent to Grand Rapids.

Injured forwards Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) and Johan Franzen (concussion) are close to returning to the lineup, which will dictate what direction the Wings will go.

"It's contingent on the health of Weiss, Franzen and the coaches' decision on the lineup," Martin said. "We'll make roster decisions on Monday or Tuesday."

From the Wings' perspective, the news about Zetterberg is encouraging. When he was forced to pull out of the Olympics, many believed that he would miss the remainder of the season -- or even longer.

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Comments

Primis's avatar

Whelp.  That’s that, then.

Posted by Primis on 02/21/14 at 12:40 PM ET

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so out until the playoffs. Hopefully the surgery actually fixes the problem

Posted by George0211 on 02/21/14 at 12:41 PM ET

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I’m relieved about this, actually. Z was having his best season as a pro, in my opinion, but I am glad there will hopefully be a long-term solution here.

I am also happy that Weiss is going to have to shoulder the load here. And I am guessing that Sheahan and Jurco stay up, since they will need to replace scoring and those guys can score.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/21/14 at 12:53 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Hopefully this is the long term fix he’s needed for awhile now.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 02/21/14 at 01:00 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Red Wings and their fans owe a HUGE debt of thanks to Team Sweden’s doctors. They pulled the plug IMMEDIATELY and consulted with the Wings’ medical staff to coordinate Hank’s care. Now he can rest, heal, and no longer do damage to his back.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 01:04 PM ET

shazam88's avatar

Damn you guys have had some ridiculous injury bug going on this year. Hope he gets back in time for a playoff run.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 02/21/14 at 01:04 PM ET

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Let’s count him out till next season and focus on what we have… An opportunity for people to step up.  Has that been said before… Oh yeah I guess so

Posted by SlimChance on 02/21/14 at 01:05 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Agree on the praise for his Swedish-team doctors.

G’luck, Henrik.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 02/21/14 at 01:07 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

I’m gonna go all bah humbug here but…

I can live with the playoff streak ending because of something like this.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/21/14 at 01:07 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I still believe that the Wings will make the playoffs.

Not sure about a trade. Weiss, Franzen, Datsyuk, Jurco and Sheahan may be leaned upon—Tatar too—instead of going for a rental. We shall see.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 01:08 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please read Ryan Martin’s comments to Khan and Sipple regarding trade deadline moves. Will apparently hinge upon Weiss and Franzen’s health and readiness to play.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 01:32 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Please read Ryan Martin’s comments to Khan and Sipple regarding trade deadline moves. Will apparently hinge upon Weiss and Franzen’s health and readiness to play.

cringe. Franzen will be a wild card all season, probably.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/21/14 at 01:42 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

With Z on LTIR, this opens the cap and roster for a high profile rental. Maybe Snow would take Franzen and Sammy the Albatross for what’s left on Vanek’s contract.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/21/14 at 01:54 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

I think this ups the necessity of team Canada being eliminated. Maybe the sense of loss for Kenny will motivate him too do something.

Posted by MoreShoot on 02/21/14 at 01:55 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Here’s the bio of Dr. Frank P. Cassima Jr., Z’s surgeon. Quite the resume. http://www.hss.edu/physicians_cammisa-frank.asp

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 02:05 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Franzen’s not being moved, Franzen’s not being bought out (Tootoo will be bought out). Holland and Babcock believe that his cap hit + 25 goals = worth putting up with.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 02:08 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Franzen’s not being moved, Franzen’s not being bought out.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 01:08 PM ET

Whatever, keep telling that to the Flat Earth Society.

Posted by SK77 on 02/21/14 at 02:13 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Hey, it’s my schizophrenic uncle who believes in aliens and a masonic conspiracy that’s the member of the John Birch Society. Not me.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 02:19 PM ET

Alan's avatar

Well, we’re in store for a thrilling conclusion to this season.

May the hockey Gods smile upon us.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 02/21/14 at 02:39 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Franzen’s not being moved, Franzen’s not being bought out (Tootoo will be bought out). Holland and Babcock believe that his cap hit + 25 goals = worth putting up with.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 01:08 PM ET

Even for the next 7 (or whatever the ridiculous amount of time) yrs?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/21/14 at 03:38 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Wings would have to make their decision on Franzen this spring as that cap-compliance get-out-of-jail-free buyout disappears after this summer. After that, it’s paying 2/3rds of his salary and being hit for 1/3rd of the cap hit for 2 times as many years are left on the deal when you buy him out.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 03:44 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

So if he retires after next season the Wings are left with his cap hit until the end of his contract?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 02/21/14 at 04:01 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The cap recapture situation is complicated. Capgeek has a cap recapture calculator for a reason.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 02/21/14 at 04:07 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

I don’t think Franzen will move, either. But I think it has more to do with no one wanting to take his contract than anything else. Franzen can’t stay healthy for an entire season. His hot/cold production makes his stats overall look much better than actually watching him play night after night. Franzen has both skill and size, but he’s not reliable in using either. He might be the perfect power forward, but we haven’t seen more than echoes of that since the 2008 season.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 02/21/14 at 04:16 PM ET

DocF's avatar

I am cautiously positive about the developments.  I agree that surgery is the best (only, actually) option for Zetterberg.  I also have a hunch that Weiss will be much, much better after his hernia surgery.  He was skating like he was older than me and I am older than dirt.  Franzen was off to the best season he has had in a long time.  We can hope that he will play at that level for the rest of the season. 

I see Ballerina Bert, a worn down Danny Cleary and Samuelsson nailed to the bench for the remainder except as emergency replacement parts.  Of the three, I would prefer to see Cleary plugged in as he has barely enough gas to get through a game, but tries hard all the time.

Unless Hertz has a fire sale and some incredible rental is available, no, I do not consider Vanek incredible, I would depend on the kindergarten set to bring it every night.  These guys are primed and the excitement of being in the bigs will carry them quite a ways.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 02/21/14 at 04:59 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

People here are forgetting that Franzen has to be healthy to be bought out.

People here are also forgetting that there’s no way in hell Holland will have that egg on his face of “I’m buying out the guy I kept instead of letting him go years ago in favor of Hossa.”

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/21/14 at 05:28 PM ET

SK77's avatar

People here are also forgetting that there’s no way in hell Holland will have that egg on his face of “I’m buying out the guy I kept instead of letting him go years ago in favor of Hossa.”

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 02/21/14 at 04:28 PM ET

rolleyes

Posted by SK77 on 02/21/14 at 05:32 PM ET

w2j2's avatar

Maybe Kronwall can step up as captain as he did for Team Sweden and lead the Wings into the playoffs.

Posted by w2j2 on 02/21/14 at 05:44 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Well 22 is a nice round number. Hopefully, the Ping Pong Ball Gods will be kind to the Wings.

Pavel looked good with a C in Sochi, even if the Russian team did not.

Mule is a dead horse, no need to keep beating on that issue.

Could miss eight weeks.

LOL

Granted, Z has more in common with Thor than the average mortal on Earth, but that sounds naively optimistic to recover from disc removal surgery

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 02/21/14 at 06:42 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Could miss eight weeks.

...that sounds naively optimistic to recover from disc removal surgery

Not really. He was up and walking around as soon as the anesthetic wore off today. It doesn’t sound optimistic to me that he could be, in a best-case scenario, ready to train after six weeks of recuperation.

Back injuries are very weird in almost every way, including any recovery from them. If the top back surgeon they could find says “8 weeks” is a reasonable guesstimate I sure wouldn’t doubt it.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 02/21/14 at 06:58 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

With Zetterberg on LTIR possibly the rest of the regular season, the Red Wings may be looking to trade for a top tier defense man with the cap relief. They will not be able to protect all of their prospects next season, so some could be used as trade bait. This would possibly include some of their current defense men. With all the young forwards on the team there is an opportunity for them to battle it out for positions, playoffs or not. Should be interesting.

Posted by bigfrog on 02/21/14 at 07:17 PM ET

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  I say good.

  Whether or not he comes back from surgery to be able to perform at a professional athlete level, it doesn’t sound like he was going to get a whole lot better with nonsurgical intervention. I was reading some of my continuing education and surgery is apparently a better option, long term, in about 2/3 of cases. I also said in another thread I have a friend who is going to have chronic problems because she allowed her first surgeon to delay her seeking treatment from an obviously failed surgery. (What really burnt me about that was the surgeon was found to be having TIA’s IN THE OR, and my friend told me he blamed anesthesia for her continuing to have pain. I’m a nurse anesthetist and I would say I do anesthesia on anywhere from 2 to a dozen back surgery patients a week for up to about 6 surgeons any week. So…)

    As far as 8 weeks, there’s a hell of a difference between a minimally invasive microdisc and a cavernous wound for multilevel fusion. U of M’s All American basketball center had surgery a couple months ago and is working out with the team again. I don’t know what his surgery was, but 8 weeks is about where he is at. I’m going to say that an athlete of that level probably has a better recovery time than the specimens I’m used to seeing, which are typically the Central Ohio Standard. This means obese smokers who are completely noncompliant.

Posted by teldar on 02/21/14 at 10:25 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.