Detroit Gives Henrik Zetterberg 12-Year, $72 Million Extension
According to mLive's Ansar Khan, the deal is structured in such a way that allows the Wings a roughly $6 million yearly cap hit while Zetterberg will receive $1 million a year in the final two seasons of the contract. It is the largest and longest deal in Detroit franchise history, far surpassing Pavel Datsyuk's seven-year, $46.9 million deal. Zetterberg will make much less on a yearly basis than he might have on tthe open market.
In Detroit, the news of the deal is somewhat tempered by the fact that Zetterberg left Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Columbus in the first period due to back spasms. He did not return, as a precautionary measure. Zetterberg has had back trouble in the past to go along with a continuing tendonitis problem in his wrist, but has demonstrated a toughness that seems to mitigate concerns over his longevity.
A 12-year deal comes as a surprise given recent reports that indicated something more along the lines of 10 years. It's an unprecedented show of faith by the Wings to commit to a one player so much and for so long. Given the open grooming of Zetterberg for the captaincy in Detroit, perhaps it shouldn't be such a surprise that they would work to make the man a lifetimer.
I've been a fan of Zetterberg since he was just a prospect about to come over from Sweden. This is the best I've felt as a Wingnut since they won the Cup last summer.