Report: Henrik Zetterberg will leave Detroit before contract ends, then go home to Sweden

Report indicates Zetterberg plans to leave Red Wings before contract expires

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

DETROIT – If the Swedish media reports are true, Detroit Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg will be leaving the team before he can play out his 12-year contract. 

Zetterberg, 36, reportedly told Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet he doesn't plan to finish his lengthy contract with Detroit, which expires after the 2020-21 season. Instead, he plans to play two more seasons with the Red Wings before heading home to Sweden.

"Did you ask me seven years ago I'd probably say 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 has become a home, I have many friends and acquaintances there, but I miss Sweden ... ," he told Aftonbladet

Zetterberg will be 40 years old by the time his contract is finished and making about $1 million in those final two seasons. He reportedly told Swedish media the only reason he agreed to such a long contract was to "fool the system" and had no intention of playing the final two years, which is why he's only set to make $1 million a year. However, he also said he has learned to take it one year at a time. 

The veteran center led the Red Wings with 68 points this past season. In 1,000 games played with the Red Wings since 2002, Zetterberg has compiled 326 goals and 578 assists. In 137 playoff games he has scored 120 points. 

He won the Conn Smythe Trophy for Stanley Cup playoffs MVP in 2008. 

The Red Wings drafted him at 210th overall in 1999. 

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