Henrik Zetterberg’s career over because of back injury, Red Wings GM says

Henrik Zetterberg (Getty Images)

Henrik Zetterberg’s playing days are finished. 

The 37-year-old Red Wings forward is being placed on long-term IR after he did not pass his physical, Detroit general manager Ken Holland told reporters Friday. Holland said Zetterberg has a degenerative back condition and his career is over.

“I think he wants to play, but he can’t,” Holland said (via NHL.com).

Zetterberg underwent back surgery in 2014 but played 82 games in three straight seasons from 2015-18. He was second on the Red Wings with 56 points in 2017-18.

Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told reporters in late August that Zetterberg hadn’t “really been able to train” in the offseason.

“He gutted it out for two months at the end of the year, and it was amazing to see,” Blashill said at the time (via ESPN). “But it’s one thing to gut it out for two months; it’s another thing when you haven’t been able to train at all to be able to play an NHL season. I know it’s been a real hard summer.”

Zetterberg was originally selected by Detroit in the seventh round of the 1999 draft. He made his NHL debut in 2002-03 and spent his entire 15-year career with the Red Wings.

“He’s one of the greatest Red Wing players in history,” Holland said.