Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland made a huge step toward re-signing potential unrestricted free agent Henrik Zetterberg when he met for seven hours with the Conn Smythe Trophy winner’s agent Wednesday, a source tells TheHockeyNews.com.
Holland traveled to Providence to meet face-to-face with Marc Levine and while its believed the two sides made significant progress toward a long-term deal that will keep Zetterberg with the Red Wings for the rest of his career, there are still some obstacles to overcome.
That being said, there is every reason to expect Zetterberg will be signed to a contract extension within the next month.
It’s believed Zetterberg is seeking a deal somewhere in the $66 million range for eight years, which would average about $8.25 million per season. It’s thought Holland would also like to sign Zetterberg to a deal in the seven- to 10-year range and doesn’t mind paying a salary in the $8 million range for the first half of the deal, but would like to see the salary reduced in the final years of the deal when Zetterberg will be in his late 30s.
Zetterberg, 28, is averaging more than 20 minutes per game, which is tops among all Red Wing forwards and has 14 goals and 29 points in 28 games, second on the team to Marian Hossa.
Zetterberg would be one of the most sought-after free agents in the NHL if his contract were to run out, but there is little reason to believe that will happen.