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Report: Henrik Zetterberg plans to retire in two years

“It's quite obvious that you try to fool the system”

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Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg reportedly plans on forgoing the final two years of his front-loaded contract and retire after the 2018-19 NHL season.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet quotes the forward saying he’ll likely skip the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons in which he’s signed for just $1 million for each year. 

Zetterberg signed a 12-year, $73-million contract in January 2009. Part of the deal included larger salaries during the first nine years — in the $7-million to $7.75-million range — before dropping to just $1 million in each of the final two seasons. He will be paid $3.35 million in 2018-19.

“The only reason why we wrote such a long contract was because of the payroll. It is quite obvious that you try to fool the system. Actually, I may have two years left, but I have also learned to take one year at a time. But I will probably not play until then."

Zetterberg has has 326 goals and 904 points in 1,000 NHL games and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008. The fan favorite turns 37 in October.

Picturing the Detroit Red Wings without both Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk just seems insane.