Red Wings' Blashill: Zetterberg could miss entire season

Photo of Red Wings' Blashill: Zetterberg could miss entire season

It doesn't seem likely that Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be "ready to play," and he would likely miss the entire season in that case, head coach Jeff Blashill said, according to MLive's Ansar Khan.

The veteran center hasn't trained much this summer because of his back issues, and Blashill said it would be all but impossible for Zetterberg to play this season without proper offseason preperations, according to The Athletic's Craig Custance.

Zetterberg hasn't missed a game since 2014-15, but he labored through much of last season and was unable to practice for half of the year, Blashill said earlier this month. He still managed to produce 56 points despite his back problems.

Blashill is already preparing for the worst. If Zetterberg can't play, speedster Andreas Athanasiou will shift to the middle and slot in as the team's third-line center behind Dylan Larkin and Frans Nielsen, he told Khan.

Zetterberg still has three years remaining on his contract with an average annual value of $6.083 million.

It's still possible the 37-year-old makes a comeback, but if not, he can walk away knowing he won just about everything he could. He's a member of the elusive Triple Gold Club, winning Olympic and World Championship gold medals in 2006 and leading the Wings to a Stanley Cup title in 2008, in which he was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy as playoff MVP.

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