Henrik Zetterberg is scheduled to make $7 million in base salary in 2017-18, which is down $500,000 from the base salary he’s made in the last four seasons. After that, it’s a slippery slope for his 12-year, $73-million contract he signed with the Detroit Red Wings in 2009. Zetterberg will be 40 by the time it wraps up.
The Detroit Red Wings have been mismanaged into salary cap hell – populated by teams kissing the ceiling with a snowball’s chance in there of making the playoffs. Hence, forward Andreas Athanasiou is looking at one of those ‘sorry kid, we’ll get you next time’ RFA contracts. The only response for a 23-year-old player being forced to atone for management’s sins is leverage, and Athanasiou doesn’t have much of it: No arbitration rights and no hope for an offer sheet, because the NHL is why.