It appears Henrik Zetterberg’s had a change of heart.
After saying he didn’t have any immediate plans to play overseas — something he stated as recently as last week — the 32-year-old Swede has agreed to play for EV Zug of Switzerland’s National A League, according to USA Today.
Zetterberg reportedly made the decision this weekend after finding the right financial situation in Zug.
During the lockout in 2004-05, [Zetterberg] played for his old club in Sweden. But that wasn’t an option this time around because he has $50 million left on his contract, requiring heavy insurance.
He said he’d only consider a place in Europe where neither the insurance nor the taxes would be devastating. He found the answer with Zug, home to Red Wings signee Damien Brunner and Montreal Canadiens defenseman Raphael Diaz.
With the move, Zetterberg becomes the eighth Red Wing to sign overseas during the lockout.
Brunner is also in Switzerland, Pavel Datsyuk is in the KHL, Valtteri Filppula returned to Finland, Jakub Kindl went to the Czech Extraliga, Tomas Tatar went to the Slovak Extraliga and Jonathan Ericsson signed with a third-tier Swedish team.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.