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Zetterberg signing eases pain of Datsyuk departure

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings accomplished one of their
major offseason goals Wednesday, re-signing forward Henrik
Zetterberg to a four-year deal.
Zetterberg's contract will count for $2.6 million against the
team's $39 million salary cap this year.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said the team offered
Zetterberg a contract as soon as the league's collective bargaining
agreement was finalized this summer. Holland said he then spent
much of August working with Zetterberg's agent to get the
25-year-old player signed.
"I'm really happy that we got a deal done because we always
wanted Henrik to remain on our team," Holland said. "He's a young
player who has shown he can produce in the NHL, and yet there's
room for him to grow."
During last year's NHL lockout, Zetterberg led the Swedish Elite
League in scoring, with 50 points on 19 goals and 31 assists in 50
games for Timra. In the 2003-04 season, Zetterberg had 15 goals and
28 assists in 61 games with the Red Wings.
Zetterberg was the runner-up for the NHL's Calder Cup, given to
the rookie of the year, after tallying 22 goals and 22 assists for
the Red Wings in 2002-03.
His signing comes just days after the Red Wings learned that
Pavel Datsyuk, another restricted free agent and a key part of
Detroit's offense, had signed a one-year deal with the Russian
Super League team Avangard Omsk.
Holland said Wednesday that he was told by Datsyuk's agent that
his contract with the Russian team does not include a so called
"out clause," which might have allowed him to return to the Red
Wings.
Holland said he planned to stay in contact with Datsyuk's agent
because the Red Wings retain some rights to Datsyuk until summer
2007.
With the signing of Zetterberg, the Red Wings have nine forwards
under contract and have room for a total of 13, Holland said.
The remaining spots may be filled by other players currently
with the team, or by veterans currently with other clubs, Holland
said.
"I'm going to continue to talk to other teams," he said "I'm
just not going to rush into anything because we don't have to right
now."
The Red Wings open training camp Sept. 11 in Traverse City.