After holding out hope that the NHL season might possibly begin on time, Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg decided to sign with the Swiss club EV Zug recently, noting that he simply wants to play competitively somewhere while the NHL is locked out.
Speaking with Ansar Khan of MLive on Monday, Zetterberg explained his decision to leave the U.S. to keep playing professionally:
I wanted to wait a little bit before going, but the last few weeks the indication is it's going to be tougher and tougher to get spots there, especially with the contract I have and the insurance costs. So I got an offer last Friday from Zug and I looked into it, talked to a few players who played in the Swiss league; they said it's a good place to be and play hockey... I just want to be ready when (the season) starts over here again.
Zetterberg, who turns 32 on Tuesday, is now one of eight Red Wings playing in Europe during the NHL's second lockout in a decade. All plan to return to the NHL once the lockout ends, but it's not clear when that will happen given the lack of progress being made in negotiations between the NHL and NHLPA.