According to The Athletic’s Craig Custance, the NHL will not take issue with the Red Wings’ ability to place Henrik Zetterberg on the Long-Term Injured Reserve despite having previously investigated Zetterberg’s so-called “back-diving” contract:
In Zetterberg’s case, [NHL deputy commissioner Bill] Daly said the NHL investigated the 12-year Zetterberg contract when it was signed in 2009 to get out front of any concerns.
“We wanted to understand the motivations, what was discussed, everything about that,” Daly told The Athletic. “We were ultimately very satisfied that there was no precooked deal that after ‘Year X’ he was going to leave, go into retirement and the club is going to get a benefit because of that.”
So now, nine years later, when the outside protests arise, the league has that groundwork to point to if there are any skeptics among the Red Wings’ rivals.
He also said that likely won’t be the end of the NHL’s work on this front.
“We don’t question it by any means,” Daly said of the back injury that has led to Zetterberg’s early retirement. “We know he’s been suffering and it’s been a significant issue for a number of years going back to the Olympics. He couldn’t even participate in the Olympics. You know it had to be a serious injury. I have no doubt to the bona fides of the situation. But will we (investigate) to make sure we check the boxes? Probably.”