Each day over the next month or so, we’re taking a look back at the season that was by going through each player’s season. My assignment for today? Henrik Zetterberg.
A lot was made of Zetterberg after the season ended, rumors of a supposed rift between him and head coach Jeff Blashill. After that there was a rumor about a supposed “Swedish Mafia”, it all reeked and it all put Zetterberg in the middle of it. The captain had a lot of pressure on his shoulders, did he fall under it?
Taking a look at Zetterberg’s Hero Chart here, you have to like what you see production wise. He may not be scoring goals like he used to but he is still churning out assists with the best of them. His TOI is still tops on the team although his play doesn’t necessarily warrant it. The part that many won’t want to admit, is that Zetterberg is on a steady decline.
Here is his chart from an earlier three year span that documents the decline in production across the board.
As you can see, he was producing at a clip that warranted his TOI. It isn’t a huge difference at the moment, it is the type of decline that you want to monitor if you are Ken Holland and are going to need to make tough decisions in the years ahead.
As you can see over his long and storied career, he has had plenty of sensational seasons. In the case of this season, this is the worst he has done over the course of a full season since his rookie year. If you can tout a fifty point season as bad in the modern era, just how bad are you actually? It isn’t normal Zetterberg numbers but they aren’t anything to scoff at.
All data via Waronice.com
As far as Corsi goes, this was not the best year for Zetterberg, he was down by names like Marchenko and Kronwall. They aren’t terrible by any means, they just aren’t what you expect to see from a name like Zetterberg. Does this mean that Zetterberg is living on his name at this point in his career?
Once again, another stat line that doesn’t bode well for Zetterberg. He can still be dominating at times, he isn’t the same player he used to be though. Which is a painful, painful realization for some. These are the types of categories that he used to dominate. He isn’t the same player.
Plainly, just not Zetterberg type numbers. Middle of the road. As long as he is producing 50 point seasons though, he should be fine but with his contract this could turn into an albatross very quickly.
This may be the make or break in what direction Zetterberg is heading. Is he about to fall off of a production cliff? Can he rebound and become the Zetterberg we all know so well? It is a tough pill to swallow, we may have seen the last of the great version of Zetterberg.
I could see another 50 point season in his future, it just needs to be met with a decrease in ice time and better line mates. If you want to get the full value of Zetterberg’s contract, you need to start catering to his game much, much better.
Zetterberg isn’t the same player he used to be. It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. This could be used to their advantage. They could pump up his value and make him into the player of yesteryear. That means that he would need to eat a slice of humble pie. Would he be willing? Probably not. Nonetheless, it needs to be done.
Overall the year wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t up to his standards. In the context of the team his production was actually great. So this grade was awfully tough to give. I think a B is tough but fair.