January 16, 2013, 02:33 AM
Join Date: April 18, 2007
Favorite Player: Nazimuddin
The Zetterberg Era Begins
As expected, Hank has been named Captain of the Detroit Red Wings during this rebuilding period. The 210th pick overall in the 1999 draft has pretty big shoes to fill (Champion HoFers Steve Yzerman and 89th pick overall Nicklas Lidstrom) in a tragically declining city with nothing other than its sports with hockey being the most popular sport, and music going for it. That's pressure and I hope Hank is up to the task. His hockey has been in decline since 2008 and we're hoping that the "C" will turn things around. Pavel and Junior will help him out as Alternate Captains. Talk about all European leadership on the ice!
Now it's Henrik Zetterberg's turn to wear the "C."
Zetterberg became the third player since 1986 to be named captain of the Detroit Red Wings when he was introduced Tuesday prior to an intrasquad scrimmage. He's the 36th captain in franchise history.
"Henrik Zetterberg leads by example ... he understands the responsibility of being the captain of the Detroit Red Wings," general manager Ken Holland said in making the announcement.
The 32-year-old replaces fellow Swede Nicklas Lidstrom, who retired after the 2011-12 season. Lidstrom got the "C" in 2006 after Steve Yzerman retired following an NHL-record two-decade run as captain.
Zetterberg was an easy choice because of the respect he's earned from his teammates and the coaching staff.
"He's not afraid to communicate," coach Mike Babcock said. "He doesn't mind getting mad at me one bit. He's just not shy about what he thinks. We've had a relationship like that for a long time.
"We have a good guy who's a real good human being, who loves hockey, who has a mind for the game, he's really good to his teammates and he's demanding of himself and he doesn't mind speaking his mind. To me, that's pretty good leadership.
"We got a pretty good guy there.''
Zetterberg's appointment was one of the worst-kept secrets in hockey -- he was one of the Red Wings' alternate captains under Lidstrom and was widely expected to get the "C" following Lidstrom's retirement last summer. Like Lidstrom and Yzerman before him, he's played his whole career in Detroit and seems destined to finish there.
Babcock said the three share some common traits.
"I guess the things that jump to mind for me is fierce, fierce competitors," he said. "Great, great people and guys who put the team first and can speak for the team and treat their teammates right. So those are three things that I would say right off the top of my head."
In nine seasons with the Red Wings, Zetterberg has 252 goals and 372 assists for 624 points, and he's had at least 68 points in each of the past seven seasons. His 50 game-winning goals are fourth on the team's all-time list, trailing Yzerman (94), Brendan Shanahan (79) and Sergei Fedorov (63). Zetterberg also has 51 goals and 102 points in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008, when the Red Wings won their most recent championship.
Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall will serve as alternate captains.
Zetterberg said he's played for some excellent leaders who've helped him grow and mature during his time with the Red Wings -- and that includes more than Yzerman and Lidstrom.
"Just playing with Nick for my whole career here, just to see how he prepares himself, how he handled himself on and off the ice, and just lead by example and that’s what he did," Zetterberg said. "I played with many good leaders since I got here and not just Stevie and Nick. There was [Kris] Draper, [Chris] Chelios -- there are so many guys that I played with that you learn from. So you try to take bits and pieces from all the guys that you play with, and they really formed the player who I am now."
"And do not curse those who call on other than GOD, lest they blaspheme and curse GOD, out of ignorance. We have adorned the works of every group in their eyes. Ultimately, they return to their Lord, then He informs them of everything they had done." (Qur'an 6:108)