The Detroit Red Wings are ready to share the worst-kept secret in Hockeytown: Henrik Zetterberg will inherit the team’s captaincy, which came open when Nicklas Lidstrom retired.
Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily confirmed the news — the Red Wings will make it official on Tuesday.
“It’s a great choice,” Danny Cleary said after the second day of training camp. “He would be a unanimous vote in here.”
“I think Hank’s been groomed to be our captain for many, many years now,” Niklas Kronwall said. “Ever since he got in here, he sat beside Stevie (Yzerman) and learned a lot from him. Hank, he’s been a captain for many years even though he hasn’t had the ‘C.’ Of course we had Nick but Hank is just as good a leader and he brings it every night. That’s what you want from your leader.”
As reported by multiple outlets last week, the Wings likely will turn to Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall as their alternate captains. Datsyuk has filled that role for multiple seasons, while Kronwall added the “A” to his jersey last year.
The announcement of Zetterberg as just the third team captain since 1986 (that’s when Yzerman took the role) comes amid a frantic and emotional week for the Red Wings. Not only did training camp just open Sunday, hours after the NHL lockout ended, but longtime Wing Tomas Holmstrom has a press conference scheduled for Wednesday, at which he’ll announce his retirement.
Detroit then opens its shortened 2013 season on Saturday night in St. Louis.
Zetterberg has played all nine of his NHL seasons with the Red Wings. Along the way, he’s claimed a Stanley Cup (2007-08), scored 252 regular-season goals and added 372 assists.
The 32-year-old Zetterberg is under contract through the 2020-21 season.