By: Jeff Riger
Tuesday afternoon in Plymouth the worst kept secret in Detroit sports was unveiled…Henrik Zetterberg is the new Wings captain. Detroit held a press conference to announce the new Wings leader with GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock each having a chance to say a word or two about the new captain.
Holland explained that he told Zetterberg about the teams desire to have him as the captain after a golf outing in the summer. Holland said it was his best outing of the season and before the two parted ways, he told Zetterberg of the captaincy and asked if he wanted it? Zetterberg answered yes almost immediately and then called his parents right away to tell them of the good news.
It was no secret that Zetterberg would get to wear the C…
“He’s played with two incredible leaders in Steve (Yzerman) and Nick (Lidstrom) Holland said. He’s a great player, day in and day out, he’s an everyday’er. He plays hard every day in practice, he sets the tone. I think he has almost a point a game in the playoffs throughout his career. He’s a great two way player.”
Babcock compared Zetterberg to Lidstrom and Yzerman and how the three players are similar saying “the things that jump right to mind for me is fierce, fierce competitors, great, great people and guys that put the team first and can speak for the team and treat their team mates right. Those are three things right there off the top of my head.
The decision to make Zetterberg the captain was almost a no-brainer, however there was some competition. Holland said “the next captain was going to be one of the guys that wore the assistant captain. If there was somebody that didn’t have a letter, he should have had a letter if he was going to go from no letter to captain. Ultimately when you look at Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Kronwall as one of those three guys, you can sit up there with any of the three and feel good about them. But ultimately Mike and I felt that Henrik would be the best captain but certainly those other guys are very close.”
Zetterberg, no doubt has learned how to be a captain from following the teachings and playing with Lidstrom and Yzerman in his pro career. Zetterberg said at the podium “I read a quote from Stevie Y when he became captain in ’86. He said it made it a lot easier by having a locker room filled with leaders. And, that is the same for me now. I’m lucky to have players like Datsyuk, Kronwall, Cleary, Bertuzzi, Franzen, Howard and all the guys that are standing over there in the locker room. We all lead this team by doing the right thing every day on and off the ice.”
Sure sounds like a captain doesn’t he?
Zetterberg also played like a captain Tuesday night during the Red and White Scrimmage where he scored his first goal wearing the C on his chest. Zetterberg was asked if the goal was special and he replied “yeah but it’s almost in practice though. You can’t really count that so hopefully it will come in the weekend instead.
See, told you, he already sounded like a captain.
Check out the video of the press conference where Zetterberg is named captain and of Holland glowing about his new leader…
Of course listen to every Wings game right here on the Ticket. It all gets started on Saturday night when the Wings will be in St. Louis to play the Blues to kick off the short 48 game season.