Detroit Red Wings fans have known since Nicklas Lidstrom retired that Henrik Zetterberg would eventually replace him as captain. This is a role Zetterberg has been groomed for since he joined the Red Wings. Zetterberg was given the locker next to one of the greatest captains of all-time in Steve Yzerman and learned as much as he could from Stevie Y in 2005-06.
When Yzerman retired at the end of the 2005-06 season rumours were swirling that Zetterberg was going to be named captain. As we all know Lidstrom was eventually named as the successor to Yzerman, but Zetterberg’s influence on the team and leadership ability grew as each season passed.
From The Detroit News:
“I think I’ve been easing into it for years,” Zetterberg said. “When you look at both Stevie and Nick, they weren’t the most vocal captains, but they showed it on the ice every day. They showed it in games, in practice, in the weight room. There are many leaders in here who do the speaking part. If it comes time to say anything, of course I’ll do it. But I will not change my way.”
“He deserves it; he’s a leader in locker room,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “I believe when he retires his jersey will be in Joe Louis Arena (rafters) or maybe new arena, who knows.
“He would be a unanimous vote in here,” Dan Cleary said. “The biggest thing is that he’s so unselfish, he’s such a personable guy and he’s a star. Great talent on the ice, but he’s very respectful off the ice. He’s vocal when he needs to be.
Congratulations to Henrik Zetterberg on becoming the 3rd captain for the Detroit Red Wings in 26 years.