Henrik Zetterberg: Potential Wings Captain?

Henrik Zetterberg is an all-star player, in the past and present. “Z” or "Zetty the Grizzly Teddy" has landed 68 points in the 81 games he has played this season. The assistant captain’s career has been very successful thus so far, making him a eligible candidate for the potential position opening up at the end of this season: captain.

Nicklas Lidstrom was deemed captain in 2006 after the famous Steve Yzerman retired. However, before Lidstrom was named, rumors spread that Zetterberg may be up for the title. No one is complaining about the “C’ sewn on #5’s jersey, but it seems even more likely that “Z” may get the title when the position opens again.

Rumors have been spreading about Lidstrom’s possible retirement for some time now. This season Lidstrom was out for over ten games due to a deep bone bruise which gave him the pleasure of doing something he loves most, spending time with his family. He may be interested in a possible retirement after the season closes, however nothing has been confirmed. Who better than Henrik Zetterberg to step up to the plate?

“Z” was drafted 210th overall back in 1999 and played his first game in 2002. Detroit management always knew Zetterberg had talent and recognized his ability; nevertheless they were not convinced he would be the star he is today. Ken Holland was quoted in an interview with George Malik on MLive.com that he believes the Wings franchise “got lucky that two players, Zetterberg and Datsyuk, who [they] got with later round picks, have developed into superstars.” His career high season was back in 2007-2008, where he recorded a 92 point season in 75 total games played. He also won the Conn Smythe Trophy that same season, which is awarded to one NHL player every season. The player would be known to be the most valuable player for his team in the playoffs. Fellow Red Wings players Roger Crozier (65-66), Mike Vernon (96-97), Steve Yzerman (97-98), and Nicklas Listrom (01-02) have been among the winners of the trophy.

Not only is Hank a valuable player for the Wings, he also has a great presence with the media. He often does during game and post-game interviews about the Wings progress and gives updates on behind the scenes information. Zetterberg has given injury updates and been involved in the community. Making Tristan Parent’s wish come true by spending some time with the team and getting to meet his favorite player and hockey idol (Zetterberg) is not the only giving “Z” does. He helped the Defeat the Label Foundation campaign with fellow teammates Valtteri Filppula, Pavel Datsyuk, and Danny Cleary by making a public service announcement speaking out against bullying. It is important as a potential captain to be a part of the community and to enjoy it. He was quoted at the start of the 2011-2012 season saying that all of the team, including himself, “want to do these things, so whenever [they] get the extra time for requests, [they] have fun doing it. It really makes you happy, too. You go home and you talk about it with your family and it keeps you going.”

Zetterberg currently holds the most well-paid, longest contract in franchise history. In the 2008-2009 season, “Z” agreed to a 12-year, $73 million contract extension with the Wings on January 2009. If he was to have the honor of serving captain to one of the best teams in NHL history, we wouldn’t have to worry about a new captain in the next decade!

What do you think; would Zetterberg be a suitable captain and does he stand a chance to have the title? If not, who do you see fulfilling the duties as captain for the Detroit Red Wings when Nicklas Lidstrom decides to retire? Share your thoughts with us here on The Checking Line!

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Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I didn't know he was called Zetty the Grizzly Teddy....you might have ruined Henrik Zetterberg for me!!!!! Just kidding, but in all seriousness, there's no one else even close to him in leadership, you know it's going to be him

Rachel Bellono's picture

He actually picked up the nickname because of his facial hair haha. :] I agree with you entirely, obviously. However, many people think Kronwall would be a good captain as well.