THE BANDWAGON PERSPECTIVE
On Friday, September 14, it was announced that Red Wings Forward, Henrik Zetterberg is unable to continue his career in the NHL due to a degenerative back condition.
The 37-year-old has been the Red Wings’ captain since the 2012-’13 season and finished last season as the #2 scorer on the team with 56 points behind only young star Dylan Larkin (63 points).
Zetterberg spent his entire playing career with the Red Wings after begin drafted in the 7th round (210th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. The Swedish center came as a bit of a surprise to the franchise scoring 22 goals in his rookie season with the club. It was all up-hill from there. Zetterberg is the 5th leading scorer in franchise history with 960 points over his 1,082 games with the club.
Zetterberg helped lead the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup victory in 2008, defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. Zetterberg (along with Sidney Crosby) led the playoffs in scoring with 27 points and came out with both the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP.
What does Zetterberg’s departure mean for the Red Wings moving forward? Who will be the next captain of this original six club? Niklas Kronwall is entering the final year of his contract. Or maybe Justin Abdelkader, who wore an ‘A’ last season. Abdelkader has five more seasons left on his contract. The 31-year-old winger has been a leader both on and off the ice for the young Red Wings team.
At this point, all we can do is speculate. But the Red Wings have lost an integral part of their team. Their leader. Their captain.