The retirement of Red Wings captain and forward Henrik Zetterberg due to a degenerative back condition after a 1,082 game career all for the same team raises a big question: who will captain the Red Wings now? Since the mid-1980s, the Wings’ captaincy has been a relatively stable position. Steve Yzerman was captain from 1986-2006, making him the longest tenured captain of any team in any major North American sports league. Following Yzerman, Lidstrom was captain from 2006-2012 and Zetterberg from 2013-2018. Which brings us to present day. Who will don the C next?
October 8th 1993, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim would take to the ice for the first time in regular season to open up their first NHL campaign in Franchise history facing off against the Detroit Redwings. Fast forward to October 8th 2018, the Anahiem Ducks are once more face to face with the Detroit Redwings as they celebrate the 25 year milestone.
Currently, the Detroit Red Wings are not a defensively-gifted team, and contracts are among their defensive woes. It’s difficult to make space on the blueline with so many no-trade clauses and modified no-trade clauses creating a backlog of young, potentially NHL-ready defensemen who don’t get a chance at the NHL level before being traded elsewhere because the blueline is so static. The Wings’ defense isn’t getting any younger either. Some good news, however, is that after this season (the 2018-19 season) two roster spots may open, as both Niklas Kronwall and Nick Jensen become unrestricted free agents. With his age and recurring knee issues, Kronwall is likely to retire.
Rituals are a part of any sport. My own experience has shown me that no fans are quite as ritualistic as fans of hockey.