The Malik Report
Red Wings captain and Swedish captain Henrik Zetterberg says he’s taking it one commitment at a time
by George Malik on 01/31/14 at 02:51 PM ET
The Windsor Star's Bob Duff and the rest of the Wings' press corps spoke with Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg regarding his return to the lineup, asking Zetterberg whether he was pushing himself and his sore back to return before the Olympics (especially given coach Babcock's comment to MLive's Ansar Khan about Pavel Datsyuk "skating on one leg" Thursday):
Zetterberg was blunt, as Duff noted:
Watching as the team lost both games while he was out, Zetterberg fought the urge to try and come back into the lineup before he was physically 100 per cent.
“Obviously, it’s a fine line there, but you have people that help you with that and you’ve got to listen,” Zetterberg said, insisting the impending Winter Olympic Games played no role in his desire to get back on the ice.
“Not really,” Zetterberg said. “The focus for me is here. We’ve got five games. That’s the focus and then when the Olympics come, the focus switches.”
Duff continues, and he also posted a video of Zetterberg speaking with the media:
Also regarding the Olympics and team Sweden, from DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose:
Babcock said it’s unfortunate that Johan Franzen had to pull out of the Olympics but the Wings’ coach said it’s more important that the veteran forward get healthy before he returns to any lineup.
“Mule’s a man with two young kids, you need to be healthy for that first,” Babcock said. “Life is way more important than hockey so you need to get feeling good and it’s hard to have the kind of life you want unless you’re feeling good.”
Published reports have quoted Swedish coach Per Mårts as saying he hasn’t picked a replacement, though Gustav Nyquist has been mentioned as a possibility.
“That would be an unbelievable experience, to be able to go to the Olympics,” Nyquist said. “It doesn’t come around too often. … It wouldn’t be the way you’d want to get in, seeing one of your teammates hurt, not being able to go. I know Johan would have loved to go, but the situation is what it is. Obviously, I’d be more than happy to go.
Whether Nyquist or Nashville's Patric Hornqvist will replace Franzen depends on which Swedish press outlet you read, but it sounds like Swedish coach/GM Par Marts isn't going to tip his hand.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.