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Regner: Henrik Zetterberg will doubtlessly succeed Nick Lidstrom as captain

Blogging from my phone, so no quotes accompanying this one yet: Fox Sports Detroit’s Art Regner wants Red Wings fans to know that Henrik Zetterberg is certain to become Nicklas Lidstrom’s successor as Detroit’s next captain, but he also reveals that the team had once hoped that Martin Lapointe would fill Steve Yzerman’s shoes, and in the, “Who’ll be the next next captain?” line of thinking, Regner believes that Valtteri Filppula may one day captain the Wings.

Do you think that Zetterberg is definitely going to succeed Lidstrom, or of you think that Niklas Kronwall or Pavel Datsyuk should at least be seriously considered as captain material by the coaches and front office before they and the Wings’ players make the final call at the end of the exhibition season?

Update: here are some quotes from Regner’s article:

It was determined years ago, after Marty Lapointe left for Boston as an unrestricted free agent. Lapointe was and will always be a heart-and-soul Red Wing. When the Bruins offered him a mega-million-dollar contract in July 2001, the Wings told him he’d be crazy not to take the deal. Lapointe knew that he couldn’t turn the offer down, but instead of jumping for joy, he and his wife cried because they didn’t want to leave Detroit.

Even as a rookie, Lapointe’s locker stall was located next to Steve Yzerman’s. Yzerman had only one stall next to him because the corridor leading in and out of Detroit’s dressing room was on the other side of him. Whereas all the other Wings had teammates on either side, Lapointe and Yzerman had each other—and it was by design.

A first-round draft pick (10th overall) in 1991, Lapointe was the leader of the next generation of Red Wings. It was common knowledge that when Yzerman retired, Lapointe was the next captain.

After Lapointe departed for Boston, Nick Lidstrom wasn’t even on the radar because many believed he wasn’t interested in being captain. Obviously, that changed over the course of Lidstrom’s Hall of Fame career, and he deservedly wore the “C” after Yzerman retired in 2006.

The next player to have the coveted spot next to Yzerman wasn’t Lidstrom—usually a defenseman and forward don’t sit next to each in the dressing room. Rookie Henrik Zetterberg got the honor. Zetterberg had been dazzling in Traverse City during the first week of Wings training camp in September 2002. So it didn’t come as surprise that once the team arrived back in Detroit, he was sitting next to Yzerman.

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Posted by Garth on 06/19/12 at 06:14 PM ET

bezukov's avatar


Posted by Garth on 06/19/12 at 04:14 PM ET

This.  I’ve always known its gonna be Z, but I’d rather see Darren.  This team has too many stoics.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 06/19/12 at 06:20 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

It’ll be Zetterberg and the next will not be Filpulla. He’d have to be a Wing to be the next…

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 06/19/12 at 06:21 PM ET


If it wasnt for his poor mastery of the english language, Dats would be the next captain, I’m pretty sure
Between Zetts and a number of other players, I really have doubts
I think he would get the call easily, but I dunno… I have the impression that Zetts doesnt want the captaincy

Posted by Zqto from Brazil on 06/19/12 at 06:22 PM ET

Jordan_NOHS's avatar

I think Helm at least alternates as an assistant this year much like Kronwall did. Helm should be the next next captain if not the next. Z did Cary this team the 2nd half of the season and showed he is captain material

Posted by Jordan_NOHS from Detroit, MI on 06/19/12 at 06:25 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Z is an excellent choice. But I’d say Kronner is right there close behind. Hard to say how he is in the room and on the ice, but he really stepped up last season, at least in terms of dealing with the media. Both in day-to-day chats and from an accountability stand point.

I was pretty surprised to hear Lidstrom talk about Filppula as a leader in the aftermath of his retiring, and am surprised to see that idea supported here. I guess I’ve always just thought of him as a good soldier and a cornerstone player, but not a leader type. But good for him if that’s the case.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/19/12 at 06:33 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Well, I would pick Kronwall but then you will get a seriously disgruntled #40. Management signed him long long term and he has the “A” . Pavel probably feels uncomfortable with the language and the media might not always understand his sense of humor. And I know that people will crucify me for saying this (but some will be happy about the possible outcome if I am correct)...Z will be the one getting rid of the coach. I just don’t see these 2 on the same page. Maybe I was too spoiled to grow up with the likes of #19 and #5. I mean, these past two leaders would let ego aside for the team. Will #40 do the same? I am not saying he is a bad player nor necessarily a bad person, but in order for this new group to gel (hopefully with Parise and Suter) we need the collaboration of both the coach and their captain. Maybe I am asking too much, maybe I am not over the retirement of TPH yet…let’s hope that I am wrong, and that my children will be fortunate enough to see the growth of a great RW captain…like I was fortunate enough for the last 20 years..

Posted by gowings from MTL on 06/19/12 at 06:33 PM ET


Datsyuk has no interest being captain, he said so in his last interview with Cheskonov (or something).

Zetterberg’s being groomed to wear the C in the last few years, but damn I hate that shit (“If people think there’s a switch, then yes, there is a playoff switch”)

Focus-wise, work-wise or handsomeness-wise, Helm should be the one, but I don’t know what kind of influence he has on the team.

Obviously, we know the C doesn’t have to worn by a screamer, the the dude is really really shy.

Posted by Herm from the office on 06/19/12 at 06:40 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Until I hear Babcock say about anybody else that he’s like a 2nd coach like he has with both Lidstrom and Zetterberg, then I’m going to assume the job is Z’s.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/19/12 at 06:41 PM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

I would argue that Z has always put his ego—as well personal stats and health concerns—aside for the good of the team. The same goes for Datsyuk.

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 06/19/12 at 06:44 PM ET


It’s been said Z would be Captain from the day he first came to Detroit.  When Yzerman retired there was talk Lidstrom should be bypassed the the C given to Zetterberg.  Kronner is who I would go with but it will be Z.

Posted by jean on 06/19/12 at 06:55 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

My two votes were for Z and Kronner, and not necessarily in that order. Honestly its a tossup. Z has tremendous grit and works his ass off. Same with Kronner as well. It seems both have been groomed for this. Either one is class all the way.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 06/19/12 at 07:11 PM ET

Surfer Ken's avatar

I also have the crazy idea of giving it to Bert.

Interesting…..I think I like it.

Posted by Surfer Ken from San Clemente on 06/19/12 at 07:53 PM ET

Crater's avatar

I would like to see it on Z because I do think he is the best candidate.  We obviously don’t have much insight as to what it is really like inside the locker room or between coaches and players, but reports from coaches saying Z was like having another coach, and that he is more vocal than Lidstrom had been in the past. I think leading by example is great, but I would love to see a captain who is going to call out to the players around him as well as showing them. Think Draper.  He would have made a fantastic Captain in another reality where he didn’t coincide with 19 and 5.

Posted by Crater from SoCal on 06/19/12 at 08:08 PM ET


Zetterberg will wear the “C” as Captain, that much is obvious, and is the correct choice.

How they treat the two “A"s will be more interesting. In addition to Zetterberg of course, this past year they’ve been worn by Datsyuk, Kronwall, and even Homer. I think Cleary may even have worn it in a game or two, though I’m not sure about that.

You would also think that an “A” could be used to help entice Parise and Suter to sign on, but there’s no way you can take it away from Datsyuk.

So I could see a system of “A” jerseys by committee, rotating amongst a select few players: Datsyuk, Parise, Suter, Kronwall, maybe Filppula, maybe, occasionally, Bert or Franzen or Cleary. Helm will get his chance in a few years, but not now.

Posted by brad on 06/19/12 at 09:30 PM ET


Duh…the next captain is Parise.

Posted by BobaFett from Las Vegas on 06/19/12 at 09:42 PM ET


No, the next captain will not be Parise. That’s not how things are done. And I don’t think Parise would expect to be captain.

Posted by brad on 06/19/12 at 10:35 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 06/19/12 at 04:54 PM ET

I agree with all that, also realizing the ‘back to reality part’.  Bert does play better when he’s engaged.  The Wings locker room has different kinds of leaders, Bert is one kind.

Posted by RWBill on 06/19/12 at 10:36 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

HockeytownOverhaul you may or may not have read this after game 1.  Bert did it his first shift, it went about as I thought it would, and by who I thought would do it.

Although the Wings since 1998 rarely go after retribution, don’t you think somebody will insist on dropping gloves tomorrow early in the game?  The options are only Abdelkader and Bertuzzi, and although Abby would be game for it it would be courting disaster to give up so much size to Weber.  Bertuzzi isn’t really an accomplished fighter but is big enough to grapple for a few seconds and pull Weber to the ice, which is the closest this generation of Wings can come to winning a fight.

And if anyone is going to do anything you do it early in the game tomorrow, as that is the first opportunity to respond.  You do not wait like a little bitch for Game 3 to get in front of a home crowd.

Posted by RWBill from The Tiki Bar at The Shores Resort, Daytona Beach on 04/12/12 at 11:17 PM ET

Posted by RWBill on 06/19/12 at 10:47 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I don’t see Fillapoola ever being captain.  In 6 years it will be Helm, or possibly Parise if he signs for life.

Posted by RWBill on 06/19/12 at 10:50 PM ET


The Wings locker room has different kinds of leaders, Bert is one kind.

Bert has certain veteran leadership qualities, but do you want your captain to be a guy who’s practically useless if he’s not on a line with Datsyuk or doing a slow skate-in on a shootout attempt?

Posted by Garth on 06/20/12 at 12:24 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I always figured Z but I must admit I’d prefer Kronners.  Maybe it rotates this year.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 06/20/12 at 01:25 AM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Bert has certain veteran leadership qualities, but do you want your captain to be a guy who’s practically useless if he’s not on a line with Datsyuk or doing a slow skate-in on a shootout attempt?

Posted by Garth on 06/19/12 at 10:24 PM ET

I want a Captain based on merit, not a Captain who’s Captain based on the number of points he puts up per year.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 06/20/12 at 02:03 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’m with Hippy Dave here…I think that Pavel, Kronner and Fil will rotate the 2 “A’s” just as Z, Pavel and Kronner did.

Seems to work, seems to make sense. And yes, Bert will probably wear it now and then.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/20/12 at 02:17 AM ET


giving it to Big Bert is a bad idea because of a timing issue…

that would require him to do media interviews when Moore’s civil lawsuit case comes to trial. Bertuzzi and the Canucks just lost about keeping their agreement confidential which end litigation against each other and set up how they would share liability if Moore won.

that’s not what the Wings want…

Posted by dca from in Mich on 06/20/12 at 05:24 AM ET


I want a Captain based on merit, not a Captain who’s Captain based on the number of points he puts up per year.

I want a captain who’s on-ice performance is based on his skills and drive, not who he’s on a line with.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/12 at 09:28 AM ET


Sign Parise and then “groom” him in the Red Wing way. Everything I read about him is a natural born leader. He , freshly signed to a 9 yr contract should allow him to easily slide into the captain role.

Posted by omn1da from texas on 06/20/12 at 12:19 PM ET


He , freshly signed to a 9 yr contract should allow him to easily slide into the captain role.

You can’t pass over a careerlong Red Wing who everyone has said will be the next captain for a guy who’s never played in a Red Wings sweater before.

He’s a born leader?  Then he doesn’t need to be made captain, he can just be a leader.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/12 at 12:36 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Zata’s wearing the “C” next season.  There’s no question of that.  It’s the “A” that’s gonna be a fun source of speculation.  Suter wore the “A” in NSH as well so if he signs with the Wings, NO WAY he gets the “A”.  Same thing with Parise.

When Stevie Y was playing, even former captains - Shanahan, Chelios, and Fetisov - deferred to him. 

My picks for the “A” would be Dangles and Kronner and in that order.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 06/20/12 at 03:16 PM ET

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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.