The NHL is back! Finally! Now that it’s back, team-specific news actually matters again. So with that said…what’s new for the Detroit Red Wings since the last Red Wings HOHM article I wrote?
The important question about the team captaincy will finally be answered soon. Mlive.com reports that Henrik Zetterberg is next in line to receive the torch from recently retired legend, Nicklas Lidstrom. Last season, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall were the alternate captains. With the promotion of Zetterberg, the team may choose another player to wear the “A.” A player such as Todd Bertuzzi or Dan Cleary would be a good choice.
While Zetterberg was playing with EV Zug in National League A during the lockout, Kronwall seemed to be the unofficial leader of the informal practices that the remaining players took part in. When Kronwall was in Arizona yesterday, Bertuzzi took over, running the drills. Dan Cleary was the Red Wings’ player representative for the NHLPA during the negotiations.
“Z,” as they call him, is of course also from Sweden, like Lidstrom. He’s usually a soft-spoken player, but he definitely possesses the qualities that a leader needs. He also has the experience of winning the Stanley Cup in 2008.
Tomas Holmstrom, a 4-time Stanley Cup champion, and the last member of both the 1997 and 1998 champion teams (Mike Knuble is still active but not for Detroit), is expected to announce his retirement. He was one of the best of all time in what he did. Goalies hated him, and defensemen would repeatedly cross-check him to the ice, but “Homer” never stopped. Another nickname for him could have been “The Tank,” because nothing stopped him. Holmstrom took so much abuse in the crease, but every season, every game, and the majority of his shifts were spent in his ‘office.’
Homer spent 15 years in the NHL, playing only for Detroit. In 1026 career games he amassed 243 goals and 287 assists for 530 points. He also had 46 goals and 51 assists for 97 points in 180 playoff games. Along with playing on four Stanley Cup winning Red Wings teams, Tomas also won gold on Team Sweden in the 2006 Olympics. He was a genuinely good teammate, and one of the hardest working players in the history of the league.
He is one of only six players to play 1000 regular season games for Detroit. The others, of course, are Howe, Delvecchio, Yzerman, Lidstrom, and Draper. He is also one of 48 players in NHL history to play 1000 regular season games with one team. His presence in the locker room will be missed.
Nick Lidstrom’s jersey retirement ceremony will not take place this season. With so much uncertainty regarding the CBA, the Red Wings organization and Lidstrom himself have decided to move the event to the 2013-2014 season. Another reason to do this is because of all the negativity toward the NHL after the lockout. To properly honor one of the best defensemen ever, it would be better to do so in a fresh season with much less animosity.