Losing a captain and franchise cornerstone is never easy. Luckily, the Detroit Red Wings aren’t entirely screwed after all.
For years, forward Henrik Zetterberg has dealt with chronic back issues. Unready to go at the start of training camp, the Detroit Red Wings’ captain had to hang up his skates.
Over the years, Zetterberg has been a consistent force on both ends of the ice. From his emergence in 2002, to his finale in 2018 the Red Wings legend grinded it out with maximum effort.
Tough and resilient can’t describe the five time captain enough. Despite winning many battles and not missing a single regular season game the last three years, the pain finally won the war.
There’s nothing more for Hank to prove. Over 15 seasons, he finished his time in Detroit fifth highest in goals, assists and points. Throw in a Stanley Cup MVP in 2008, you betcha’ that number 40 likely gets lifted to the rafters.
The leadership and points that can’t easily be replaced. Despite the negatives, there are some positives to take away from Zetterberg’s retirement.
For starters, the Wings could get some cap space relief. That increase in spending could be used in a bunch of ways to make this team more playoff ready. (Hint: STAR DEFENSEMEN)
Speaking of players, the up and coming stars of the future can now step up and have an opportunity to play more. This only helps speed the rebuild.
Lastly, Zetterberg is no longer a liability. His 75 percent is better than a lot of players at 100 percent don’t get me wrong. Regardless of that fact, many times he put his team in bad situations because he couldn’t perform at full strength. As tough as it is to hear and it’s even harder to say, but this franchise is better off without Zetty.
Fortunately for him, things will work out in the benefit of both parties. When we think of Henrik, it’ll bring us back to a time when the Detroit Red Wings were winning championships. His retirement is a skate in the right direction towards returning to the playoffs and a move that’ll help improve the team long-term.
Thanks for the memories Cap.