Who gets the Detroit Red Wings “C” now?


There are three obvious candidates, one clear front runner, but one has to wonder with 20 million dollars in cap space how different will this team look when training camp starts later this year? Could a free agent acquisition be brought in and be given the big “C”? Probably not and it seems like this decision is as close to made as the Wings organization wants till we get down to the business of the next NHL season.

The three candidates are of course the three players who currently were the big “A” on their jersey. Henrik Zetterberg is the senior member of this club, followed by Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall. I think we can rule out Datsyuk since he doesn’t speak fluent English. If not for that simple fact I think this contest would be a lot closer. In a lot of ways Datsyuk and Zetterberg remind me of Steve Yzerman and Sergei Fedorov. Granted Steve had the big “C” for many years when Fedorov finally came to town.

Of course wearing the “C” doesn’t always mean the players in the Wings locker room do not have a voice. During the championship run of the late 1990’s Yzerman was the captain but Darren McCarty was the enforcer both on the ice and off. At certain points during last season, and in the playoffs it seemed that the Wings needed that kind of enforcer to keep everyone motivated. Sometimes the Captain cannot be that kind of a leader and he needs a right hand guy to say the things that need to be said.

Personally I would like to see the next Captain of this team to be around for a long while. Even though Lidstrom wore the “C” for six years his captaincy seemed brief in comparison to Stevie Y who is/was the Captain both in title and now in fame.  It seems time to pass the “C” on to someone who will hold it for a long time. All three of these candidates seem like a good bet for that.

In their entire history the Red Wings have had 36 captains. Four of them are in the Hockey Hall of Fame (Ted Lindsay, Sid Able, Red Kelly, and Steve Yzerman). Three of them have had their numbers retired by the team (7, 12, and 19). Of course those numbers will change once Lidstrom takes his rightful place in the Hockey Hall of Fame and his #5 hangs in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena.

That means Captain #37 has some seriously big shoes to fill.