Detroit Red Wings: Predicting the alternate captains for 2021-22

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

As I begin to sift through the 2021 Detroit Red Wings roster, I can’t help but wonder who will be wearing the letters for the organization throughout the new season.

Of course, Dylan Larkin will continue to captain the group, but with Luke Glendening signing a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars in free agency.  Plus, Frans Nielsen is anything but a shoo-in to make the opening night roster. It leaves both alternates up for grabs.

I am somewhat shocked that Detroit Red Wings general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman decided against buying out the final year of Nielsen’s contract.  I guess it came down to not wanting to stretch out the buyout over multiple years when the organization could just suck it up and overpay him for one more season and then completely rid themselves of his contract at season’s end.  It’s not like the Red Wings needed the additional cap space this season.

I don’t expect Nielsen to win an opening night roster spot in 2021, but if he miraculously wins a job outright or via injury on the fourth line, I assume he will once again wear an ‘A’ for the Detroit Red Wings.

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Again, I just don’t see it.

Predicting who the Detroit Red Wings alternate captains will be in 2021-22.

Jumping right into this, I expect veteran 34-year old defenseman Marc Staal to emerge as the front runner for an ‘A’ in 2021-22.

Before joining the Detroit Red Wings, Marc Staal had been an alternate captain for 10 seasons with the New York Rangers.  And at the end of last season, as Nielsen struggled to find his way into the lineup, Staal wore a letter for the Red Wings.

Veteran defenseman Danny DeKeyser also wore an A sparingly for the organization.  Ironically, I feel the 2021-22 season will be the final year for both of these veteran defenders with the Red Wings.  That certainly doesn’t factor into selecting an alternate captain as it would when choosing the captain of your team.  DeKeyser will garner some consideration, but I expect the organization to go in a different direction.

In my eyes, the perfect candidate would be forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

After being the primary topic surrounding the majority of Detroit’s offseason trade talks, the two sides agreed to a two-year contract extension, and it seems Bertuzzi is in Detroit to stay.

Bertuzzi’s style of play leads on its own.  Bertuzzi is a 26-year old winger coming off of an injury-plagued season that limited his availability to just nine games. Still, prior to that, he provided the organization with back-to-back 21 goal contests.

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It’s time for a youth movement in Detroit, and there is no reason why 25-year old captain Dylan Larkin can’t be flanked by his right-hand man, so to speak, Bertuzzi with an A sewn onto his sweater.