by user Alex Holowczak
Lets assume that Steve Yzerman has retired. Who is the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings? A few candidates to wear the "C":
1. Brendan Shanahan: Popular with the fans, and had a renaissance this year, posting his best numbers for some years. Worn the "A" for several years. Very good leadership skills, but spends too much time in the Penalty Box for my liking.
2. Henrik Zetterberg: Improving all the time, and wears an "A." The only problem with him is his rumoured language problem, hence the all-Swedish line. Not as strong a fan favourite as Shanahan.
3. Nicklas Lidstrom: Red Wing throughout his career, and the best defenseman in the NHL. Doesn't take bad penalties, and is a constant threat from the blue line.
4. Pavel Datsyuk: The carrott that keeps him in Detroit? Datsyuk is rumoured to want out, and the offer of captaincy might persuade him to stay.
5. Mathieu Schneider: Developed into a great partnership with Lidstrom, Schneider is the dark horse for the position.
6. Chris Chelios: Experienced at 44, and captained USA at the 2006 Olympics. But will he even be back next year.
7. No-one: Retire the "C," as a lasting memorial to Yzerman? The emotional idea, but the resultan lack of leadership could hurt them. Although, New Jersey have done without one since Scott Stevens' retirement.
In my opinion, Lidstrom will be the best pick, with Shanahan, Chelios and Zetterberg wearing "A"s. He is the best player Detroit Red Wings have, and the offer of captaincy may bring his $8mn price tag down a bit during the off-season. He is an effective communicator without a language problem. The assistants will be keeping the jobs they've kept for may years, but I think Zetterberg's improvement has earned him a berth.
Sat 05/06/06, 12:17 pm EST