He’s the captain of his NHL club and now the Detroit Red Wings leader – Henrik Zetterberg – will wear the ‘C’ for his native country Sweden at the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.
It won’t be the first time, however, that Zetterberg has captained the blue and yellow at an international tournament. He also led Sweden into the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics before bowing out with a back injury after his team’s first game.
“It’s a very special thing to be the captain for this team,” said Zetterberg at an event in Stockholm according to Sportsnet’s Emily Sadler. “I’m honoured. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
This will mark his 14th international tournament (including one European Junior Championship, one World Junior Championship, four Olympic Games, six World Championships and now two World Cup of Hockey tournaments). He’s won gold three times, silver twice and bronze twice.
During his international career the Njurunda, Sweden, native has collected 63 points (22g-41a) in 86 games.
“There really is no other candidate than Zetterberg,” said fellow countryman Niklas Kronwall who is also his Red Wing teammate. “I know him from Detroit, and there’s no better. He’s the obvious choice.”
He was seemingly the obvious choice in Detroit as well after former captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired prior to the 2012-13 season.
As a member of the Red Wings, Zetterberg has notched 309 goals and 836 points in just 918 games during the regular season. Since taking over for Lidstrom, his Red Wings haven’t missed the playoffs winning about half of their regular season games in the process.
Zetterberg will lead Sweden into the World Cup which opens up play September 17.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.