Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Splitting Hairs: Zetterberg Or Datsyuk Future Red Wings Captain

Nobody is surprised the Red Wings locked up Henrik Zetterberg with a long-term contract. He is a terrific player, destined to be one of the Red Wings’ all-time greats. It appears to be a creative deal, too, one that will allow the Red Wings some flexibility with the salary cap.
I do wonder, however, if Zetterberg is still the obvious heir apparent to Nicklas Lidstrom as the Red Wings captain.
What about Pavel Datsyuk? He is older, has been with the Red Wings longer and is, arguably, the better player. Granted, it is just splitting hairs when you are talking about these two great players. I still think the odds of the Red Wings keeping both Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen following this season are slim.
The better bet: Franzen stays, Hossa goes. There is only so much Red Wings general manager Ken Holland can do with the salary cap, especially considering it could go down in the future because of the flagging economy.

Random Thoughts

- The Red Wings still received a point Tuesday for their overtime loss at Columbus, despite essentially playing without Zetterberg, Brad Stuart, Nicklas Lidstrom and Datsyuk for virtually the entire game.
Still, if they finish just one point short of securing home-ice advantage for the playoffs, suspending Lidstrom and Datsyuk for the Columbus game will go down as one of the worst things Gary Bettman has done as NHL commissioner.

- Count me among those who feel Kurt Warner belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but only if he and the Cardinals turn in a respectable performance Sunday. That doesn’t necessarily mean winning the game, but not having it be an awful performance.

- Some might think the Lions’ town meeting was disingenuous, but I think it was a good thing. Matt Millen purposely distanced the Lions organization from their fan base. Reconnecting is good from both sides. To me, the town hall meeting was a good start in that regard. It’s a sign Tom Lewand gets it in a certain way Millen did not.



Blogger maddog52 said...

To be honest with you I know Zetterberk and Datsyuk are the main guys but if we resign Johan Franzen personally I'd like him as the captain. He has that makeup of one. Hell if Hossa wins the cup who knows maybe that can inspire other NHL stars seeking the trophy to take the same approach. why not knowing you'd get a shot at a cup and then the following year get your big pay day. U never know though.

5:14 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I agree with Maddog - character outweighs skill.

But I don't know who's character makup is best suited for captaincy. Often skill is the byproduct of character, but not always. The big C on the jersey should be an L for Leader.

Sundin for Toronto (to me anyway) was an example of a captain who didn't lead.

7:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I like Franzen's style of play as well. He isn't afraid of the traffic in front of the net, that's for sure.

2:52 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Agreed on Sundin. He sure wasn't the second coming of George Armstrong in that regard.

2:52 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pavel Datsyuk cannot lead by example because he has a tactile control of his game enjoyed by only 2 or 3 people in the history of the league. Yzerman would wipe the blood off his nose and state actions that would resonate amongst rookie and veteran alike. This is not Pavel. It may be Hank. Currently, I am deeply concerned that too many Red Wing Defensemen are trying to be like Pavel by relying on finess poke checks and not picking up the body. Pay attention to Lilja and Kronwell. They are attempting beyond their skill and their +/- shows it. I smell a last minute trade. We are too dependent upon Kronwall, Stuart, and Sammuelson. Osgood is back to his 1999 self. Today, the future captain is not as important as finding more defense machines like Rafalski and Lidstrom. Hossa will go but a cap stretch is coming because our junior defense core is loosing the basics in the face of brilliance.

8:29 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You make a great point about the Red Wings defense. They need to take the body a lot more, especially when they are standing up opposing forwards coming over the blue line.

6:14 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, regarding picking up the body: Watch the next 10 goals scored against Detroit. Look at the stength position of the offensive player that Kronwell, Lilja, or Stuart are covering. They play the stick blade of the offender and not the body. As a result, the offender controls the puck movement around our net. I bet you will find that in 50% of those goals, the offensive player with the assist or goal is standing tall and strong next to one of these Red Wings.

12:41 PM 

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