Henrik Zetterberg officially named Red Wings captain

PLYMOUTH, Mich. - It's official: Henrik Zetterberg is the new captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

In an announcement Tuesday afternoon in front of his teammates, head coach Mike Babcock, and the rest of the Red Wings staff, the 32-year old became just the third Red Wings captain in the last 27 years.

"It's a true honor. Together we will carry on the tradition," Zetterberg said. "It means a lot being a captain and being the captain of this organization."

Zetterberg follows in the footsteps of Steve Yzerman and Nicklas Lidstrom, who led Detroit to a total of four Stanley Cup championships.

"It's a very special day," he said. "Looking at the guys who have worn the 'C,' it's a pretty special group. Playing with Nick all my career, you just learn to lead by example."

Many of his teammates said Zetterberg possesses the qualities of his two predecessors, but he will be heard more loudly.

"Z's gonna be definitely more vocal for us," goaltender Jimmy Howard said. "He's been a leader for us now for years and I think he's gonna transition very easily."

Presenting Zetterberg with the captain's jersey was a foregone conclusion, and an easy decision for general manager Ken Holland.

"This has been the evolution of a leader," Holland said.

Zetterberg is only the fourth Swedish captain in the NHL, joining Daniel Alfredsson in Ottawa, Gabriel Landeskog in Colorado, and Henrik Sedin in Vancouver.

In 668 games with Detroit, Zetterberg has scored 252 goals, 372 assists for 624 points. He won the gold medal with Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics and the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008.

Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli .

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