Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg, who many expect to be named captain of the team once they officially report for duty, is bracing for an NHL Lockout as the expiration date for the existing CBA nears.
The deal expires Friday and owners are expected to lock out the players for the second time in eight years. The 2004-05 season was lost in its entirety to a lockout.
Zetterberg spoke with Action News reporter Dave LewAllen today at Joe Louis Arena.
"Right now it looks like it's going to be a lockout. Hopefully it will not be as long as '04," said Zetterberg. "I went through that, all the fans went through it. I don't think anything good came out of that.
"We've just got to find a way to get a fair deal and hopefully sooner rather than later."
Zetterberg will be among a group of nearly 300 players who travel to New York on Wednesday to meet with NHL Players association executives in an effort to bridge the gap in negotiations.
"We in a group here talk about a lot of things, but it's good to see what other players on other teams think and actually meet them face-to-face," said Zetterberg. "Our contact's been really good all summer. All the info we've been getting has been good, but it's different to see them and talk to them face-to-face."
During the lost season of 2004-05, Zetterberg played in Sweden, but now, as a seasoned veteran in a position of leadership, he feels more compelled to help get the players back to work.
"I will stick around here in Detroit and hopefully help get a deal done," said Zetterberg. "But if it drags out to Christmas - no one wants to see that - but if that happens, you just have to regroup and start thinking if you want to go play somewhere.
"This is where I want to play so hopefully that won't happen."