On a points per game basis, last season was Henrik Zetterberg’s worst since 2003-04.
Not that 69 points in 82 games is pitiful by any means — it was still the most on the Red Wings — but there were definitely times when he was wishing things were going better.
He’s not wishing that right now. With 18 points in 12 games, Detroit’s new captain is third in league scoring and drawing rave reviews from teammates.
“Hank has been huge for us,” defenseman Niklas Kronwall said, per MLive.com. “Right now, he may be as good as I’ve seen him, the stuff he does out there, all the little things right. He’s outworking everybody. Him and [Pavel Datsyuk] are just tremendous.”
Zetterberg’s hot start is actually a continuation of his play in the second half of 2011-12. Post All-Star break, he had 34 points in 32 games.
Things are going pretty well for the team, too. Despite being forced to deal with numerous injuries and the loss of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen in NHL history, to retirement, the Red Wings are 7-4-1 — good for sixth in the Western Conference — heading into tonight’s game against the Blues.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.