With Lidstrom gone, Zetterberg likely to be Detroit’s next captain

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Few job titles change with less frequency than captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

In the last 26 years, only two players have worn the “C” above the Winged Wheel — Steve Yzerman and the recently-retired Nicklas Lidstrom. As such, there’s great curiosity on who’ll become just the third Detroit captain since 1986.

Well, there’s curiosity and a pretty popular choice: Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg — along with Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula — were three of the guys pegged by Lidstrom when asked about who would replace him as captain during his retirement presser.

That proclamation was followed by a number of folks on Twitter saying “Zata” is the man:

Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: “Nick Lidstrom retires, and it’s pretty obviously who the Wings’ next captain will be…Henrik Zetterberg. He’s absolutely ready for it.”

Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press: “Bank on Henrik Zetterberg being named the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings.”

Dan Fenner, Oakland Press: “Lidstrom cites Zetterberg’s leadership first among his teammates. there’s your next captain, folks. As if there was any doubt.”

Dave Stubbs, Montreal Gazette: “Zetterberg is a big talent but he’ll need HUGE feet to fill Lidstrom’s skates if he’s named Red Wings captain as expected.”

Tom Leyden, WXYZ Detroit: “Babcock said next captain is no brainier. Cleary said Zetterberg will be fantastic captain. You connect the dots.”

Zetterberg is currently one of three Wings — along with Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk — serving as alternate captains. If he ascends to the full captaincy, he’ll become one of just three Swedish captains in the NHL, along with Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson (who is mulling retirement himself) and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.