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Red Wings Zetterberg Facing Tough Road to Hall of Fame

Former Red Wings captain is eligible for the first time as the Hockey Hall of Fame is announcing the Class of 2022 on Monday

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Henrik Zetterberg, Detroit Red Wings
Is ex-Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg a Hall of Famer? We'll find out on Monday.

Former Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will be getting his first chance to earn Hall of Fame glory on Monday. The Hockey Hall of Fame will be announcing its Class of 2022 on Monday afternoon at 3 pm ET.

It’s the first year in which Zetterberg has been eligible for induction into the hockey shrine. However, in all honesty, his chances of being a first-year inductee aren’t looking good.

A maximum of four male players may be inducted in one class. For 2022, it would appear that three of those places are already locked up.

The Sedin twins, Daniel and Henrik, look to be virtual locks. Henrik won the Hart and Art Ross Trophies while collecting 830 assists and 1,070 points during his NHL career. Daniel was good for 1,041 points and in 2010-11, won the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award as the most outstanding player in the league based on the vote of by NHLPA members.

Joining them figures to be another member of Vancouver’s 2010-11 Stanley Cup finalist squad, goaltender Roberto Luongo. He’s fourth all-time in NHL wins (489) and second in games played (1,044), shots faced (30,924) and shots saved (28,409). Luongo won two Olympic gold medals, three IIHF World Championships and a World Cup of Hockey title. He was a three-time Vezina Trophy finalist.

Will Zetterberg’s Resume Measure Up?

It’s not out of the realm of possibility that Zetterberg will be the one who gets the nod for the fourth spot on Monday. It just isn’t a slam dunk.

He’s fifth all-time on the Red Wings in career scoring with 960 points. All four players ahead of him are in the Hall of Fame. Zetterberg won the Conn Smythe Trophy and Stanley Cup in 2007-08. Historically, the Smythe doesn’t carry the same weight with Hall voters as regular-season awards such as the Hart, Art Ross, Norris and Vezina Trophies do.

Zetterberg does have a significant international resume. He’s one of 30 players in the Triple Gold Club – winners of the Stanley Cup, IIHF World Championship and Olympic gold medal.

However, the last five seasons of Zetterberg’s NHL career could prove problematic to the Hall Selection Committee. Slowed by injuries, his average goals per game over that span was just 14.8.

Other Contenders To Consider

Zetterberg’s significant competiton figures to be coming from other players who’ve been waiting on their Hall pass for a number of years.

Two of them enjoyed brief flings as Red Wings – forward Daniel Alfredsson and goalie Curtis Joseph. Alfredsson rates ahead of Zetterberg in both goals (444) and points (1,157). At what point does another ex-Red Wings forward, current Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek and his 522 career goals, garner consideration?

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Alexander Mogilny, Pierre Turgeon, Sergei Gonchar, Rod Brind’Amour and Patrik Elias are others who could be in the debate for induction.

It wouldn’t be a shock if Zetterberg gets the call Monday. But don’t be surprised if he doesn’t.

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