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Zetterberg: No Interest in Joining Red Wings Front Office

Former Wings captain inducted into IIHR Hall of Fame on weekend

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Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg with wife Emma
Former Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg credits his wife Emma for helping him make the transition to life after hockey.

The hockey operations staff for the Detroit Red Wings could also pass for a wing of the club’s alumni. It starts with longtime captain Steve Yzerman as GM. The man who replaced him as Detroit captain, Nicklas Lidstrom, is vice-president of hockey operations. Kris Draper, like Lidstrom a four-time Stanley Cup winner with the Wings, is director of amateur scouting.

Niklas Kronwall is in charge of the club’s European player development. Jiri Fischer is associate director of player personnel, Dan Cleary is assistant director of player development and Kirk Maltby is a pro scout.

One legendary Detroit player who won’t be joining this merry band is former captain Henrik Zetterberg. During his speech on the weekend as he was gaining induction into the IIHF Hall of Fame, Zetterberg was emphatically confirming his utter lack of desire to become a hockey lifer.

While he has performed consulting work with the Red Wings, his old Swedish club Timra and the Swedish national team, Zetterberg only does so in an unofficial capacity.

“I’m only involved unofficially when I talk to Timrå and Detroit Red Wings, those are the two clubs that are close to my heart,” Zetterberg told Aftonbladet.se. “Kimmo Kapanen, who I have played with for a long time, has taken over as sports director in Timrå. It is only natural that you have contact and help as much as you can.”

Family First For Former Red Wings Captain

The only hockey work actively pursued by Zetterberg, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner following Detroit’s most recent Stanley Cup win in 2008, is helping out with his son Love’s practices back in Angelholm.

“I’m just there to move pucks,” Zetterberg explained. “There is no other desire to work with hockey in the future.”

He credits his son and wife Emma for opening his eyes up to all the opportunity there is to pursue in life beyond hockey. Showing Love is definitely his father’s son, he passed on attending the Hall of Fame ceremonies so that he wouldn’t miss his youth soccer match.

“I love your priorities,” Zetterberg said of Love. “A soccer tournament before joining here. I am enjoying every second with you, I am so looking forward to following your journey in life. I promise that I will always, always be there for you.”

When a career-ending back injury scuttled his hockey career, it was Emma who helped Zetterberg pick up the pieces and move on with his life.

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“My wife Emma came into my life in 2006,” Zetterberg said. “I am convinced that when you are happy in life, you play better. You made me a happy person and a better person. I want to thank you for everything you have done and thank you for allowing me to do what I have done.

“Especially after my career, the transition to being a retired ice hockey player is not always easy. You made it so much easier.”