COLUMN: Red Wings Captaincy Runs Importance Through My Family


One of the most prized positions in all of sports is vacant and looking soon to be filled.

The captaincy of the Detroit Red Wings is unfilled for just the fifth time since 1985, when hockey great Steve Yzerman became the youngest captain ever in NHL history. Yzerman served as the Red Wings captain for 19 seasons. Now his number 19 jersey hangs from the rafters from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

A cool backstory about Yzerman. When I was growing up, Yzerman was my favorite hockey player. I remember the first time I had the opportunity to see Yzerman play. It was 2006 and my dad and I sat in the final row of Joe Louis Arena, which was nearly at the rafters. The Red Wings played the Edmonton Oilers, and the only thing I remember from that game (other than practically being in the sky) was pointing out Yzerman on the ice. It was a cool moment.

A picture of Yzerman’s “Last Step” on the ice resides in my bed room. It is a unique picture that my dad found for me.

In fall of 2006, Nicklas Lidstrom took over the captaincy and retained the honor for six seasons. When my brother, Tyler, was six years old, he declared Lindstrom his favorite player and changed his hockey number from six to five (Lindstrom wore number five).

Lindstrom retired and Henrik Zetterberg was named the 39th captain in Red Wings history in 2012. My youngest brother, Drew, had already declared Zetterberg his favorite hockey player. Coincidentally, my brothers and my favorite hockey players of all-time were the only three players in our lifetimes to captain the Detroit Red Wings.

It is rumored that touted center Dylan Larkin, age 22, will become the team’s 40th captain in team history, replacing Zetterberg, who wore number 40.

I am 19 years old (Yzerman, wore number 19) and by the time I have my first child, it is very possible that my child’s favorite Red Wings player will become Dylan Larkin.

It was not until I wrote this column that I realized how important the Red Wings captaincy was to my family. One final note: it was not intended, but the numbers all tie together significantly. An interesting story indeed.