Mitch Albom speaks with Henrik Zetterberg regarding the end of Z’s playing career

The Free Press’s Mitch Albom spoke with Henrik Zetterberg on Saturday, and the two discussed the end of Zetterberg’s career as an NHL player:

Do you know how Zetterberg spent the first morning of his retirement? He watched practice. He hung by the ice and saw the younger players zipping past. He watched the scrimmage drills. It wasn’t torture. It was what he wanted to do.

“I spent some time with the trainers here, and with the guys, and seeing the people in Traverse City that have been taking care of us and me for 15 years. This is an unbelievable spot for us.

“It was a bit different today,” he admitted. “Because of everyone that reached out yesterday. It’s been amazing. You never knew that you had that many former teammates and coaches and fans. It’s been very emotional, but still, it’s been good. It was good to be here today, to watch the guys scrimmage.”

And that is that. No press conference. No video package. No parading out the family or the friends. We forget how lucky we have been in Detroit to have three straight Red Wings captains who are the embodiment of low-key, no-ego, hardworking and grateful men. By the time Zetterberg was effacing those traits, we’d grown so totally used to them, thanks to Yzerman and Lidstrom, we expected them.

But that only speaks to how special Zetterberg was. To start a humble trend is to get noticed. To continue it is to live up to a legacy that, by definition, leaves you out of the biggest spotlights.


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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.