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It seems forever ago (May 31) that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said goodbye after a decorated 20-year career that included four Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophies. That signalled the start of a bit of transition in Motown, in both the team's leadership and roster.
Now that the lockout is over, player news will be coming fast and furious. The Red Wings got a jump on that and are expected to make two big announcements before the 2013 season begins next week.
According to MLive.com's Ansar Khan, Henrik Zetterberg is going to be the next captain of the Red Wings, while noted crease pest Tomas Holmstrom will retire after 15 seasons of pissing off goaltenders.
Zetterberg has been an assistant captain with the Red Wings since 2006-07 and has been the obvious choice to replace Lidstrom. The 32-year old has led the team in scoring in each of the past three seasons.
Holmstrom's two-year deal expired after last season and the 39-year old forward spent the extended offseason trying to decide whether or not he wanted to continue his career. It would have only been in Detroit if he would have chosen to return, a paying of respect to the franchise he helped win four Cups, and that took a chance on him in the 10th round of the 1994 NHL Draft.
According to Khan, official announcements on both moves are expected before the season kicks off.
Goaltenders around the NHL are no doubt squealing with joy, knowing they won't have to try to look around Holmstrom's big backside ever again or deal with him crashing their crease on a regular (and successful) basis.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy