VIDEO: Red Wings honor Henrik Zetterberg before 1,000th career game

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up their final season at Joe Louis Arena with a 4-1 victory against the New Jersey Devils in front of yet another sellout crowd.

Before the game, the team honored captain Henrik Zetterberg with a special pre-game tribute video for reaching the milestone of 1,000 career games played. The video included several congratulatory remarks from fellow Swedish NHLers, including former Red Wing Daniel Alfredsson and Washington forward Niklas Backstrom. With his wife, young son, and father looking on, Zetterberg also received a few special gifts – a Rolex watch and a round of golf in Pennsylvania.

Zetterberg was drafted by the Red Wings 210th overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. He made his debut for the team as a rookie in the 2002-03 NHL Season, and scored his first goal against the Mighty Ducks in his third career game. He quickly developed a chemistry with Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk, and the two would go on to affectionately be known as “The Euro-Twins”.

He was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the most valuable player in the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which Detroit raised for the 11th time in their history with a win over the Penguins. The following year, Zetterberg signed a 12 year contract extension with Detroit, ensuring he’d likely spend the remainder of his career with the only NHL team he’d ever known.

Upon the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, Zetterberg was named captain of the team, following in the footsteps of Lidstrom and legendary leader Steve Yzerman.

This season is the first in Zetterberg’s career that he won’t be playing a playoff game, but he enjoyed a bounce back year as Detroit’s leading point scorer. It was only fitting that his 1,000th career game was the final game at Joe Louis Arena.

For good measure, Zetterberg scored his 17th goal of the season and added an assist during the 4-1 win.

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

Blashill 2

Why the Red Wings missed the playoffs for first time since 1990

Steve Yzerman Stanley Cup 1998

Open Letter to Steve Yzerman: It’s time to come home