Kronwall Named Assistant Captain
When Kris Draper retired in the summer, it opened up a spot for a player to have an 'A' patched on their jersey. Forward-crusher Niklas Kronwall will wear it with pride.
Kronwall will be in the familiar rotation of three assistant captains with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk.
At the beginning of the season, I went through some of the possible candidates for being a captain and a few that I mentioned were Kronwall, Darren Helm and Tomas Holmstrom.
Since Holmstrom is on the decline and he is an informal leader anyway because of his experience, I thought Kronwall or Helm would be a good fit; Helm for his dogged determination, making teammates want to emulate his play; Kronwall because he is the heir apparent to the throne of captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
Kronwall is a great choice for an assistant captain. Usually teams will try and split up the captains into forwards and defenceman, and this works out perfectly for Detroit. This shouldn't change Kronwall as a player, but keep in mind that Zdeno Chara has said being a captain changed him at first. All Kronwall has to do is be himself and not try and do things out of his character.
The three assistant captain rotation is a smart way to guide players into their role as a leader. Lidstrom was an assistant for years before Steve Yzerman retired. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are understudies to Draper and Lidstrom. It just so happens that Kronwall is under all three now, and it should work out great.
Now the only question that remains is for next season. If Lidstrom calls it quits, who is the captain and who are the 'A's?