DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Thursday that his team will go without a captain again this season.
The team will have four assistant captains again: Dylan Larkin, Justin Abdelkader, Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening. Last season, Larkin, Nielsen, Niklas Kronwall and Abdelkader all wore the "A," alternating between home and away games. Kronwall retired earlier this month.
The Red Wings decided to go without a captain last season after Henrik Zetterberg retired. Zetterberg wore the "C" for Detroit since 2013. There was a short gap between his captaincy and Nicklas Lidstrom's due to the lockout-shortened season of 2012-13. Lidstrom left at the end of the 2011-12 season but the following NHL season did not begin until January 2013. That's when Zetterberg was named captain.
Of course, before Lidstrom assumed the role Steve Yzerman wore the "C" for the Red Wings from 1986 to 2006.
NHL teams are not required to have a captain. However, the captain is the only player allowed to speak to officials on the ice about rules and infractions. If there is no captain, then the alternate captain assumes that responsibility.
NHL teams are allowed to appoint a captain and up to two alternate captains for each game, or as in the case of the Red Wings three alternate captains and no captain.