Zetterberg excited about newborn son, healthy summer

Gregg Krupa
The Detroit News

Detroit — The newborn son of the Red Wings captain is named Love.

But it is not quite how it looks.

It is like one of those throwback surnames in English for babies, like maybe Caleb and Noah, which make a bit of a comeback from time to time. Except it is Swedish.

“I can understand the confusion, if you see the spelling in an American way,” said an obviously proud papa, Henrik Zetterberg, of his 14-day-old son, Love.

“But it’s Swedish. It’s pronounced LOU-vee here, and in Sweden its LOU-vah.

“We knew that if it was a boy that Love was going to be the name, early. So, it’s an old Swedish name, starting to get a little popular again.”

And, yes, the stalwart-on-the-ice Zetterberg was nervous, especially as the time drew near.

“If you ask anyone, I think probably everyone is nervous the first time,” he said with a smile.

“But, everything went well. Both Love and Emma are doing really well.

“It was pretty cool. First of all, we spent the whole summer here in Detroit. It was the first time we did that, and really enjoyed it.”

As he begins his 13th season with the Wings, the sixth year of a 12-year deal, Zetterberg turns 35 on Opening Night against the Maple Leafs and Mike Babcock.

Zetterberg has one Stanley Cup, 786 points (296 goals) in 836 regular-season games, and 119 points (56 goals) in 132 playoff games.

He said he was pleased with some change in his offseason routine.

“Yeah, I could go harder this summer,” he said. “Not so much rehab as last summer. So, I’m excited. I had a good summer working out, so hopefully it translates out on the ice.”

And, from his perspective as captain, Zetterberg agreed it is a different season, with Babcock gone and Jeff Blashill behind the bench.

“Blash has been coaching half of the guys in here, so it should be an easy transition,” he said.

“Obviously, he coached under Mike, too, and he’s been in the Red Wings system for a while, so I don’t think it will be that big a difference for us.

“You know, we obviously want to thank Mike for the time he had here. But I think, for both him and us, that it was time.”

Zetterberg also said he is enthusiastic about the two big additions to the roster, Mike Green (three years, $18 million) and Brad Richards (one year, $3 million with possible bonuses totaling $1 million).

“He’s the kind of defenseman that we didn’t have,” Zetterberg said of Green, who is the second-highest scoring defenseman since 2008 and a right-hand shot. “It’s a nice addition for us.

“And, also, Richards has been around for a long time and he knows what it takes to go all the way and win, and it will be nice to have that veteran presence in the lineup.”

Nyquist pleased with 4-year deal

Gustav Nyquist is happy.

A new four-year deal (reportedly worth $19 million) and stability with a franchise for which he wants to play add up to satisfaction and, in the case of the 26-year-old from Sweden via the University of Maine, gratitude.

“Obviously, I want to thank the owners and the management for believing in me and signing me to four years,” Nyquist said.

“It’s a process you have to go through, but I always wanted to be a Red Wing and I’m excited.”

Nyquist upended the concept of a sophomore slump last season, with 54 points (27 goals) in 82 games. It was a bit off the blistering pace the previous year, when after staying in Grand Rapids at the start of the season, he exploded for 28 goals in 57 games.

While clearly pointing toward 30 goals, Nyquist said he is actually looking for a little improvement defensively this year.

Richards, Green have stalls

Dressing stall positions are not set in stone. But, currently, Green’s nameplate is to Niklas Kronwall’s left and Kyle Quincey’s right, along the wall that has eight stalls for defensemen.

Richards’ stall is next to Zetterberg’s. The two are alone on a short run of wall before the hallway to the tunnel to the rink.

Neither Richards nor Green participated in informal skates at Joe Louis Arena the past two days, which is not unusual.

Players often skate near their residences or hometowns until training camp.