Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Henrik Zetterberg Swatch Card

You may recall from my post two years ago that I'm a pretty big Henrik Zetterberg fan. The Detroit Red Wings captain, winner of the 2015 King Clancy Trophy for his humanitarian work, a perennial Selke, Hart and Lady Byng candidate, is still producing at nearly a point-per-game pace (786 points in 836 regular-season games so far, 296 of them goals) and at age 34, still has a few good years left in him, despite pundits claiming he and teammate Pavel Datsyuk are nearing an age of steep decline which will bring the Wings closer to the depths of the NHL's standings.

Not only do I not share that opinion of Zetterberg, but Wings GM Ken Holland has a knack for having his next generation of players graduate from the AHL at exactly the right moment to take over from the previous generation's stars; after all, Datsyuk and Zetterberg took over from Steve Yzerman, Tomas Holmstrom and Brendan Shanahan. They're going for their 25th straight playoff appearance, with no wane in sight. They are the perfect example of consistency, always remaining relevant with a three-to-five year window of actual Stanley Cup contention every decade.

Zetterberg was actually a key member of Detroit's last Cup team, as he won the Conn Smythe Trophy along the way as the playoff MVP in 2008 and led the Wings to the Final the following season against the Pittsburgh Penguins as well.

And though they lost to the eventual Cup finalists Tampa Bay Lightning in a hard-fought seven-game series last year, Zetterberg shouldered the blame for his team's lack of offense, despite the fact that a lot of that had to do with Ben Bishop playing like the second coming of Patrick Roy late in the series as the pressure mounted.

I foresee another 20-goal, 70-point season for the Wings' captain this year, with the addition of a true second-line center in two-time Cup winner Brad Richards providing more stability in managing line combinations.

Here's a really neat card of his, from Panini's 2013-14 Totally Certified set (it's number CL-HZ of the Clear Cloth sub-set, featuring a game-worn red jersey swatch, but more impressively, with his picture being part of a see-through plastic sheet inserted mid-card):
It's numbered 52/100, and shows him wearing the Red Wings' classic white (now-away) uniform. It's a beautiful insert (I really miss Panini at times like these).

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