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Zetterberg excited about changes

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg might have to hold down the fort while Pavel Datsyuk recovers from ankle surgery. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- It's been an offseason of change for Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg.

First there was the team's coaching change and then there was the change in Zetterberg's personal life.

Zetterberg said he was not surprised by the departure of coach Mike Babcock but expects a smooth transition with Jeff Blashill.

"He coached under Mike, too, and he's been in the Red Wings system for a while so I don't think it will that big a difference for us," Zetterberg said after Thursday's informal skate at Joe Louis Arena. "Obviously I want to thank Mike for the time he had here but I think both him and us probably decided it was time."

After 10 seasons in Detroit, Babcock signed an eight-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As for Blashill, Zetterberg first got to know him when Blashill spent a year as Babcock's assistant.

"I think he has a lot of knowledge," Zetterberg said. "Obviously when he was here last time he was really fresh. I think the time he spent in Grand Rapids was really good. He did a tremendous job down there with the kids and you’ve been seeing the product of him, when you see players like Gus (Nyquist) and (Tomas) Tatar and (Riley) Sheahan and (Luke) Glendening, there’s so many guys that went through playing for him and won the Calder Cup with him, so we’re excited and just want to get it going."

Zetterberg knows the team might have to get it going without Pavel Datsyuk for a while as Datsyuk recovers from offseason ankle surgery.

"I've been talking to him," Zetterberg said. "He went through the surgery, he’s doing his rehab. He’s just got to take the time he needs and when he comes back he’s going to be healthy and ready to go."

The team should be ready to go, and with some added excitement because of the coaching change and the addition of Brad Richards and Mike Green.

"There’s a lot of guys in here who’ve been through the same stuff for many years," Zetterberg said. "I think now with the new additions of Green and Richards, and the new coach, it’s given us a little fresh start. Obviously it’s going to be a different voice behind the bench and sometimes you need that.”

Zetterberg and his wife, Emma, did something different this past offseason, spending the entire summer in Detroit for the first time.

That was so they could get ready for the arrival of Son Love, who was born Aug. 20.

"Obviously we were a little nervous when it got a little closer but everything went well," Zetterberg said. "Both Love and Emma are doing well."

Zetterberg talked about their son's unusual name.

"We knew if it was going to be a boy that Love was going to be the name early," Zetterberg said. "It's an old Swedish name and kind of getting popular again. Understand the confusion if you see the spelling in an American way, but you pronounce it LOO-vee over here and in Swedish it's LOO-veh."

The only drawback to Love being born in the United States is that Zetterberg and his wife's families are so far away.

"Obviously they’re real excited," Zetterberg said. "Unfortunately we got an ocean in between the family and us but plane tickets and traveling arrangements was pretty quick after the birth and so we’re going to have a steady stream of friends and family coming over here."

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