Breaking Down Why Claude Giroux and Henrik Zetterberg Will Be Great NHL Captains

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2013

May 1, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA;  Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) gets ready for a face-off against the New Jersey Devils during the second period of game two of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers announced new captains on Tuesday, selecting Henrik Zetterberg and Claude Giroux, respectively.

Both players have the difficult challenge of succeeding a future Hall of Fame player, but Zetterberg and Giroux are ready to be the leaders and face of their respective franchises.

Let's break down why these two superstars will be


Henrik Zetterberg

Zetterberg being chosen as the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings wasn't a surprise by any means. The 32-year-old star becomes the third Detroit captain since 1986.

UPDATE: The Detroit Red Wings have officially named Henrik Zetterberg as Captain.…

— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 15, 2013

The Swedish forward also spoke about his new role on Wednesday:

"It is a true honor to be named Captain of the Detroit Red Wings" - Henrik Zetterberg

— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) January 15, 2013

Zetterberg sets the example for how Red Wings hockey is to be played with his performance at both  ends of the ice and the work ethic he brings to each game and practice. He does all the little things right—he is responsible defensively, and very consistent.

Zetterberg probably won't be a vocal leader like Giroux will be, but his quiet leadership style is very effective. His actions speak louder than words, and he is so well respected by his teammates, coaches and players around the league. 

Not only is Zetterberg a great leader, he's one of the best offensive players in the NHL. He has scored 68 or more points each season since the 2004-05 lockout.

He also plays at a high level in the playoffs when his team needs him most, which is another sign of a leader. Zetterberg has 102 points (51 goals and 51 assists) in 109 career playoff games.

He is the complete player, and a worthy successor to Niklas Lidstrom as the captain of the Detroit Red Wings. Zetterberg will be able to take on this new responsibility and still perform at a high level on the ice.


Claude Giroux

Giroux is the 19th captain in the history of the Philadelphia Flyers, and the third team captain since the 2009-10 season.

With star defenseman Chris Pronger still not any closer to returning to the ice as he continues to recover from post-concussion syndrome, it was time for the Flyers to find a new player to wear the "C" and lead the team into the future.

Luckily for the Flyers, they had a perfect player for this kind of leadership role in Giroux.

Not only does the 25-year-old star play with the toughness and physicality that fans expect from their Flyers each game, he displays the amount of passion and leadership on and off the ice that all captains must provide their teams.

Giroux is a vocal leader on the ice, and he also lets his performances inspire his teammates and set the tone for that day's game.

There is no better example of this than Giroux's first shift in game six of last season's first round playoff series against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins (videos below).

Giroux has all the qualities that necessary in a captain, especially one that plays for a team with the history and prestige of the Flyers. In just a few seasons, Giroux could become one of the finest captains in the league. 

It wouldn't be surprising if Giroux becomes the longest-serving captain in Flyers history. Hall-of-famer Bobby Clarke's seven years as captain is the most of any Flyers player.


Nicholas Goss is an NHL Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.