Henrik Zetterberg missed a lot of things about the NHL while the three-month lockout took place.

Zetterberg spent the duration of the lockout playing in Switzerland and enjoyed the experience.

He was close to his native Sweden, played on a good team and got to play with new teammate Damien Brunner.

But Zetterberg missed the experience of an actual game at Joe Louis Arena.

Missed it a lot.

"Going out of the tunnel, out in warm-ups and seeing the fans here," said Zetterberg, who returned Thursday to the Red Wings' informal workouts, having arrived from Switzerland earlier in the week. "Just the small things. The music in the commercial breaks. It was more German music over there than what we have here."

Zetterberg is excited to get back to NHL hockey.

"See the fans getting loud, those are the things you want to get back to. Everyone in here is real excited to go back and play in front of our fans."

With the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom, Zetterberg seems poised to take over the role of captain.

His work ethic, leadership qualities, and position as one of the elite two-way players in the league make Zetterberg a natural to succeed the Hall of Fame-bound Lidstrom.

General manager Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock have both said a new captain will be named during training camp.

If it were to happen, and it likely will, Zetterberg would be honored.

"There's still speculation, nothing official," he said. "If that will happen, it would obviously be a great honor, but we have to wait until (general manager) Kenny (Holland) has spoken."

While playing for EV Zug in Switzerland, Zetterberg was on the same line with Brunner, whom the Wings signed as an undrafted free agent last summer.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130110/SPORTS0103/301100450#ixzz2Hg1ZnbLq