The DetroitSportsRag has learned that there is internal strife in the Detroit Red Wings locker room over the annual parents’ trip that is about to commence.
As you probably know, NHL teams over the last few years have adopted the practice of players’ parents accompanying their sons once a year on a road trip during the season. It has become an extremely nice ritual of bonding between the parents and the players.
The Red Wings broadcast partner Fox Sports Detroit spends a lot of time focusing on these trips and what the moms and dads meant to the current Red Wings on the telecasts during said road excursion.
Unfortunately, this season’s road trip has become an ugly distraction in the Wings locker room.
You see, last year the fathers went on the annual trip. The year before, it was the moms’ turn.
So, if the team were alternating each year, this upcoming trip would be for the hockey moms who devoted a good portion of their lives driving their kids to games and practices. But the team is not alternating. And that’s not the only issue.
A young defenseman’s mother is extremely ill. She has been told she only has a few months to live. Based on the doctor’s prognosis, she will not be around for a potential 2018-19 mothers’ road trip.
So a group of Wings players suggested that, due to their teammate’s horrific predicament, this season should most definitely be a mom’s trip. A side note to demonstrate the seriousness of the issue: this blueliner moved up his wedding date so his mom could be in attendance for the nuptials. (The wedding took place on January 27th.) None of this is a secret to the team. Or to Ken Holland and Jeff Blashill, for that matter.
You’d think this would be an absolute no-brainer. A teammate’s mom is DYING. Ya gotta do the right thing. So why didn’t it happen?
I am told that the team’s captain Henrik Zetterberg was adamant that the dads would go on the road this season. Why? Because #40 isn’t sure about his future plans and if he retires after this season, his father, Goran Zetterberg, would never get to go on another vacation with the organization.
Keep in mind that in all of the years these parental trips have taken place, the moms have only gone ONCE while the dads have enjoyed the first-class treatment over and over again. Yet Zetterberg — and other veterans, I am told — refused to put their own agenda aside for their teammate and his mom.
I am not sure what can be done at this point, but hopefully this article makes its way to owner Marian Ilitch and she can reach out to the player and his mom and make this right somehow. Although I am not sure what that would even entail.
For the record, I know the identity of the player with the ill mom. I am not publishing his name out of respect for his privacy during this difficult time. But the skater in question had NOTHING to do with this article. Nor did anyone in his family.
And you thought blowing a a 5-2 lead in the last six minutes of a game was gross. That’s mere child’s play compared to what is going on behind the scenes with our city’s hockey franchise.
UPDATE at 6:08pm
I originally was not going to name the player with the sick mother for the reasons stated above. But while I was writing this article, Ellliote Friedman at Sportsnet.ca posted the following in his latest trade rumor column.
I don’t think I need to draw you a roadmap. I am discovering new facts that makes this story even uglier and will update when I can corroborate this information.
UPDATE on February 18th
Zetterberg didn’t even take his father after all. He ended up taking a childhood friend according to a source. Furthermore, I am told that one of the mothers of a prominent French Canadian Red Wings’ player is absolutely livid about the situation.
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