VIDEO: Zetterberg hopes for 'special offseason'

Posted at 7:10 PM, May 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 13:57:35-04

The Lightning knocked the Red Wings out of the playoffs over a month ago, but Henrik Zetterberg still hasn't gotten over the frustration of another first round exit.

"It's still there. As long as the other teams are playing, you feel the frustration," he told WXYZ on Wednesday.

Zetterberg spoke about the important offseason facing his team, and the notion of playing without Pavel Datsyuk by his side.

"The situation with Pavel Datsyuk, we don't really know if he's coming back or if we have to go after someone else. It's a big offseason facing this club."

The Red Wings captain said he's excited for next season, but knows the story of early playoff exits has grown tired. Detroit hasn't advanced past the first round for three years, and failed to make the Conference Final each of the last seven postseasons.

"I understand the fans' frustrations too, because we want to go deeper. It's a lot of talk about the playoff streak and all that, and obviously we're proud about that, but we want to go deeper than we have the last couple years."

Zetterberg doesn't plan to be in Ken Holland's ear too much this summer. 

The Red Wings general manager already said Brad Richards and Kyle Quincey won't be offered new contracts, and it's widely believed the team will try to move Jimmy Howard.

Steven Stamkos leads a list of free agent options fans dream will land in Detroit.

"Obviously everyone knows who's out there, so it's no secret. It's not just us that probably wants to go after them, so it's going to be a very interesting free agency and summer," he said.

Zetterberg said he's motivated by the young talent on Detroit's roster. Dylan Larkin showed potential for star power in his rookie season, and gave the 35-year-old captain a reason to believe the near future is bright.

"It's a special offseason. We've got a lot of young players coming up," he said.

Before Zetterberg returns to North America for training camp and the World Cup of Hockey, he plans to spend much of the summer in Sweden. A big reason? His baby Love hasn't met many of Zetterberg's friends and family.

"I'm looking forward to going back to Sweden and show him off to all my friends and family."

Brad Galli is a sports anchor and reporter at WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli