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Nik Lidstrom Retires: Legendary Defenseman Is One Of Greatest Hockey Has Ever Known
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Nik Lidstrom Retires: Legendary Defenseman is One Of Greatest Hockey Has Ever Known

Even though his teammates called him the "Perfect Human" for his lean, chiseled body and year round workout schedule, it was inevitable that this day would come. But, inevitable aside, the day was no less sad when Nicklas Lidstrom walked to the podium and quietly announced the end of his long and storied hockey career. Fans and teammates, coaches and even rival players all filled the internet with well wishes for the man who not only elevated the game of hockey to a whole new level, showed what a true champion looked like both on and off the ice.

Lidstrom, age forty two, was a question mark for a return to the Wings' roster even during the regular season. This has marked the first year where he has missed extended periods for injury (ankle) as well as one day of illness. He refused to discuss his future, one way or the other, focusing instead on that final drive to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Wings made it, as they have for the last twenty one years in a row, but were flushed out by the Nashville Predators in the first round. After that loss, Lidstrom announced he would make his final decision soon and then left the media and GM Ken Holland to wait.

Teammates Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall reportedly have been trying to talk their captain back to the ice for just one more season, even as late as this past Tuesday, but to no avail. The announcement went out on Wednesday that the press conference would take place the next day. Lidstrom said that the body was capable but he just was not mentally into it, not motivated to come back for one more season at this time, adding that he did not want to cheat himself, the team or the game.

Lidstrom had one of his best seasons of his career in 2010-2011 scoring a high of 34 points and earning a Plus 21 rating, bringing his totals to more 264 goals, lifetime, 1142 points and a Plus 450 rating for his career. He hoisted the Stanley Cup four times with the Red Wings, becoming the first European born Captain to ever win the Cup in 2008. In 2002, he became the first European to win the Conne Smythe trophy. He also won the Norris trophy 7 times, appeared in the Olympics for Sweden four times, scoring the game winning goal in the gold medal game in 2006. His streak of 1564 games with the Detroit Red Wings sets a NHL record.


Street Talk

It is a feeling one gets when they know it will not be the same and the time has come to move on. I have the utmost respect for him both from his career achievements and from who is is as a person. Quite the inspiration.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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