View Full Version : Lidstrom retires

05-31-2012, 11:59 AM

DETROIT -- It was hard to believe, even with Nicklas Lidstrom speaking the words himself.

The guy the Detroit Red Wings nicknamed "The Perfect Human" – their captain for the past six seasons and a sure lock for Hall of Fame status – is officially hanging up his winged-wheel sweater and retiring after 20 remarkable years in the Motor City.

"Retiring today allows me to walk away from the game with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me," Lidstrom said.

Lidstrom made the announcement Thursday during a press conference at Joe Louis Arena, an event attended by coach Mike Babcock, GM Ken Holland, Lidstrom's family and several current and former teammates from the Red Wings.

"This is one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history," said Detroit owner Mike Ilitch, who called Lidstrom the team's Rock of Gibraltar.

"I'm comfortable with my decision," Lidstrom said, noting his gas tank for playing was not on empty, but not where it needs to be. "I can't cheat myself."

Lidstrom helped the Red Wings win four Stanley Cups and seven times was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman.

Lidstrom, who turned 42 on April 28, played in a whopping 1,564 regular-season games in his NHL career to put him second behind only Gordie Howe on Detroit’s all-time list. He also piled up 1,142 points, fourth most in franchise history, by scoring 264 goals and adding 878 assists. His plus-450 career plus-minus rating ranks No. 8 in League history and nearly equals the paltry 514 minutes he spent in the penalty box.

Lidstrom's career numbers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs are just as impressive.

Lidstrom also decided 11 postseason games with game-winning goals and became the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (2002) before becoming the first European to captain his team to a Stanley Cup title in 2008.

Lidstrom, who made 12 NHL All-Star Games and was voted a First-Team All-Star 10 times, also holds the NHL record for most games played by a player who spent his entire career with one franchise.

This past season, he also became just the sixth Detroit-based athlete in the four major North American professional sports to play at least 20 years all in the Motor City. Red Wings legends Alex Delvecchio (24) and Steve Yzerman (22), Detroit Tigers stars Al Kaline (21) and Alan Trammell (20) and Detroit Lions kicker Jason Hanson (20) are the others.

Not bad for a guy selected No. 53 in the 1989 NHL Draft by former Red Wings general manager Jimmy Devellano – who

spearheaded Detroit’s trend-setting European scouting push in the 1980s.

"I think he's going to go down as one of the all-time best defensemen ever to play," Yzerman told reporters in New York on Wednesday, when news first leaked out that Lidstrom would announce his retirement a day later. "Having played with him and watched him closely from his first game … people know about it now, but we've said it all along: you have to watch him closely to appreciate how good he is, what a great athlete he is, because he makes the position look so easy. He is a special athlete."


^^ Don't watch video unless you have a tissue box near you.

05-31-2012, 12:21 PM
closest ive came to crying in 5 years. srs

05-31-2012, 12:32 PM
I knew this was coming. I will not lie...a tear was shed.

05-31-2012, 12:42 PM
Damn. Manly tears were shed..

05-31-2012, 01:38 PM

not srs calm down phaggot

06-01-2012, 06:31 AM
lol @ early 20's miscers gettin emotional. you were in diapers when he was playing