At 42 years old, Detroit Red Wings defenseman and captain Nicklas Lidstrom has announced his retirement from the NHL. Lidstrom is often referred to as the best defenseman of his generation. He played all 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and earned himself 11 All-Star appearances, 7 Norris Trophies, 4 Stanley Cups (’97, ’98, ’02, ’08), and a Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the playoffs in 2002. Lidstrom became the fourth defenseman in league history to win as many as five Norris Trophies, joining Hockey Hall of Fame members Bobby Orr (8), Doug Harvey (7), and Ray Bourque (5).
In his 20 seasons, he played 1,563 games and recorded 1,142 career points, ranking him 6th all time in NHL points amongst defenseman. It’s a sad day for the hockey world, but a good day for Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter, who will likely be the one selected to take on the impossible task of filling Lidstrom’s void on the Red Wings blue line.
Nick, the world will miss your unprecedented skill, leadership, and devilish good looks. See you in the Hall of Fame.