Detroit Red Wings legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is announcing his retirement tomorrow after playing 20 seasons in the NHL. ”Saint Nick” as many fans call him, will go down in history as one of the best players of all time, surely one of the most decorated. Ship this Swede into the Hall of Fame.
Lidstrom was the heart and brain of the Red Wings for over a decade. Drafted in 1989, Lidstrom didn’t get his first Stanley Cup ring till the 1996 season. The Wings repeated, as well as got a third cup in 2001 giving Detroit three in six years. If longevity was in question, Lidstrom led the Wings to his fourth ring in 2007, spreading championships over a decades time.
I will always compare Nicklas Lidstrom to the San Antonio Spurs Tim Duncan. Both considered the most fundementally sound in their craft. They both make things look as easy as 1, 2, 3. Both won championships ten or more years apart, and both are regarded as extremely humble. My job however, is to take the humbleness out of it, and let you know how dominant Saint Nick really was.
Lidstrom won seven Norris Trophies, given to the league’s best defensemen, which puts him second all-time behind Boston’s Bobby Orr who won eight. Conn Smythe trophy, check. The Conn Smythe is given to the leagues best playoff performer for each season. Nick got his in 2002. Lidstrom will also go down as one of 25 players in the “Triple Gold Club.” This club requires one to have a Stanley Cup ring, an Olympic gold medal, and a World Championship.
The swedish sensation has done it all, and we should all be grateful to have seen the Nicklas Lidstrom era.
Paul Bentley is a contributor to Rant Media Network
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