The NHL lockout hasn’t even been officially ended yet, and the Detroit Red Wings have already made a great decision about honoring one of their former players. Rather than rush things to still try and do a jersey retirement in February for Nicklas Lidstrom, a report on Mlive.com Tuesday stated the team will wait to honor their captain from last season until the 2013-14 season.
With all of the rushed business that needs to take place before the season starts, this was a great decision. Honoring a player who performed at the top level for 20 years should be given more planning and forethought than what the shortened season would have allowed. Now, when Lidstrom and his family return from Sweden during a game next season it will be a joyous occasion, hopefully with the dark cloud of the lockout a more distant memory.
Drafted by the Red Wings in the third round of the 1989 draft, Lidstrom began playing for the team during the 1991-92 season. He went on to become one of the game’s best defenseman, winning the Norris Trophy seven times, and replacing Steve Yzerman as captain of the Wings in 2006. He also won four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008) and scored 264 goals while recording 1124 points. When the Wings won the Cup in 2002 he took home the Conn Smythe Trophy. He appeared in 1564 games, rarely missing time due to injury and often landing near the top of the league in ice time.
Lidstrom’s jersey will hang in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena (for now) alongside those of Terry Sawchuk, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Sid Abel, Gordie Howe and Yzerman.