Last season’s lockout may have delayed things for the Detroit Red Wings, but an official date has now been set for the jersey retirement of former team captain Nicklas Lidstrom. The Red Wings will raise Lidstrom’s No. 5 jersey up to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena on March 6, 2014, when they host the Colorado Avalanche. The game is the only meeting between the two teams in Detroit next season, and there could not be a better fit for this event than a game against the Avalanche, given the storied rivalry the two teams had for most of Lidstrom’s playing career.
Lidstrom retired at the end of the 2011-12 season, with four Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophy wins to his credit. He played in more than 1,500 games (all with the Red Wings) and scored 264 goals while collecting 1,142 points. Considered by many to be one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, Lidstrom was also the first European-born-and-trained captain to win a Stanley Cup, and is a member of the elite Triple Gold Club from his time playing internationally for Sweden. He was well-respected for his play and discipline on the ice, and just as respected as a great leader and teammate off the ice. Lidstrom reached the playoffs in each of the 20 seasons he played, and was named team captain in 2006 after the retirement of Steve Yzerman.
Lidstrom’s jersey will join those of Gordie Howe (9), Ted Lindsay (7), Alex Delvecchio (10), Sid Abel (12), Yzerman (19) and Terry Sawchuk in the rafters of Joe Louis Arena.