An 11:00AM press conference in Detroit today will mark the end of an era for one of the best defenders the NHL has ever seen. Future Hall of Fame defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to announce his retirement after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, bringing an end to a career that is stock-piled with individual and team accolades.
A seven-time Norris Trophy winner, 12-time All-Star and a Conn Smythe Trophy to go along with his four Stanley Cups and Olympic gold medal, the 42-year-old Lidstrom is coming off the worst statistical season of his career; one that ended with Detroit’s disappointing first-round playoff exit. Although he remained the club’s top blueliner and was still one of the best in the league, such a considerable drop-off in performance surely did not sit well with a competitor like Lidstrom.
As is the case with many elite athletes faced with such a decision, they often know when it is the right time to call it quits and it seems like that was Lidstrom’s thinking when he sat down to make this decision. When you are no longer capable of playing at the extremely high level that you expect of yourself, then it is time to move on.
A Marvelous Career
- World Championship gold medal winner
- NHL All-Rookie Team
- 4-time Stanley Cup winner
- 12-time NHL All-Star
- 10-time NHL First All-Star Team member
- 2-time NHL Second All-Star Team member
- Conn Smythe Trophy winner
- Olympic gold medal winner
- Member of the Triple Gold Club
- 2-time Viking Award winner
- First ever European born and trained player to captain team to Stanley Cup