Red Wings’ D Nickas Lidstrom, 42, has announced his retirement from hockey. Lidstrom spent the entirety of his 20-year NHL career in Detroit and set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with one team.
He is a member of the exclusive “Triple-Gold” club, winning both an Olympic gold medal (2006) and an IIHF World Championship (1991) with Sweden in addition to the four Stanley Cups he won with the Red Wings.
“The Perfect Human” also won seven Norris Trophies in ten seasons starting in 2001. His seven Norris Trophies trail just Bobby Orr by one for the most in NHL history. Lidstrom has also been selected to play in 12 NHL All-Star Games and was named to the league’s First All-Star Team 10 times between 1998 and 2011.
He became the first European player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2002.
Taking over the Red Wings captaincy when NHL legend Steve Yzerman retired in 2006, he would lead the team to back-to-back Cup Finals appearances in 2008 and 2009, becoming the first European player to captain a Cup champion in 2008.
Lidstrom retires as the active NHL leader in regulation and playoff games played as well as plus-minus. He sat second amongst active players in playoff points and third in regular-season points.
Originally selected in the third round (53rd overall) by the Red Wings in 1989, Lidstrom finishes his career with 264 goals and 878 assists in 1,564 career NHL games. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and arguably the best defenceman to ever play the game.
“My drive and motivation are not where to need to be to play at this level.”
“Retiring today allows me to walk away with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me.”