May 30, 2012, 5:36 PM EDT
With news that Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will announce his retirement on Thursday, here’s a look back at some of the most noteworthy facts, stats and accomplishments from his 21-year NHL career:
– Lidstrom was drafted in the third round, 53rd overall, by Detroit in 1989. With the No. 52 pick, Hartford took Blair Atcheynum, who went on to play 196 NHL games…none of them with the Whalers.
– Lidstrom played in 1,564 regular season and 263 postseason games, all with Detroit. Only Gordie Howe has played more games as a Wing.
– Lidstrom played his first NHL contest on Oct. 3, 1991. Eighteen days later, Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov was born.
– Lidstrom made the NHL’s All-Rookie team in 1991-92. The others? Dominik Hasek, Vladimir Konstantinov, Kevin Todd, Tony Amonte and Gilbert Dionne.
– Lidstrom has the eighth best plus-minus in NHL history, at plus-450. The next closest active player is Jaromir Jagr, at plus-280.
– Lidstrom made an estimated $99.93 million during his NHL career, according to CapGeek.
– Lidstrom was the first European-born/trained Conn Smythe winner and the first to captain a Stanley Cup champion.
– Lidstrom won seven Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenseman, second only to Bobby Orr, who won eight. Lidstrom’s seven is equal the amount won by Denis Potvin, Larry Robinson and Rod Langway combined.
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