May 31, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT
As expected, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom officially announced his retirement this morning in Detroit. The 42-year-old defenseman said his “drive and motivation are not where they need to be” to keep playing in the NHL, and that his skills have diminished.
“I didn’t want to lose that level of play that I have reached and that’s why I’m retiring today,” he said.
“Retiring today allows me to walk away from the game with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me.”
An emotional Lidstrom thanked everyone from ownership to management to coaches to players to team personnel to the media to arena ushers to fans and his family.
Said team owner Mike Ilitch: “It’s one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history with Nick retiring and all you people showing your respect for such a high-quality individual.”
Added general manager Ken Holland: “In my opinion he’s the best two-way defenseman to ever play the game. He’s the type of player that comes along once in a generation.”
Holland later referred to Lidstrom as the “most valuable player of his era.”
More notes and quotes:
– Lidstrom and his family will move back to Sweden, though he says he’d like to remain with the club in some capacity.
– Ilitch: “Nick has been a Rock of Gibraltar. A solid leader. The word ‘perfect’ comes up.”
– Teammate Todd Bertuzzi: “It’s going to be a very different locker room. It’s going to look weird without Nick.”
Watch the full press conference below:
- Subban: Contract in arbitrator’s hands now 17
- Flyers’ Mason broke his right pinky finger playing ball hockey 23
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame 64
- It’s back! PHT’s Team of the Day summer series starts tomorrow 9
- Pens sign Spaling — two years, $4.4 million 13
- Agent: Subban hasn’t told me to make him NHL’s highest-paid D 32
- Devils sign Greene to five-year, $25M extension 18
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million 47
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ 59
- Gettin’ paid: Gardiner inks five-year, $20.25M extension with Leafs 15
- Lindros, LeClair and Desjardins to be inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame (64)
- Cashing in: Rangers sign Brassard to five-year, $25 million deal (63)
- Marchand on Plekanec: ‘I hate him. I can’t stand him’ (59)
- Poll: Is Drew Doughty the best defenseman in the world? (58)
- Subban seeking $8.5 million in arbitration, versus the Habs at $5.25 million (47)