Skip to content

Lidstrom announces retirement, cites lack of “drive and motivation” to keep playing

May 31, 2012, 11:30 AM EDT

Lidstrom Getty Images

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.

— When asked who might take over as Red Wings captain, he mentioned Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula.

— 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:

Latest Posts
  1. St. Louis offers Upshall a professional tryout

    Sep 1, 2015, 6:04 PM EDT

    Scottie Upshall Getty Images

    The Blues have a vacancy with Patrik Berglund out for at least four months.

  2. Crosby, Toews, Weber, Price lead pack in NHL 16’s ratings

    Sep 1, 2015, 5:05 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Stadium Series - Pittsburgh Penguins v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    A few players have leapfrogged Steven Stamkos.

  3. Marchand rehabbing from offseason elbow surgery

    Sep 1, 2015, 3:35 PM EDT

    Brad Marchand Getty Images

    He played through the injury in 2014-15.

  4. Flyers bring back tough guy Rosehill on AHL deal

    Sep 1, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Chris Thorburn #22 of the Winnipeg Jets fights with Jay Rosehill #37 of the Philadelphia Flyers during third period in a game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Philadelphia Flyers on April 6, 2013 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
(April 5, 2013 - Source: Marianne Helm/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    He spent all of last season with Lehigh Valley.

  5. Marcel Goc signs in German League

    Sep 1, 2015, 10:04 AM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v St. Louis Blues Getty Images

    Veteran forward heads overseas after appearing in 600-plus NHL contests.

  6. Domi: I just want to make the Coyotes

    Sep 1, 2015, 9:00 AM EDT

    Max Domi Getty Images

    He’s got plenty of potential, but he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself.

  7. Lucic jokes about running through Rask ‘like I did (to) another goalie’

    Aug 31, 2015, 10:22 PM EDT

    Milan Lucic AP

    His first game against Boston is scheduled for Feb. 9.

  8. Success for McDavid isn’t purely a numbers game

    Aug 31, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    Connor McDavid AP

    The start of his rookie campaign is approaching.

  9. Hitch finds silver lining in Berglund injury

    Aug 31, 2015, 7:30 PM EDT

    Patrik Berglund Getty Images

    Who will take advantage of the opening?

  10. Neuvirth cites Voracek as his reason for joining Flyers

    Aug 31, 2015, 6:00 PM EDT

    New York Islanders v Washington Capitals - Game Five Getty Images

    The two have previously played together on the Czech national team.

  11. Hurricanes add Ray Whitney, three others to scouting staff

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:30 PM EDT

    Jeff Daniels Getty Images

    Former coach Jeff Daniels is also staying within the organization after being relieved of his AHL coaching duties.

  12. Poll: Will Seabrook re-sign?

    Aug 31, 2015, 2:12 PM EDT

    Brent Seabrook Getty Images

    You can expect this question to be asked throughout the year.

  13. Under Pressure: Stan Bowman

    Aug 31, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Stan Bowman AP

    Heck, the ‘Hawks are still over the salary cap ceiling.

  14. Hawks’ biggest question: What happens with Patrick Kane?

    Aug 31, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT

    Patrick Kane Getty Images

    Chicago’s star forward remains under police investigation.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1868)
  2. P. Kane (1641)
  3. M. Richards (1355)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1355)
  5. N. Backstrom (1215)