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Life without Lidstrom

Jul 20, 2012, 11:15 AM EDT

Nicklas Lidstrom AP

The Detroit Red Wings are doing something next season they haven’t done since 1991-92: Play without Nicklas Lidstrom on the blue line.

When Lidstrom called it a career following the season, it ushered in a new and frightening era for the Red Wings. For 20 seasons Lidstrom was the rock on defense. He played the biggest minutes and was simply the greatest defenseman of this era and now the Wings have to find a way to replace his minutes and production. Uh oh.

Without Lidstrom, Detroit’s blue line is a bit suspect. Niklas Kronwall becomes the default No. 1 guy and (likely) will pair up with Ian White on the first pairing. Jonathan Ericsson and recently signed Kyle Quincey shape up to be the next best pairing and one that comes with a lot of questions. Ericsson was, to put it nicely, inconsistent last year while Quincey has a penchant for poorly timed penalties.

Rounding out the potential top-six are a pair of young hopefuls in Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith. Smith comes in with high hopes of being the next big thing on the blue line with an offensively strong game and a University of Wisconsin pedigree. Kindl will get his first big chance to prove himself after getting peeks the last few seasons.

No one can recreate what Lidstrom brought to Detroit and the prospect of moving on without him must be terrifying for Wings fans, but for coach Mike Babcock and GM Ken Holland, figuring things out from this point on will prove to be their biggest challenge.

  1. wingsfan40 - Jul 20, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    thts why wings gotta sign big d!! like they should have went better after weber AND suter so they could be on the same team again now they stuck with trying for coliacivo and scott hannan OMG

  2. redwingsfan999 - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM

    The wings r gonna miss lidstrom but can still play without him. And although I am disappointed the wings didn’t get parise or suter I’m not worried bout the wings. In case no one remembers in February the wings were 1st in the west with most of the players that we still have now. And we went on a 23 home game win streak. Ya we may have lost lidstrom and Stuart but guys like Kronwall, Quincy, and smith can be very underrated @ times and I guarantee that they will all step up this season. And I love how people think just cuz Philly offered weber a contract that he’s either going 2 Philly or staying with Nashville. Weber doesnt want 2 stay with Nashville but they don’t wanna lose weber and suter 4 almost nothing, so they r going 2 match phillys offer and maybe trade him and u can bet the wings r gonna be all over that, I would give up franzen, nyquist, ericsson, and either smith or kindl 4 him. And if the wings do get Weber and then sign Doan they will be a great Stanley cup contending team. And even if we don’t get weber I have faith in the “wings kids” and I have faith in ken holland that he will sign a defensmen such as cam barker, pavel kubina, and mikael rosival, and if not that he will trade 4 one. No matter what the wings do they will still be a good team now and 4 years 2 come

  3. ucaneverscorenoughgoals - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM

    He was an amazing player and a great man. – Pens Fan.

  4. polegojim - Jul 21, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Um…. it’s actualy NOT life without Lidstrom.

  5. wingnut83 - Jul 22, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    While he will certainly be missed and difficult to replace, Lidstrom left a blueprint of the ultimate defenseman. Such a player isnt just plucked from another team and picks up where he left off. Weber has a different set of skills that make up his game, however last seasons cheap shot on Z calls his emotional control into question. That definitely isnt Lidstrom-like. I think the WINGS will have what they need to begin the season and get over the shock and nerves of not have TPH on the ice. Then Ken Holland and staff will make the necessary adjustments. The WINGS never say die, nor should their fans! LET”S GO RED WINGS!!!

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