Dec 25, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT
After 20 incredible seasons in the NHL, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom called it a career in May. Citing a lack of “drive and motivation” for wanting to retire, there’s no doubting he goes down as one of the best defensemen of all time.
Consider: Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy seven times. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2002 when a Red Wings team loaded with future Hall of Famers rolled the Carolina Hurricanes in five games for the Stanley Cup. Only five defensemen finished with more career points than his 1,216. Along the way he won Olympic gold and a world championship for Sweden.
In all, Lidstrom celebrated four Cups with Detroit, going from an under-appreciated second-pair defenseman during the team’s first title in 1997, to the captain of the team when it defeated Pittsburgh in 2008. The list of what he’s done throughout his career proves to be pretty lengthy.
Lidstrom’s departure, of course, left fans in Detroit feeling forlorn and wondering just what the team would do next without him. After all, not only did it leave a huge hole along the blue line but also a vacant captaincy.
For now (after failing to land Ryan Suter in free agency), the Red Wings have opted to fill Lidstrom’s absence by re-signing Kyle Quincey and adding Carlo Colaiacovo while hoping Niklas Kronwall can play a steadier game. Reality is, there’s no way to replace one of the greatest defensemen hockey’s seen.
- Fanspeak: Dominik Hasek voted greatest Sabres in franchise history 10
- Is Colorado’s rise a fair example of what might happen in Buffalo? 4
- It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT 19
- Gomez goes full circle by rejoining Devils on tryout basis 12
- Under Pressure: Jimmy Howard 6
- Looking to make the leap: Anthony Mantha 21
- It’s Detroit Red Wings day on PHT 24
- Under Pressure: Nathan Horton 8
- Will Johansen be the latest Overhardt holdout? 25
- It’s Columbus Blue Jackets day on PHT 17