This is the end of (another) era in Detroit sports. In 2006, when Steve Yzerman retired from the Red Wings, I thought I’d never feel so heartbroken when another player left one of my teams. Even the announcement of my favorite Tiger, Magglio Ordonez, announcing his retirement didn’t come close to that feeling.
Well, everyone, I feel ALMOST as devastated as I did in 2006, and that is saying something. Today, Nicklas Lidstrom, the current captain of the Detroit Red Wings, has announced his retirement after 20 years.
Lidstrom has had a career that can only be described as legendary. First, he’s the first European-born and trained captain to win the Stanley Cup, as well as the first European to win the Conn Smythe trophy for being the playoff MVP. He’s won the James Norris Memorial Trophy a whopping SEVEN times as the NHL’s top defensemen. Lidstrom has the record for most games ever played on a single NHL team, and in his 20 seasons he has never missed the postseason. The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated picked Lidstrom as the “NHL Player of the Decade.”
Aside from all of the accolades and accomplishments Nick has demonstrated, he’s just an all-around classy guy. He’s never been known as a dirty player, has led the Red Wings to be an absolutely dominant NHL team, and has served as a solid leader throughout his tenure as captain. He will be sorely missed.