Sad news came out today for the Detroit Red Wings. Their captain and defensive leader Nicklas Lidstrom retired after 19 seasons of NHL hockey, all with the Detroit Red Wings. After four Stanley Cups and seven Norris trophies, here is what Lidstrom said at the emotional press conference about retiring from the game.
”My drive and motivation are not where they to need to be to play at this level,” Lidstrom said.
”A couple weeks after the season is over, you start working out. Once I started doing that, I didn’t have the push I need, and I can’t cheat myself.”
I guess if Lidstrom himself did not feel like he should play next year then the fans can’t be mad at him for retiring. I’m not saying anyone is but I am sure disappointed and sad. I have had the honor and privileged like many of you to watch Lidstrom my whole life. He played the game the right way and competed hard every night. Unlike most athletes these days, you never heard Lidstrom complain about bad calls or plays after a game. Also, you never heard him gloat and talk about how good he was or anything like that. Besides being a great competitor and human being, he has the numbers to prove just how good he was.
Lidstrom set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He ended up with 264 goals and 1,142 points for his career as well. But it wasn’t what he did individually, it was the intangibles he brought to the team. Here is what the great Scotty Bowman had to say about Lidstrom, according to SI.com.
“I think he’s the best,” Bowman said on the phone just a few minutes before Lidstrom made the formal announcement. “For longevity, no injuries, winning, he’s in a class by himself.”
There is no doubt that Bowman is spot on. Lidstrom is for sure to be mentioned with the best of the best. I agree with Bowman. However, the best part about Lidstrom was that he led by example. In my book, he has to be number the two defenseman of all time behind Bobby Orr. But no matter where you put him on the all-time list, he will be deeply missed by Red Wings and hockey fans for a long time.
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