Originally written on Talk Hockey  |  Last updated 10/18/14

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - OCTOBER 02: Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit Red Wings looks during the 2009 Compuware NHL Premiere Stockholm match between Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues at the Ericsson Globe on October 2, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)


There aren’t many things that can be considered sure bets in sports, but when it comes to Nicklas Lidstrom being inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame you can bet your house on it. The Detroit Red Wings defenseman announced on May 31 that he was retiring from the NHL after 20 amazing seasons.

Lidstrom undoubtedly will go down as one of the best defensemen to ever lace on a pair of skates and along with former Toronto Maple Leaf and Red Wing great Borje Salming, is surely the best player to ever come out of Sweden. Many observers felt Lidstrom might play at least one more season with Detroit, but the team’s captain said at 42 years of age and after playing in one of the world’s toughest leagues for two decades it’s time to call it quits. Lidstrom said it’s been a great ride and he can’t thank his teammates and the Red Wings organization enough.

Lidstrom has won just about everything with the Red Wings, including four Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs and seven Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenseman. In total, Lidstrom suited up for the Wings 1,564 times during the regular season, which is the second-most all time for Detroit behind the great Gordie Howe. He scored a total of 1,142 points on 264 goals and 878 assists for the fourth-most points in Red Wings history.

Lidstrom’s plus/minus rating over that time was plus 450 which is eighth best in NHL history. He also played in a franchise-record 263 postseason games and added another 54 goals to go along with his 129 assists for 183 points and a plus 61 playoff rating. Although he missed 12 games due to an ankle injury this season, Lidstrom scored 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points and had a plus/minus rating of plus 21, which was one of the best in the league.

Perhaps the statistic that best represents the type of player Lidstrom was is his penalty total of just 514 minutes in 20 seasons. Lidstrom, who hails from Vasteras, Sweden, became the first European player to be named the winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2002 and in 2008 became the first European to captain a Stanley-Cup winning club. He played in 12 All-Star Games as well as being voted an NHL First-Team All-Star on 10 occasions and a Second Team All Star twice.

Lidstrom was selected with the 53rd choice overall in the 1989 entry draft from his hometown ream in Sweden and made his debut for Detroit in the 1991/92 season, making the All-Rookie Team. He also won a gold medal at the Olympics with Sweden in 2006 and was named to the tournament’s all-star team.

Lidstrom said that retiring allows him to walk away from the game he loves instead of having the game walk away from him. He added that he’s comfortable with his decision and even though his gas tank’s not on empty, it’s not where it should be and he isn’t about to cheat himself.

Article written by Ian Palmer

For more great articles be sure to visit, FeedCrossing.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

World Series: Game One live blog

Lance Briggs left Bears' locker room to avoid the fighting

Could the Seahawks have gotten more for Percy Harvin?

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Favre delays Lambeau return due to Bart Starr’s health

Cowboys release Michael Sam from practice squad

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fan in critical condition after being beaten before Bears game

Ben Roethlisberger rips the media

Tim Tebow: Gators don't have offensive leadership, lack heart

Colts punter asks Antonio Brown not to kick him in face

NFL: Luke Kuechly should not have been ejected

Report: Okla. St. players fell asleep in drive-thru, arrested

Report: Ray Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report: Groups E – H

PHOTO: Fans place Manning’s 509 football in Hall of Fame

Jets sign Jeremy Kerley to $16M 4-year extension

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Lego stadiums: turning a childhood hobby into a business

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge' and 'sizzle'

Blackhawks make leukemia patient's dream come true

College football's post-Week 8 Playoff projection

Ortiz surprised military families with World Series tickets

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Floyd Mayweather posts photo evidence of a lost bet

Red Wings News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

World Series: Game One live blog

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Ben Roethlisberger rips media

NFL Power Rankings Week 7

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.