DETROIT -- When the Detroit Red Wings informed 19-year-old Nicklas Lidstrom that they planned to pick him in the third round of the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, he told the team that he was looking forward to being at the draft so he could hear his named called in person.
The Wings then told Lidstrom to remain in Sweden. They didn't want him anywhere near the Met Center in Bloomington, Minn., which was the site of the 1989 draft.
If Lidstrom had gone to Bloomington, another NHL team might have taken notice and plucked him off the draft board earlier -- and one of the greatest defensemen ever could have had his Hall of Fame career someplace else.
Even back in 1989, the Wings saw something in the Swedish teenager that he didn't see in himself.
"When I first came over, I think I signed a three-year contract and I was just hoping to make the team," Lidstrom said last week. "I didn't know anything about the team, except for Stevie (Yzerman) being on the team.
"If I didn't make it, I could alway...