Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom retired Thursday after 20 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, ending one of the best careers in NHL history.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner fought back tears as he made the announcement.
''My drive and motivation are not where to need to be to play at this level,'' Lidstrom said.
The 42-year-old Lidstrom, a Swede, played for the Red Wings in each of his 20 seasons and set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with one team. He put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts.
''I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
Lidstrom had 34 points and a plus-21 rating that ranked among the league leaders last season. He missed a career-high 11 games with a bruised right ankle and was out for another game with the flu. He had 264 career goals with 1,142 points and a 450-plus rating.
''Retiring today allows me to walk ...