Over the past several seasons, when the number of games left on the calendar start to dwindle, the hockey faithful of Detroit tend to start wondering about Nicklas Lidstrom. He will be 42 years old before this season ends and his retirement has weighed heavily on the minds of fans and the organization for several years.
He is easily the greatest defensemen of his generation and is on the very short list for the greatest-of-all-time discussion.
His credentials are beyond impressive.
—Stanley Cup Winner, four times
—Norris Trophy Winner, seven times
—Conn Smythe Trophy
—All-Star, 12 times (He would have made it this season as well but asked to be written off the roster.)
—Olympic Gold Medal and World Championship, which makes him one of only 25 members of the Triple Gold Club (World, Olympic and Stanley Cup Champ)
He is still playing at an amazing level. He won his seventh Norris Trophy last season and will likely be a finalist again this year. He still plays over 23 minutes a game and is third in the league in plus-minus. On the offensive side, he is tied for third in the league in goals by a defender and is in the top ten in points.
There is no slowing down this ageless wonder. Still, if not next season then sometime soon, the Red Wings will be forced to replace Lidstrom when he retires. There won't be one player that replaces him. But it is inevitable that the Red Wings need to prepare for life without Nick.