I hate to say it, but we have seen the last of Nicklas Lidstrom in a Detroit Red Wings jersey. "Liddy" will hang up his skates this summer, having changed the game of hockey for years to come. The Red Wing will retire as:
- an 11-time All Star
- a seven-time Norris Trophy Winner
- a Conn Smythe Trophy Winner
- a four-time Stanley Cup Winner
- the active leader in NHL games played
- a veteran with 20 seasons played
His accomplishments will undoubtedly land him in the Hall of Fame and quite possibly the discussion for the greatest defenseman of all time. So the question is, how do you replace that?
The loss of Lidstrom will be devastating to Detroit; there's no denying it. He will likely be replaced by Pavel Datsyuk as the captain of the Red Wings, and in terms of his leadership ability, Datsyuk will not disappoint.
However, the Detroit blue line will take a big hit without Lidstrom manning it, and that is something that Datsyuk cannot replace. It is clear that Detroit will not be able to just go out and find another Lidstrom; players of his caliber come around once in a lifetime.
Still, these are some potential moves I feel Detroit could make that could mitigate the loss.