Source just confirmed to me Nicklas Lidstrom is retiring after 20 seasons in NHL.— Helene St. James (@freepwings) May 30, 2012
Lidstrom is hanging up his skates after 20 seasons with the Red Wings that saw him win four Stanley Cups, seven James Norris Memorial Trophies and the Conn Smythe trophy in 2002.
The captain of the Red Wings notched 1,142 points in his career, including a career-high of 80 in the 2005-2006 campaign. He was awarded NHL Player of the Decade by Sports Illustrated and was voted into the All-Star Game 12 times since breaking into the league.
Considered by many to be one of the best European hockey players to ever grace the NHL, the Swedish defenseman was the first European player who was born and trained in Europe to captain a Stanley Cup-winning team. He was also the first European-born player to be named playoff MVP and is the all-time leader in games played by a European.
Now 42 years old, his defensive dominance over the course of his career cannot be denied, as he has won the Norris Memorial Trophy seven out of the past 10 seasons. He was one of the most durable and tactical defenders of his era, frequently choosing to steal the puck from attackers as opposed to going for the big hit.
He leaves behind a career filled with individual and team achievements aplenty and will forever be known as one of the best—if not the best—defenseman in NHL history.