Nicklas Lidstrom Retiring: 5 Potential Captains for the Detroit Red Wings

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Nicklas Lidstrom Retiring: 5 Potential Captains for the Detroit Red Wings
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Nicklas Lidstrom captained the Detroit Red Wings to a 2008 Stanley Cup victory.

NHL.com reports Red Wings captain and 20-year veteran Nicklas Lidstrom plans to announce his retirement tomorrow.

The 42-year-old joined the Red Wings for the 1991-1992 season after being drafted 53rd overall in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft.

The Swedish blueliner quickly established himself as a defensive stalwart and an offensive threat, and earned an "A" on his sweater prior to the start of the 1996-1997 season.

The Red Wings named Lidstrom the 31st captain in franchise history and the team's first ever European captain after the 20-year reign of Steve Yzerman ended in 2006 with his retirement.

Lidstrom captained the Red Wings to two Western Conference Championships (2008, 2009), one Stanley Cup (2008) and one President's Trophy (2008) during his tenure.  Individually, he won the Norris trophy seven times, three additional Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy in 2002 and an Olympic gold medal in 2006. He appeared in 12 NHL all-star games.

Lidstrom holds the 50th spot on the NHL's all-time scoring leaders list, ranks sixth all-time among defensemen and trails only Mats Sundin on the all-time scoring leaders list among Swedish players.

With the retirement of Lidstrom, speculation of who will be named his replacement becomes a burning question for the Red Wings organization.  Superstars like Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg both play big roles in Detroit and serve as assistant captains, but perhaps another player will earn the "C."

Replacing Lidstrom is nearly impossible, but the Red Wings boast several worthy candidates to captain their team.

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