Nicklas Lidstrom Retirement: Where Did He Rank Today and All Time?

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Nicklas Lidstrom Retirement: Where Did He Rank Today and All Time?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to announce his retirement May 31

It is no wonder that Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement today.

He has been slowing down for the last four years, the four worst of his career (since his first four). This past season saw his lowest point total outside of the 1995 season in which he played in just 43 games, largely due to the strike.

Fortunately for him and for his Detroit Red Wings, he had a long way to fall.

From 2000 through 2008, Lidstrom won seven of the eight Norris Trophies that were handed out. During that run, he averaged 80 games per season, was a goal short of 14 per and had 50.5 assists per season while posting a plus-minus of over 20 goals to the positive.

Because he is not one of the three finalists this year, we now know that his last four years have produced only one Norris Trophy. During this time, he has dropped to an average of just 78 games, 13 goals, 38 assists and a plus-18.

So Lidstrom went from the clear Norris winner to only a Norris contender. Last season, he dropped to simply one of the world's top 30 defencemen (as evidenced by top-30 rankings in goals, points and minutes per game).

Thus, it makes sense to compare Lidstrom in the twilight of his career—past the age of 38—against the very best in the world. During Lidstrom's last four seasons, how did he compare to Duncan Keith, Zdeno Chara, Dan Boyle and Shea Weber?

More importantly, is his full body of work make him the best ever? The last two slides compare him against the only players who controlled the Norris Trophy more in their time, Doug Harvey and Bobby Orr.

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