Nicklas Lidstrom became the face of the Detroit Red Wings franchise after he inherited that role following the retirement of Steve Yzerman.
However, he was a lot more than the Red Wings' leader.
He was also the best defenseman in the National Hockey League for the majority of his career. He was a stellar offensive player and he never eased off of his defensive responsibilities.
A case can be made that Lidstrom was the No. 2, 3 or 4 defenseman in the history of the league, with only Bobby Orr and Larry Robinson ranking above him and perhaps Ray Bourque as his equal.
Lidstrom announced his retirement shortly after the Red Wings' 2011-12 season ended with a first-round playoff loss to the Nashville Predators.
There are eight players who could step up and attempt to fill Lidstrom's shoes as the top defenseman in the NHL.