There is no doubt why Niklas Lidstrom is the best professional individual athlete of the decade for sports in the state of Michigan.
Niklas Lidstrom is still playing, and yet his play as a defenseman for the Detroit Red Wings has already created loud whispers that he is the greatest defenseman ever.
He won six Norris Trophies (2001-03, 2006-08) in this decade in which one season was lost to a strike. He won these Norris Trophies without having a McGinnis slapshot or a Pronger-style of hitting.
Instead, he plays the "D", a commitment to fundamentals that creates very little noise because he rarely makes a mistake. Hence the locker room nickname of the Perfect Human.
He became the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP when the Wings won it all in 2002.
He started in six All-Star games (2000-03, 2006-08) during the decade.
His play has also earned him another accolade - Captain of the Red Wings after Steve Yzerman's retirement in 2006. It only took him two seasons to lead the Red Wings to their 11th Stanley Cup in the 2008-2009 season. By doing this, he became the first European born player to captain a team to the Stanley Cup title.