Lidstrom, a Swede nicknamed the Perfect Human, retired in 2012 after a 20-year career during which he won four Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophies, including one in his penultimate season at age 41.
“When (general manager) Ken Holland told me that Mr. (Mike) and Mrs. (Marian) Ilitch wanted to retire my jersey, I tried to put the honor in context,” Lidstrom told a sold-out Joe Louis Arena crowd Thursday night before the Red Wings lost to the Avalanche, 3-2 in overtime. “It’s not like winning a trophy for a successful season or a playoff. It’s not like winning an individual trophy. This is something different.
“This is about being a Detroit Red Wing.”
The Red Wings also made the playoffs every year Lidstrom played.
“Simply the best,” Holland said during the hour-long ceremony that pushed the game back to 8:30 p.m.
Described as a humble role model by those who know him, Lidstrom becomes just the seventh Red Wings player to have his number retired and the first defenseman. The other numbers in the rafters are Steve Yzerman’s 19, Terry Sawchuk’s 1, Alex Delvecchio’s 10, Ted Lindsay’s 7, Sid Abel’s 12 and Gordie Howe’s 9.
Lidstrom finished his career second among Red Wings in games played (1,564), first in plus/minus (450), third in assists (878) and fourth in points (1,142).
For the full article, see Josh Katzenstein, “Red Wings honor Nicklas Lidstrom, ‘simply the best'”, Detroit News, March 6, 2014.