The long-standing captain of the Detroit Red Wings announced his retirement from the NHL on Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I’ve been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997,” said Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.
“It’s one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history with Nick retiring and all you people showing your respect for such a high-quality individual,” said Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch.
Lidstrom, 42, said that he didn’t have what it takes physically to play at the high level that he wanted to play at.
“My drive and motivation are not where to need to be to play at this level,” Lidstrom said.
Lidstrom will go down in history as one of the greatest Detroit Red Wings and one of the greatest defense men in the history of the game.
He sports a Hall-of-Fame resume with four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, 12 All-Star appearances and a Conn Smythe Trophy among other numerous accomplishments.
“Retiring today allows me to walk away with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me,” Lidstrom said.
It is an emotional day for Red Wings fans everywhere and I’d like to thank Nick for such an amazing 20 seasons. Not only was he one of the best players to wear the winged wheel, but he was such a class-act on and off the ice.
Thank you, captain.