“And time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me.” – The Rolling Stones
It really was the moment every Red Wings fan had been dreading for years, but after an absolutely brilliant 20 season career filled with accolades (really, there’s a bunch: 7 Norris Trophies, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, an Olympic Gold Medal, a World Championship Gold Medal, 12 time NHL All-Star, and 4 Stanley Cup Trophies to go along with never seeing his team fall short of a playoff berth) defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement from the NHL this morning. Lidstrom is easily one of the best defensemen to ever play this amazing sport (he’s without a doubt the best defenseman I’ve ever seen play the game), but he’s also one of the classiest and nicest players this league and the city of Detroit has ever seen. He’s been referred to as “TPH – The Perfect Human” or “Norris”, but anyone-whether they be media, fan, or opposing player-has never had a bad thing to say about him. It’s probably not an understatement to say that there’s a huge hole to fill on the Red Wings’ blue line with #5 retired, but his class will be missed too.
When I think about it, the city of Detroit has been pretty blessed with its share of humble superstars. Just in my timeframe of watching, Alan Trammell of the Tigers, Barry Sanders of the Lions, and Steve Yzerman of the Red Wings have all represented their teams and city just like Nick Lidstrom has. Odds are I’ve missed a few, but those are the ones that immediately popped into my head. I can only hope that the current and future athletes will represent their team and city as well as those four have.
I seriously thought I had more to write, but what else is there to really say? Countless words have been written about Nick Lidstrom from mainstream media and bloggers alike, and if you’re looking for something with a bit more substance, you’ll want to start at The Malik Report-George Malik is an excellent writer and the first one you’d want to go to for information about the Red Wings. I guess I’ll just end with this: thank you for one hell of an amazing Hall of Fame career. Your talents on the ice, as well as your class and patience off of it will truly be missed.