Detroit Red Wings’ captain Nicklas Lidstrom announced his retirement from hockey on Thursday.At a Joe Louis Arena press conference, Lidstrom said, “Today, after 20 seasons as a player, I am announcing my retirement.”
He continued, “It’s painfully obvious to me my strength and energy level are not rebounding quickly enough for me to continue to play. My drive and motivation are not where they need to be.”
Later, he added, “I’m aware some think I can still help the Wings win games. I appreciate that.”
Lidstrom spent his entire twenty-season NHL career with the Red Wings. In that time he won seven Norris Trophies as the league’s best defenseman, second only to Bobby Orr’s eight career wins. He was a part of four Stanley Cup Championship teams and became the first European captain of a Cup winner in 2008.
He was given the “C” by the Red Wings’ in 2006, following the retirement of longtime captain Steve Yzerman.
Lidstrom ends his career with 1564 games played, with the 12 games he missed due to injury last season the most of any single year. He has 264 goals and 878 assists for 1142 total points, to go along with a career plus/minus of +450.
In addition to twenty seasons with the Red Wings, Lidstrom played for his native Sweden at the Olympics four times, winning a gold medal in 2006. He played in the NHL All-Star Game eleven times and was named to one more team in 2009 but did not play.
The Red Wings made the playoffs every year of Lidstrom’s career.
“It’s hard to put into words exactly what Nicklas Lidstrom has meant to the Detroit Red Wings over the last 20 years,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said.