I know I said Sexy Saturday was retired for the off-season, but just as this player was exceptional, I had to make an exception. It won’t be a full-on Sexy Saturday, but a tribute — vickyandnikki5hole style. So without further ado……
Tack för de minnen, Nicklas. (Thank you for the memories, Nicklas.)
In case you’ve been under a rock and haven’t heard, the best European-born player in NHL history, and arguably the best defenseman, has decided to retire. Nicklas Lidstrom — who played his entire 20-year career with the Detroit Red Wings — announced Thursday that he is hanging up his skates. He says he no longer has the drive and energy to train in the off-season the way he thinks he should. I’m sure Detroit fans would rather have a Lidstrom who is at 85% than no Lidstrom at all. I personally thought he would hang on for one more year to play in the Winter Classic in Detroit in January. That would have been possibly the one thing he hasn’t done in his career, although he can come back and play in the Alumni Game. But some have speculated that since his second son will join his eldest in Sweden, playing hockey there, and his family would be in Sweden, that he didn’t want to be separated from them. If that is the case, that makes Lidstrom even more of an amazing person than I already thought he was.
But you didn’t come to this hockey blog to read about game or player analysis. There are far better ones out there for that. No, you people come here for the pretty, the stats, the videos. And I am more than happy to comply. So to send off an amazing player to the ether, and whom I’m sure we’ll see in the Hall of Fame and number-retiring ceremonies, I give you a little Sexy Saturday…..
Vitals: Born April 28, 1970, Västerås (though Avesta is also listed), Sweden. 6’1″, 190 lbs. Wife Annika, sons Kevin, Adam, Samuel, and Lucas.
Nickname(s): The Perfect Human, St. Nick.
Current team: Detroit Red Wings. Defense. Shoots left. Captain.
Fancy awards: You ready? There’s a ton (straight outta Wiki).
- World Championship gold medal winner (Sweden, 1991).
- NHL All-Rookie Team (1992).
- 4-time Stanley Cup winner (1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008).
- 12-time NHL All-Star (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009*, 2011).
- 10-time NHL First All-Star Team member (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011).
- 2-time NHL Second All-Star Team member (2009 and 2010).
- 7-time Norris Trophy winner (2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011).
- Conn Smythe Trophy winner (2002).
- Olympic gold medal winner (Sweden, 2006); Lidström became a member of the Triple Gold Club with this win.
- Olympic All-Star Team (2006).
- 2-time Viking Award winner (2000 and 2006).
*did not attend
All records are as of the end of the 2011–12 regular season unless otherwise noted.
- First European-born and trained Norris Trophy winner (2000–01).
- First European-born and trained Conn Smythe Trophy winner (2001–02).
- Fourth defenseman (and first European-born and trained defenseman) in NHL to win James Norris Memorial Trophy three years running (2001–2003, 2006–2008), and third seven-time Norris Trophy winner.
- First European-born and trained captain of a Stanley Cup-winning team (2008).
- First European-born and trained defenceman to reach 1,000 points.
- Sixth defenceman (and 28th player overall) to reach 855 career assists.
- Most regular season games played by a player born in Europe, any position (1564).
- Most regular season games played by a player in a career spent with only one team (1564).
- Most regular season wins played in (900).
- Active leader in games played any position (1564).
- Oldest player ever to record his first hat trick (40 years old)
- Oldest defenceman ever to record a hat trick (40 years old)
- Oldest Norris Trophy winner (41 years, 57 days) (2010–2011)
Detroit Red Wings
- Points by a defenceman, season (2005–06, 80).
- Postseason goals by a defenceman, career (54).
- Postseason points by a defenceman, career (183).
- Postseason assists, career (129).
- Postseason games played, career (258).
- Games played by a defenceman, career (1564).
- Goals, assists, and points by a defenceman, career (264, 878, and 1142).
- Goals in a single postseason by a defenceman (1998, 6).
- Best postseason plus/minus, career (+61).
- Best regular season plus/minus, career (+450).
Cool trivia: He returns to his hometown in the offseason and owns his own sports bar in Vasteras called, ‘Bars and Stars’.
Everything you need to know about Nick, on NHL36:
Here is FS Sports “Mr. Perfect.” (very funny)