Nicklas Lidstrom, a seven-time winner of the trophy for the National Hockey League’s best defenseman, retired after 20 years and four Stanley Cup titles with the Detroit Red Wings.
Lidstrom’s seven Norris Trophy awards between 2000-01 and 2010-11 are one shy of the record held by Bobby Orr. The 42-year-old defenseman played on Stanley Cup championship teams in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player in the playoffs in 2002.
“I played with some great teammates over the years that have been great friends as well and that’s the best a player can hope for,” Lidstrom said at a news conference, naming former Red Wings such as Steve Yzerman, Brendan Shanahan, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Dominik Hasek and Sergei Fedorov.
“They taught me a lot of things that I think you need to get to the level I wanted to be,” he added. “You need to have good teammates around you and they’ve been that.”
Lidstrom was taken by the Red Wings with the 53rd pick in the 1989 draft. He went on to play in 1,564 regular-season games for Detroit, accumulating 264 goals and 1,142 points, while recording 514 penalty minutes, and made 11 All-Star appearances from 1996 through 2011.
This season, he had 11 goals and 34 points with 28 penalty minutes in 70 games. The Red Wings lost to the Nashville Predators in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
Playing for Sweden, Lidstrom won a gold medal at the 1991 World Championships and a bronze medal at the 1994 tournament. He represented his country in four Olympics and scored the gold medal-winning goal against Finland in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.