Nicklas Lidstrom was honoured on March 6th in Detroit with his famed No. 5 jersey being retired by the original six franchise. Lidstrom is the first defenceman to have his jersey retired by the Red Wings. He joins six other famed Red Wings: Gordie Howe’s No. 9, Steve Yzerman’s No. 19, Ted Lindsay’s No. 7, Terry Sawchuk’s No. 1, Alex Delvecchio’s No. 10, and Sid Abel’s No. 12.
Lidstrom was drafted in the third round (53rd overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft and amassed 1,142 points on 264 goals and 878 assists in 1,564 games. The trophy case includes 7 Norris Trophies, 1 Conn Smythe Trophy, and 4 Stanley Cups. Other career marks:
- Ranks 2nd all-time in Red Wing history in GP and 4th in points
- First European born Captain to win a Stanley Cup
- First European born player to win Conn Smythe Trophy
- NHL All-Rookie Team (1992)
- NHL First All-Star Team – 10 – (1998-2003, 2006-2008, 2011)
- NHL Second All-Star Team – 2 – (2009-2010)
- James Norris Memorial Trophy – 7 – (2001-2003, 2006-2008, 2011)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (2002)
- Olympic All-Star Team and Gold Medal (2006)
- Played in the Olympics – 4 – (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010)
- Played in NHL All-Star Game – 11 – (1996, 1998-2004, 2007-2008, 2011)
- Stanley Cup Winner – 4 – (1997-1998, 2002, 2008) (2008 as captain)
The one stat that is so amazing to me is that in 20 seasons he was a minus player only one time in 2010-2011. His total plus-minus for his entire career is a plus 450. I read during the 2010-2011 campaign that Lidstrom was upset that he was a minus player. This shows how much Lidstrom put into his game and how proud of player he was.
The story of how No. 5 came to be is very funny actually especially for a Red Wing historian. When Lidstrom signed his first contract with the Red Wings he didn’t know much about the team coming from Sweden. Basically he knew that Steve Yzerman was the captain and played in Detroit a long time. The trainer asked Lidstrom what number he would like and Lidstrom said, “I wore No. 9 in Sweden and it’d be great to be No. 9 again.” The trainer said, “Kid, that just ain’t gonna happen.” So he just took whatever number was given to him and that is how he became No. 5.
Next stop the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The K2LFGM Team