Detroit Red Wings veteran Nicklas Lidstrom expected to announce retirement
Hockey Captain just finished 20th season with Detroit
The Detroit Red Wings have scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.
Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland and Captain Nicklas Lidstrom will address the media. Sources say Lidstrom will announce his retirement.
Lidstrom just finished his 20th season with the Red Wings. He is a 7-time Norris Trophy winner and 4-time Stanley Cup winner. He has 1,142 points in 1,564 NHL games, all of which have been with the Red Wings.
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Rumors of his retirement have been swirling in recent seasons. The 42-year-old Sweden-native said he would make a decision in the offseason.
Niklas Kronwall was the only Red Wings defenseman to have more points than Lidstrom this past season. Kronwall's 36 points put him two ahead of the veteran Lidstrom who had 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points. Lidstrom finished the season with a +21 plus/minus rating.
He has never missed the playoffs.
Watch: Novi honors Lidstrom with street name
He signed a one-year, $6.2 million contract with the team in June 2011.
Watch: Lidstrom in 1991 interview
Watch: Steve Yzerman talks about former teammate Lidstrom
The team did not specify what would be addressed during Thursday's conference, but sources tell Local 4 it will be to announce the veteran's retirement.
Lidstrom was low draft pick in 1989
The 1989 NHL draft class will go down as one of the most notable. It included players such as Mats Sundin, Sergei Fedorov, Pavel Bure, Vladimir Konstantinov and many more NHL standouts.
Lidstrom was selected 53rd overall in the third round by Detroit. The Wings passed up a lot of Canadian and American players for the tall, slim Swede.
They wouldn't have to wait long for Lidstrom to shine. He scored 11 goals and 49 assists in his 1991-92 rookie season and led all Red Wings defensemen with 60 points.
Detroit dug even deeper in the 1989 draft as they selected Fedorov 74th overall and Konstantinov 221st overall.
The low draft picks with big impact would become a trend for the Wings in the following decade.
Lidstrom as captain of Red Wings
Lidstrom was the first European captain to lead the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup championship (2008). He had big skates to fill when Steve Yzerman retired in 2006 after 20 seasons with the C.
Yzerman replaced Danny Gare who was captain for a few years in the 80s. Before Gare, there was a plethora of players who wore the C for Detroit between 1974 and 1982, including Danny Grant and Dennis Hextall.
Alex Delvecchio was captain from 1962 to 1974. He was the longest-serving Red Wings captain until Yzerman came to town.
The question is who will replace Lidstrom when he leaves? The current alternates are Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall.
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Nicklas Lidstrom's career statistics: