Written by my intern Reka Quinney the “Sports Diva”
The Joe was filled last night as the seventh jersey was added to the great legacy of the Detroit Red Wing franchise. As fans looked on, No. 5 was raised to the rafters to honor perhaps the greatest Defensemen of our era, Nicklas Lidstrom.
Becoming a Red Wing in 1991 and retiring in 2012, Lidstrom continued to show the same characteristics that made him a great captain, teammate, player and mentor during the heartfelt ceremony in The Joe.
With so many great things to say about him, people like current coach Mike Babcock, GM Ken Holland and President, and Chris Ilitch (son of the owners Mike and Marian Ilitch) took time to speak about Lidstrom’s accomplishments and show their appreciation for his dedication to the team and city.
Over his 20 year career as a Red Wing, Lidstrom always aimed to be the best. Some of his many accolades include never allowing the Red Wings to miss the playoffs, playing in over 1500 games (2nd player to do so in history), including 263 playoff games (2nd player to do so in history), being honored several times as the best defensemen of a season, maintaining a captain’s position until his retirement and most importantly, becoming a four-time champion as a Red Wing.
It’s no wonder Chris Ilitch referred to him as both the “Perfect Human” and the “Perfect Red Wing.”
During the ceremony, the administration provided Lidstrom and his family with several gifts of appreciation, one of which was presented by current Red Wing captain Henrik Zetterberg, and assistant captains Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall. After all of the kind, inspiring words and actions by all those who support the organization and his career, he finally had the opportunity to share his own appreciation. Being a man of great respect and honor, he took the time to thank all those that helped him maintain such a great career like the coaches, management and former teammates, but most of all, the fans.
The most powerful statement he made before watching his jersey rise into the rafters was that “It’s not like winning a trophy for a successful season or playoff or winning an individual trophy… It’s something different, it’s about being a Detroit Red Wing.”
I absolutely agree, CONGRATUALTIONS Nicklas Lidstrom!! Thank you for a great career and many wonderful seasons as a Red Wing. We love you forever!!