The Malik Report
After an incredibly busy and emotional week and weekend for Red Wings fans, punctuated by the recently-retired Nicklas Lidstrom being feted by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Friday night and then taking out a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press’s Sunday edition, we spent some time talking about the Wings brass’s organizational meetings, the team’s draft strategy, and, mostly, remembering Lidstrom while preparing for life without him.
Holy crap, per Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji: Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom (and his former employers) bought a full-page advertisement in the Sunday Detroit Free Press to thank fans! And I quote:
A Message from Nick and Annika Lidstrom:
This week, I announced my retirement from the Detroit Red Wings and professional hockey. Annika, our boys and I will be moving back to Sweden to be closer to our extended families. Before we leave, we wanted to express our gratitude to the wonderful people of Metro Detroit for adopting us and making us feel at home for the past 21 years. You made the transition to Detroit, coming from a foreign country and culture, amazingly easy. For this, we are extremely grateful. Detroiters—hockey fans or not—are downright decent and respectable people. Although we were born in Sweden, we have lived half our lives here and raised our boys in this community. We will always cherish our time spent here and are proud to claim that we are also from Detroit.
Nick and Annika Lidstrom
Quickie update: The Red Wings have a picture of the ad, and here it is:
Updated 4x by an insomniac at 6:47 AM: Boy howdy, did the Detroit Free Press pay tribute to Nick…and that plays into the, “How much we’ll miss him” conversation in a big way: The Red Wings’ brass might be beginning their organizational meetings after a long Tigers game this evening, and while we’re not quite sure what their plans are regarding moving on past the second-best defenseman in Red Wings history after Red Kelly (sure, Jerry Green, whatever)...
Starting at what the Wings hope will still be a productive draft and thereafter, regardless of what happens when Niklas Kronwall and some of his teammates begin to attend CBA negotiations, Detroit’s front office will have to move incredibly aggressively and incredibly quickly if they are to ensure that the Wings remain a playoff contender and elite attraction to the Parises and Suters of the world as we move into an era with no Nicklas Motherbleepin’ Lidstrom in the lineup.
Every once in a while, the Detroit News’s Jerry Green probably cracks the arthritis out of his knuckles and pens a column about the Detroit sports scene, offering the perspective of someone who really was an “ink-stained wretch” who likely spent his time hunched over typwriters, chain smoking his way toward beating a deadline.
I respect the hell out of his, “Old school? I’ve literally been there and did it!” perspective (I work for someone like that, and his insights are remarkable), but he is also something of a…Curmudgeon of the Stan Fischler school. So it comes as little surprise that, in discussing the retirements of Detroit Tigers slugger Magglio Ordonez and Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, he compares the Red Wings’ captain to a player who definitely mirrored Lidstrom’s playing style in Red Kelly, and petitioning for Kelly’s #4 to be raised to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena despite his acrimonious split with the team, which is spot-on…
Green insists that Lidstrom paled in comparison to the real McCoy:
In recovering from a sixty-plus hour…Three-day work week…One needs to hear some comforting news as the aches, pains and spring allergies take their toll. I haven’t even had time to truly wrap my head around the fact that Nicklas Lidstrom, my favorite favorite Red Wing, has retired, but, via RedWingsFeed, I’m hearing something that I desperately need to be told right now, more than any hopeful overnight or Saturday afternoon talk about free agency or draft hopes, and definitely more than watching a team that’s not Detroit compete for the Stanley Cup.
Instead, the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke to one of Lidstrom’s successors, Niklas Kronwall, about the concept of the Red Wings’ opportunity to begin the post-Lidstrom era, period, as the CBA is set to expire in September. Kronwall has represented the team as its NHLPA representative, and he at least believes that we’re not likely to have to endure another lockout, at least if the players have any say in the proceedings. Is he worried?
The Wings may not have a 1st round draft pick thanks to the Kyle Quincey deal, but the Wings still have six picks (starting with the 49th overall pick and continuing with the 20th pick in the 3rd through 7th rounds), and their amateur scouts have every intention of making hay despite their predictably limited and low-round resources.
Updated 3x with free agency scuttlebutt at 1:45 PM: As noted this morning, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom received quite the feting at last night’s Red Hot Chili Peppers concert, and as RedWingsFeed points out, Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith is something of a Wings fan.
If you’re willing to deal with some audio blips and a significant number of f-bombs from Smith, Ology.com’s Brett Warner found a lovely little cell phone clip taken by Dominic the Al Katib of Nicklas Mother****ing Lidstrom being introduced by Smith and speaking to the crowd at the Joe:
Red Wings overnight report: Nicklas Lidstrom’s Tiger/Chili Pepper evening, and calm before the storm
Perhaps for the first time in his career, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom received the full celebrity treatment on Friday night. Lidstrom began his evening by delivering the Tigers’ lineup to some photo-happy umpires (per the Free Press’s Julian Gonzalez’s gallery) prior to the Tigers-Yankees game, of course flanked by one Tomas Holmstrom...
One more: Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji launches into a lovely column about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s genuine humility and all-out-niceness, which perhaps proves that, occasionally, nice guys do finish first, with the following…
Having covered sports for almost 17 years in Detroit, I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing some of the top athletes, coaches, managers and general managers in the four major sports and in college sports as well.
Many of them are down-to-earth, humble, kind people. Others are, well, a little more enthralled with themselves than they should be.
Lidstrom is, without question, the most patient, generous and down-to-earth of all of them, especially when you consider all of his accomplishments.
Very few professional athletes win four championships, a playoff MVP, Olympic gold, a world championship, seven trophies for being the best at his position, and make 12 All-Star teams. Lidstrom did all of that and more and never seemed to read his own press clippings, as the saying goes.
And then she speaks to Danny Cleary, Kris Draper and Chris Chelios about Lidstrom, recalls her own attempts to give Lidstrom a “plug,” and…Reminds us all that we are losing someone who was everything we wanted him to be, and more, simply because he was himself.
Updated 3x with an Albom interview at 8:37 PM: I’ve posted a ridiculous amount of Lidstrom multimedia today, never mind over the past two or three days, but Hockey Webcast on YouTube did a fantastic job of combining TSN’s tribute to the Red Wings’ captain and a video from the Wings that…Well, it makes me cry:
I’ve been covering “my” captain’s retirement for about 45-50 of the last sixty-some hours, so I’m going to have a quiet evening…And yes, he really did tell 97.1 the Ticket’s Stoney, Bill and Sara that when people call him “LinDstrom,” it doesn’t bother him. Not here and not in Sweden.
Give the interview fom the Ticket a listen. What’s he going to miss the most about Metro Detroit? Well, you’ll have to find out for yourself, but it’s pretty remarkable:
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.