The Malik Report
Over the course of approximately 2,100 words, the Detroit Red Wings’ course as a franchise and a sports team whose players are beloved by millions of fans changed, and changed forever as Nicklas Lidstrom—who played the final games of his career on a broken ankle—thanked nearly fifty people as he officially retired from hockey.
The Detroit media and “out-of-towners” weighed in en masse, and many of them spoke to Lidstrom, over the course of Wednesday afternoon and evening, and while the Chairman’s feting and the comments made by Nicklas Lidstrom’s best friend, Tomas Holmstrom, were equally sincere, Thursday was still a sad day for Wings fans everywhere…
This was found and posted in an evening post about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, but on a day that marks the end of an era—and the beginning of a mourning period for Red Wings fans as Nicklas Lidstrom has chosen to retire—Tomas Holmstrom spoke to the Windsor Star’s Dave Waddell and the Wings’ media corps for five minutes, and while he may be repeating Lidstrom’s presser in a few weeks, something tells me there will be tears…
And lots of laughter. Watch Homer and smile, folks, because Red Wings Nation’s faces have been too long today, my own included:
Update: Thankfully, the London Free Press’s Morris Dalla Costa was nearby:
Updated w/ Lidstrom’s pal/coach talking to Aftonbladet at 11:35 PM: As I look at the first couple of sites in my bookmarks and their level of Nicklas Lidstrom retirement coverage…All I can say is this: the local angle was hard enough to cover, and Lidstrom’s statement was much harder to read than the Chairman’s...
But by Nicklas Lidstrom’s slap shot, there is no way in hell that any one—or three—people could both cover and summarize all the tributes that are pouring in regarding the Red Wings’ captain. It’d take until Saturday (and no, I have no idea what I’m gonna do about the Swedish stuff…Please let me know what you need coverage-wise as it’s going to be equally “silly”).
I heard Ken Holland mention this in passing during several interviews I’m cobbling together at present, and, thankfully, MLive’s Ansar Khan is confirming it:
Ken Holland, incidentally, confirmed today that Lidstrom had a hairline fracture in his ankle, not just a deep bone bruise. (cont.)
But the injury had no bearing on Lidstrom’s decision. The ankle would have been fine if he wanted to play next season.
Updated at 6:46 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, NHL.com did post Lidstrom speaking on NHL Live: Here is what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has to say about Nicklas Lidstrom:
COMMISSIONER BETTMAN STATEMENT ON THE RETIREMENT OF NICKLAS LIDSTROM
NEW YORK (May 31, 2012) – Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the retirement of Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom:
“Nick Lidstrom’s trademarks were his respect for hockey, his humanity and his commitment to his craft—as well as his devotion to the highest standards of success. For so many seasons, Nick gave the very best to his team, his city and his League; as he moves on to the next stage of his life, we wish the very same for him and his family.”
I’m not sure whether Lidstrom’s appearance on NHL Live will be posted outside of its “podcast,” but here is Lidstrom speaking to NHL Live after his retirement:
After summarizing the local takes on Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, many videos included, I was kinda staggered to find this from DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, and I’m thrilled in a way that this post literally could not fit in because I ran out of room:
Here is Lidstrom’s entire statement to the press, per DetroitRedWings.com’s Roose:
“I’d like to thank everyone for coming today, for coming down to the Joe Louis Arena for this announcement. Today, after 20 seasons as a player for the Detroit Red Wings, I am announcing my retirement. Before I get into thanking everyone, I’d like to make a few comments about retirement.
“At some point in time, it catches up to everyone, it diminishes their ability to perform some things you love and care about passionately. It comes to an end sooner than what you would have liked. The last few years, I waited until after the season was over to assess my ability to play another year. I need to let a few weeks go by to get a reading on my body’s ability to recover from the grind of an NHL season. Sadly, this year it’s painfully obvious to me that my strength and energy levels are not rebounding enough for me to continue to play. My drive and motivation are not where they need to be to play at this level. That’s why I feel like it’s time to retire.
Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired this morning, and while the presser was overwhelming, Lidstrom will appear on NHL Live at 6 PM, this afternoon’s Mitch Albom and Stoney and Bill shows, and it’s time to move on as well:
Here’s an in-progress summary of the Detroit-area media outlets’ takes on Lidstrom’s retirement, on a source-by-source basis.
Fox 2: WJBK posted a confirmation of Lidstrom’s retirement…
Jeebus monkey, I never thought I’d post a blog post about this, but…I said this on Twitter this morning, and I was right: my father passed away suddenly, I’ve had two major surgeries, battled depression and anxiety all my life, and today…Ranks up there with the hardest days of my life. Nicklas Lidstrom was my favorite red Wing, someone who came into the league the same year I began following hockey, and to lose that presence, to know that he’s going back to Sweden in a few weeks, to stay…
The presser is available via this post, as are several comments made by Lidstrom and the Wings’ brass, and you can watch the entire presser here:
I may be a semi-professional blogger, but you’re reading a Wings fan’s words here, and instead of covering the news stories in an as-they-come-in basis for the next two hours?
Thursday morning, Lidstrom, who played in 1,827 games, including the playoffs, made the announcement, which stakeholders in Hockeytown knew would eventually come, but were hoping it wouldn’t be so soon.
The most decorated defenseman of his era, Lidstrom, who appeared in 12 All-Star games and won his first Norris Trophy at age 31, has decided to retire instead of returning to the Wings for a 21st season.
Last month, after the Wings were eliminated by Nashville in the Western Conference quarterfinals, Lidstrom said that the toughest thing about coming back next season was getting motivated to make the necessary commitment to the off-ice workouts in the off-season.
“I know what I have to do to get ready for a long year,” said Lidstrom, who has been team captain since 2006. “I’m not willing to sacrifice that to have a good summer or take it easy. I know what I have to do and it’s a grind to go through, which all of us do in here. Then you hit the grind of (the) season. It’s a long year. You play 3-4 games every week for over six months and that takes its toll on you too.”
As Lidstrom said in Swedish, and in English at his presser, the motivation was lacking, and he wasn’t going to cheat himself, or his teammates, by doing anything less than playing at 100% percent.
To quote the AP’s Larry Lage:
“My drive and motivation are not where to need to be to play at this level,” Nicklas Lidstrom said, retiring after 20 #NHL seasons in the D
From the Wings:
The Red Wings have posted a link to their presser regarding Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement announcement, and I’ll embed the video shortly.
Fox Sports Detroit, WXYZ, the Free Press, Detroit News, Fox 2 and other outlets are carrying this, as are the NHL Network, NHL.com, TSN and Sportsnet.
Update: Here’s Sportsnet’s feed:
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.