The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/25/14 at 11:57 AM ET
Prior to the Bronze Medal game, former Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, forward Steve Yzerman (in absentia; Hockey Canada's Bob Nicholson accepted the honor on Yzerman's behalf) and former Wing Ruslan Salei were inducted into the IIHF's Hall of Fame. IIHF.com's John Sanful took note of Lidstrom's remarks about the honor bestowed upon him...
Niklas Lidstrom was introduced as a player with the “presence, mind, shot and touch” and someone who was among the greatest defenceman in history, if not the greatest. Lidstrom remembers growing up in Sweden he aspired to play for the national team and that through hard work, persistence and dedication he was able to do so on multiple occasions and lead Tre Kronor to gold.
“I didn’t play that many World Championships. I played three of them, and one I came in late in the tournament. I played in four Olympics, and we had both ups and downs in those events. Being a Red Wing for 20 years is hard to top, but any time you get to represent your country, that means so much, especially winning a gold medal for Team Sweden in 2006. That was one of the top moments in my career.”
He also thanked his parents for their sacrifice in helping him to obtain his dream and current Swedish head coach Per Marts whom he said was instrumental in his development from the ages of 16 to 21.
As well as the fact that Salei was inducted in his hometown:
The emotional moment of the ceremony came when the widow of Ruslan Salei, Bethann, and their children spoke via video feed. Salei perished along with his Lokomotiv Yaroslavl teammates in the fateful crash that rocked the international hockey community in 2011.
Bethann Salei spoke of the sacrifice that her husband made for the game he loved so much. Salei’s mother and brother were in attendance.
“I think it’s great that he gets recognized here in his home country,” Lidstrom said of his former teammate with the Red Wings. “He had a great career. He was a great teammate when he played with me in Detroit for one season. He was a great family man, and that plane crash... we miss him dearly and the rest of the guys who went down with it.”
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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.