The Malik Report
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:
Updated with an interview with Kris Draper at 10:13 AM: From Adrain Dater’s conversation with Scotty Bowman about one Nicklas Lidstrom to news about the Toledo Walleye’s 2012-2013 schedule, newly-signed Red Wings prospect Calle Jarnkrok’s agent, Christian Sjogren, telling Expressen’s Peter Ohrling that his client will probably live at Henrik Zetterberg’s house when he finally joins the Wings two seasons form now—Update: Sjogren also told Arbertarbladet’s Magnus Hager Born that Jarnkrok’s contract is worth $900K at the NHL level and came with a $900K signing bonus—a rough translation of what Elizabeth Datsyuk said about her dad from Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov (edit/update: check out Dmitry Chesnokov’s translation thereof)...
I figured it would happen this way: Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom has been given a wide berth by the local press corps, but when Expressen’s Gunnar Nordstrom called him, Lidstrom wouldn’t fib as to why he’s retiring:
Lidstrom: I’ve had a great career
Los Angeles. It was the drive and motivation that was lost. It is, therefore, why Nicklas Lidstrom, 42, made the decision to quit.
He reveals this in an exclusive interview to Sport-Expressen, before today’s press conference in Detroit, where the decision becomes official. This summer, “Lidas” will move home to Sweden with his family.
As Sportsline’s Brian Stubits duly noted, Red Wings Nicklas Lidstrom remains ever the polite captain, even in choosing to position the Red Wings to pursue free agents and trades to help fill the gaping hole he’ll leave in Detroit’s defense and the hearts of Red Wings fans, maybe to an extent that the Wings have never been as aggressive before: Lidstrom made sure to choose to hold his presser during the first of two days between Stanley Cup Final games, giving the league more than enough time to shift its focus back to the New Jersey Devils-Los Angeles Kings series and giving the flock of reports that will show up at Joe Louis Arena this morning at 11 enough time to shuffle back to Newark for Game 2 on Saturday.
Here’s a brief survey of what the rest of the NHL has to say about Lidstrom’s retirement, which the Wings’ press corps will undoubtedly continue to focus upon in the days, weeks and months to come, starting with videos from NHL.com:
Updated with captaincy talk at 8:15 AM: The news is still staggering, like a punch to the gut and heart at the same time: at 11 AM today, the Red Wings will hold a press conference to announce Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement, and it will air on DetroitRedWings.com, the NHL Network, DetNews.com and FoxSportsDetroit.com (update: TSN and Sportsnet will air it as well).
We don’t yet know whether family issues, a lack of drive to engage in off-season training, simply deciding that, like Steve Yzerman some six years ago, the time was right to step away and encourage the team to transition toward its next generation, fears of a lockout or Lidstrom’s encounter with mortality and an inability to turn away from checks thanks to that damn bouncing puck that hit his right ankle and left a severe bone bruise constitute the reasons why he’s leaving, but Wings fans everywhere understand that Lidstrom’s decision to retire marks the end of the line for one of the best Red Wings to ever suit up for the team, and one of the best defensemen in NHL history.
Here’s what the Wings’ beat writers and Detroit press have had to say about Lidstrom’s retirement, in site-by-site order, starting with MLive’s Ansar Khan’s report about the presser:
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