As expected, Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom officially announced his retirement this morning in Detroit. The 42-year-old defenseman said his “drive and motivation are not where they need to be” to keep playing in the NHL, and that his skills have diminished.
“I didn’t want to lose that level of play that I have reached and that’s why I’m retiring today,” he said.
“Retiring today allows me to walk away from the game with pride, rather than have the game walk away from me.”
An emotional Lidstrom thanked everyone from ownership to management to coaches to players to team personnel to the media to arena ushers to fans and his family.
Said team owner Mike Ilitch: “It’s one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history with Nick retiring and all you people showing your respect for such a high-quality individual.”
Added general manager Ken Holland: “In my opinion he’s the best two-way defenseman to ever play the game. He’s the type of player that comes along once in a generation.”
Holland later referred to Lidstrom as the “most valuable player of his era.”
More notes and quotes:
— Lidstrom and his family will move back to Sweden, though he says he’d like to remain with the club in some capacity.
— When asked who might take over as Red Wings captain, he mentioned Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula.
— Ilitch: “Nick has been a Rock of Gibraltar. A solid leader. The word ‘perfect’ comes up.”
— Teammate Todd Bertuzzi: “It’s going to be a very different locker room. It’s going to look weird without Nick.”
Watch the full press conference below:
Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.
Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.
Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.
The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.
It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.
Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.
That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.
“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”
Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.
“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.
“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”
Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.
As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.
He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.
His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.
Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.