Detroit fans will have to wait a little longer before No. 5 goes to the rafters.
That’s what Red Wings GM Ken Holland said on Wednesday, telling the Detroit Free Press that Nicklas Lidstrom’s number won’t be retired this season, largely because of the condensed 48-game schedule.
“We want to have a night for Nick like we did for Steve Yzerman,” Holland said. “To try to put everything together in six weeks — we’re trying to get the business back up and running.
“It’s a big deal to retire Nick’s number. We want to do it right.”
Lidstrom’s list of accomplishments and accolades is so long and well known — yeah, not even going to bother listing them here. It’s actually more telling that Detroit is waiting to plan something Yzerman-esque.
When the Wings retired No. 19 in 2007, it was a gala affair. The ceremony lasted one-and-a-half hours — the Yzerman family received a trip to Austria and a Chevrolet Tahoe and both the Michigan Governor and Detroit Mayor anointed separate “Steve Yzerman Days.”
Yzerman was also given a key to the city and saw the intersection outside of Joe Louis Arena re-named “Yzerman Drive.”
When Lidstrom’s No. 5 goes go to the rafters, it’ll be joining some pretty elite company. The Red Wings have only retired seven jerseys in franchise history: Gordie Howe’s No. 9, Ted Lindsay’s No. 7, Terry Sawchuck’s No. 1, Alex Delvecchio’s No. 10, Sid Abel’s No. 12 and Yzerman’s No. 19.