I know it’s the question on everyone’s mind: Who will be the next
Nicklas Lidstrom once Nicklas Lidstrom retires. It’s a pressing issue,
And some big shoes to fill for whoever it is does take
that spot. Lidstrom is arguably the best NHL player of the past 15 years
and his leadership and scoring ability are still best in the league,
although he may be reaching the end of his career. One player that is
comparable to a young Nick Lidstrom is Chicago’s Duncan Keith, and
Lidstrom had some high praise for the young defenseman.
a lot better skater than I am, a lot faster, a lot quicker on his
skates,” said Lidstrom, who had a goal and assist Sunday. “We’ve faced
him a lot the last few years and he’s really been improving both
offensively and defensively. He’s a matchup ‘D,’ plays against the top
line all the time, but he still produces points.”
numbers are certainly comparable. The past three seasons Keith has
improved on his point total and has destroyed his career high already
this season with 13 goals and 46 assists. Lidstrom throughout his career
has consistently scored between 55 and 70 points and has never had a
negative plus/minus rating in his career.
The Keith is able to put
up that amount of points while maintaining his stance as a shut-down
defenseman is certainly impressive, and it’s something that Lidstrom has
personified his entire career.
Keith has a very long way to go
before he reaches anything resembling the status that Lidstrom has
achieved. Heck, Lidstrom wasn’t “Lidstrom the greatest defenseman of the
modern age” until at least six or seven seasons into his career.
There’s still time, yet.