Nick Lidstrom

Nick Lidstrom thanks Wings fans with full-page newspaper ad


When a player retires after playing their entire career in one city, they’ve often got a lot to be thankful for. Nicklas Lidstrom is no different and he decided to take out a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press to express his gratitude.

The message he shared for the fans was pretty simple.


Somewhere there are Bruins fans wishing Tim Thomas had the same savvy Nicklas Lidstrom has when it comes to saying good-bye.


Bettman releases statement on Lidstrom’s retirement

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The Detroit Red Wings will miss Nicklas Lidstrom the most now that he decided to hang up his skates, but the NHL at a whole loses one of its biggest stars. Commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement about Lidstrom’s departure.

“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,” Bettman said. “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.”

Bettman didn’t add “All that aside, pretty please come back?” but some of us wish he did.

With Lidstrom gone, Zetterberg likely to be Detroit’s next captain


Few job titles change with less frequency than captain of the Detroit Red Wings.

In the last 26 years, only two players have worn the “C” above the Winged Wheel — Steve Yzerman and the recently-retired Nicklas Lidstrom. As such, there’s great curiosity on who’ll become just the third Detroit captain since 1986.

Well, there’s curiosity and a pretty popular choice: Henrik Zetterberg.

Zetterberg — along with Niklas Kronwall and Valtteri Filppula — were three of the guys pegged by Lidstrom when asked about who would replace him as captain during his retirement presser.

That proclamation was followed by a number of folks on Twitter saying “Zata” is the man:

Bob Wojnowski, Detroit News: “Nick Lidstrom retires, and it’s pretty obviously who the Wings’ next captain will be…Henrik Zetterberg. He’s absolutely ready for it.”

Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press: “Bank on Henrik Zetterberg being named the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings.”

Dan Fenner, Oakland Press: “Lidstrom cites Zetterberg’s leadership first among his teammates. there’s your next captain, folks. As if there was any doubt.”

Dave Stubbs, Montreal Gazette: “Zetterberg is a big talent but he’ll need HUGE feet to fill Lidstrom’s skates if he’s named Red Wings captain as expected.”

Tom Leyden, WXYZ Detroit: “Babcock said next captain is no brainier. Cleary said Zetterberg will be fantastic captain. You connect the dots.”

Zetterberg is currently one of three Wings — along with Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk — serving as alternate captains. If he ascends to the full captaincy, he’ll become one of just three Swedish captains in the NHL, along with Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson (who is mulling retirement himself) and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.

Rob Blake: Selanne and Lidstrom have earned the right to skip All-Star Game


Monday we linked to a column in the Ottawa Citizen that suggested 41-year-old future Hall-of-Famers Teemu Selanne and Nicklas Lidstrom were breaching their duty to show up for the All-Star Game on Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place.

Suffice to say the column wouldn’t have had the support of Rob Blake, the former NHL all-star, now working for the league, who’s intimately involved in the selection process.

“There’s only a few (players) each year that have earned that right and those two guys have definitely represented the league a number of times and been outstanding players,” Blake told the Canadian Press. “A lot goes into how they’re feeling for their run down the stretch. You obviously want them to be ready for their team especially — a guy like Nick Lidstrom is continuously in conference finals and Stanley Cup finals, the amount of games he plays. …

“Those two guys have earned more respect from their years of service in the league.”

Of course, the respect they’ve earned is the reason fans who buy tickets to the All-Star Game want to see them. So it’s a bit of a double-edged sword for guys like Lidstrom and Selanne. They’re so well-liked that they’re constantly being pulled in opposite directions. And since they can’t be in two places at the same time, they’re bound to upset somebody and end up feeling guilty.

Meanwhile, disliked people get to stay home alone, watching TV like kings.

NHL Extra: Watch Red Wings-Coyotes online with us

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Today’s Game 2 between Detroit and Phoenix from Joe Louis Arena in Detroit is a pivotal game for the Coyotes if they want to head back to the desert not down in a 2-0 hole they’ll need to be sharper than they were in Game 1.

Today’s game also has the fun and games attached to it concerning the flying cephalopods. Numerous octopi hit the ice before the start of Game 1 and again after the Wings scored in the second period leading to a potential octopus crackdown at Joe Louis Arena. If you’re not stopping in today for the hockey, you can at least stop in for the sushi.

We’ll be chatting during the game and answering your questions during NHL Extra as you can watch along with us online starting at 1 p.m.

Do the Coyotes have what it takes to tie up the series with Ilya Bryzgalov in net or do Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom have all the answers once again? We’ll find out this afternoon.