That was a difficult presser to watch, wasn’t it? This situation is, for me, significantly different from the retirement of The Captain. With Nick, you’ve got a guy who is still extremely effective versus a great leader whose on-ice ability was considerably diminished.
The greedy Wings fan typing this selfishly wants Lidstrom to play out the string rather than bow out while he’s still recognizably Nicklas Lidstrom.
But I am conflicted: we always knew this is what would happen. He weighed himself against his own standard and found himself wanting. And because it’s that standard that sets him apart, I’m going to do my best to suppress the greed and just be thankful that I was able to watch Nick play for so long.
It’s the end of an NHL epoch—the NHL today is a different beast because of Nick Lidstrom and his influence. As much of a hit as this is, the game going forward will bear the marks of this career.
It means a huge change for the Wings, who have ordered themselves around Nick for years, and who now have to find a way to adapt to a new reality. Whether or not they can bring in help from the outside, the challenge is huge and it’s likely going to mean a bumpy change in system and standards.
This truly is now the team of the younger generation—likely next captain Henrik Zetterberg and guys like Pavel Datsyuk, Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall will take on a heavy leadership mantle decorated by two of the organization’s best ever. What will their legacy be?
Thanks for everything, Nick. We’ll miss you.