Team owner Mike Illitch called today, “one of the most emotional days in Red Wings history.” He called Lidstrom “a Rock of Gibraltar” and marveled that, for 20 years, there never was an off-ice misstep, never an embarrassment and he always was the epitome of class. “There were no variations,” Ilitch said.It is for this reason, among others, that Lidstrom is jokingly referred to as “The Perfect Human.” His stellar career, all with the Red Wings, includes 20 straight playoff apperances, 4 Stanley Cups, 7 Norris Trophies (for best defenseman), 1 Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP, and 11 NHL All-Star game appearances. And oh, yeah, a gold medal too.
How good was Lidstrom? Seven Norris Trophies for best defenseman. Four Stanley Cups. An Olympic gold. A world championship.For Red Wings GM Ken Holland and coach Mike Babcock, the future looms large.
How good? On the 2002 Red Wings, maybe the greatest group of talent ever assembled on one roster, he was the guy who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs.
How good? In his first season, as a rookie, he played 80 games; it was like he sprung from the womb as an All-Star.
How good? Until this season, he never played fewer than 76 games in a full regular season. And six times he played every game.
How good? When Steve Yzerman was at his peak, he would constantly refer to Lidstrom as "the best player on the team."
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