Nicklas Lidstrom’s career was truly historic, and as such he impacted a great number of people in the hockey community, specifically the players. From the opponents he tormented with his excellence, to the teammates who were proud to serve by his side, to the young players who idolized him as they grew up, they were all influenced by Lidstrom’s illustrious career.
Special thanks to @RedWingsFeed for aiding in the finding of several of these quips.
Congrats to Nicklas Lidstrom on an amazing career! One of, if not the greatest D-men of all time #legend
— Nathan Oystrick (@Oystie74) May 31, 2012
Nick Lidstrom was one of the best teammates i ever had! One of the best of all time! Congrats Super Swede you deserve to sit back and relax.
— Jamie Rivers (@JamieRivers08) May 31, 2012
— Mikael Backlund (@mbacklund11) May 31, 2012
— Dave Moss (@djmoss25) May 31, 2012
Lidstrom retires. Must have been a fun career when you're one of the best d-man for all 20 years u play
— Troy Bodie (@TroyBodie) May 31, 2012
— Andrew Ebbett (@aebbett) May 31, 2012
Congrats to nick lidstrom on an incredible career,was a huge thrill to take the ice against him. Was amazing to watch how he carried himself
Lidstrom retires after 20 @NHL seasons and showing the way for other swedes! one of the best of all time, proud to be a swede! thank you
— Jacob Markstrom (@j_markstrom) May 31, 2012
I'm proud to be one of MANY players Nicklas Lidstrom humiliated (twice) over the last 20 yrs. What a career. Nobody earned retirement more.
— Andrew Gordon (@AndrewGordon10) May 31, 2012
I'll never forget the time Nick Lidstrom told me @ center ice, in warm-ups, that he loved reading my tweets. Congrats on a legendary career.
— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) May 31, 2012
Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a great career. Made the game look way too easy. Fun to watch even from the bench…
Congrats Nicklas Lidstrom "Norris" on a stellar NHL career. Easy to say our lives as forwards in the Joe will be much easier now
— Scottie Upshall (@ScottieUpshall) May 31, 2012
I won't miss ya Nick, you're a nightmare to matchup with! But congrats on an incredible career! The game will miss you!
Grattis till Nick Lidstrom på en första omröstning hall of fame karriär. Det var en ära att jaga du runt isen och aldrig fånga du #legend
— Dustin Penner (@Dustinpenner25) May 31, 2012
Lidstrom was a guy every player caught themselves watching in awe mid game. Game's not supposed to be that easy. Was an honor playing vs him
— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) May 31, 2012
What an incredible day in Detroit. My idol as a hockey defenseman
Igor Larionov on Lidstrom: "[Hockey] is not just muscle and toughness, but smarts, & that's what he brought each/every night." Story coming.
— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) May 31, 2012
Congratulation to Nick Lidstrom on a legendary career.. He is the true definition of a role model and it was an honor to play against him
— Kevin Shattenkirk (@shattdeuces) May 31, 2012
Not many athletes can retire while still being one of the best players in the game. Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a great career.
— Logan Couture (@Logancouture) May 30, 2012
Sad to see Nick Lidstrom retire. One of the games all time greats on and off the ice. A guy that everyone can learn from.
— Michael Del Zotto (@MichaelDelZotto) May 30, 2012
Not much needs to be said about Nik Lidstrom, one of the best to ever play…often imitated, never even close to being duplicated #HOF
Patrick Kane once told me about Lidstrom: "It will be a happy day for me when that guy retires." Happy day, Pat.
— Sarah Kwak (@SI_sarahkwak) May 31, 2012
I met Nick Lidstrom at the NHL awards the first time.He treated me like I was up for a major award instead of him class all the way.Congrats
— Kelly Chase (@Chasenpucks39) May 31, 2012
Detroit sports won't be the same without Lidstrom. It's been awesome growing up watching a class guy like him. #PerfectHuman
— Jacob Trouba (@JacobTrouba) May 31, 2012
#Blackhawks' Patrick Sharp on Nicklas Lidstrom: "Every team would be drafting him first overall if they were picking an all-time team."
— Chris Kuc (@ChrisKuc) May 31, 2012
Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a outstanding career! He is an idol of mine and it was an honor to play against him.
Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on his retirement. What a career. Just an unreal person. Way to go Swede.
— Boyd Devereaux (@wakingsound) May 31, 2012
Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on his legendary career. He made it look so easy ever night out there and believe me it's not.. #ClassAct
— Shane O'Brien (@ShaneOBrien55) May 31, 2012
Crazy #5 is retiring. Growing up in Mich, he was my idol and getting to play against him at the Joe, it was hard not to be in awe on the ice
What an amazing career for number 5! Growing up a Redwings fan it was a honor to have played a game vs one of the best to ever play! #HOFer
Nicklas Lidstrom player you could built winning franchise in any era #did it all better than anyone
What a career by one of the worlds best Nick Lidstrom! Was just an honour to be a part of 2 red wings training camps with him! #HOFplayer
— Trevor Parkes (@Tparkes19) May 31, 2012
Congrats to one of my heroes, one of the best to ever play the game! Enjoy your retirement. #NickLidstrom
Never understood how Nick Lidstrom made a hard game look so easy. Congrats on a hall of fame career!
— Devante Smith-Pelly (@smithpelly23) May 31, 2012
— Patrick Dwyer (@pattydwyer39) May 31, 2012
omg Nick Lidstrom can put on a retirement speech . Great player / winner
— Lappy (@dooda1414) May 31, 2012
Hard to imagine watching the Red Wings without Lidstrom. Guy was my idol and still is as a player and person. #playedthegamethebestway
— Steven Kampfer (@SteveKampfer47) May 30, 2012
— Carl Gunnarsson (@carl_gun) May 31, 2012
Seems like it will be a bit easier to play vs the wings next year. What a career he's had! One of the all time greats #5
— Viktor Stalberg (@VStalberg) May 31, 2012
— Craig Anderson (@CraigAnderson41) May 31, 2012
Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a Hall of fame career. Intimidating without ever hitting you… #notimeorspace
It was an honor to play against Lidstrom. He made the game look way to easy. #swedishsilk
Nick Lidstrom. The definition of excellence! What a career. Wish him the best. #HallOfFameASAP
Congrats to Lidstrom on a HOF career! He always carried himself with class and is the ultimate gentleman! #livinglegend
Others offered up quotes to the media.
“Having played with him and watched him closely from his first game in the NHL — people know about it now, but we said it all along — you have to watch him closely to appreciate how good he is, what a great athlete he is, because he makes the position look so easy. He was just a … he is a special athlete.”
“God, I played in the West for 15 years. I would have had a lot more points if I didn’t have to play against that guy. … He’s a wonderful person and guy and leader, we’re gonna miss him. And the worst thing is he could probably be plus-25 by Christmas next year.”
“It’s a real honor to be around someone like that.”
“People buckle under pressure on the ice, but Nick never changed his demeanor. His composure rubbed off on everyone else and we were a better team for it.”
“I heard him swear maybe three of four times in all the years I have known him.And if you think about the game out there and how emotional it can get, that’s just amazing. But that just shows how he always managed to keep his emotions in control.”
“He is the best defenseman I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with and I’ve played with a few good ones. I don’t know if I ever left the rink after a game thinking to myself, Nick just didn’t have it today. He was almost the same every day, the same every day. That is what a great player is. When you’re around that and that’s the kind of guy you have leading your team, it rubs off on you. I think it makes you better.”
“The level of consistency, bangs and bruises, he didn’t miss a lot of games but I assure you he wasn’t feeling 100 percent every time he went out there but he had the ability to work though that and get his level of play. That consistency, to me, being an ex-player, is what really stands out. Being so great so often, I’ve never seen that from any other player.”
“We’ve been getting so spoiled having a guy like that around, being on a team with a guy like that, being on the ice with a guy like that,” Kronwall said. “I think the fans have been getting very spoiled as well. We’ve been taking it for granted, I think, when he’s on the ice, because everything, it’s supposed to be that way. Now he’s not going to be there next year and I think it’s going to take some time for that to really sink in.”
“He had an unbelievable career. Growing up as a young kid I looked up to him. He’s one of the best defensemen in the game. He deserves all the credit he gets and he’s a big reason why the Detroit Red Wings won so many Cups. There were times I’d watch video on him my first year in the league just to kinda see how positionally good he was. Just to learn those kinds of things from him. He’s a real leader and why he’s been their captain for so long.”
“You know you see a lot of guys take big hits, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him take a big hit, he reads plays so well. Him on the power play that’s something that was more of a concern for me. He had a few multi-point games against me I know that for sure. What he did for that Detroit Red Wings organization and the game of hockey is incredible.”
“If there’s anyone that people should want to model themselves after, it would be him.”
“First of all, we’re going to miss him. Putting aside the injuries last year, the guy still played awfully good hockey. After 20 years to continue to perform like he did in his 20th season, in my mind that’s incredible. He was still a superstar, a key player for the team. Off the ice the way he’s handled himself, he’s just class, he’s a classy gentleman. He’s represented our game as well as any payer. To perform the way he did for 20 years, that’s special. That’s a special player.”
“I don’t think there’s any doubt he was the class of our generation on defense. Seven Norris Trophies speaks to that.”
“One of the classiest guys I ever met, and he’s going to go down as one of the very, very best defensemen of all time, no question.”
“The things he has accomplished are remarkable. In my eyes, he’s the best Swedish player we’ve had over here. No offense to Forsberg and Sundin. Just with four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, that says it all, I think.”
“What he has done so far is unique. Hopefully I can look back after my career and see that I’ve done something good like he has.”
“He is my best friend. He took care of me my first year, helped me get a car, a place, showed me the ropes. We had a lot of laughs.”
“I knew this day would come, but I had hoped it would take another few years.”“I’m very grateful for the years we played together. The high point was winning a Stanley Cup together.”
“As great as he was talent-wise and determination and skill and everything else, he was never put in a bad position. Even when he didn’t have the puck he controlled where that puck was going; just so much fun to watch him.”
“Getting a chance to play with him you realize how special he was to this team and the city. Amazing player and amazing person. I’m privileged to have had the chance to play with him.”
If there was any question about the amount of profound impact Lidstrom had on this game, it’s gone now. These are just some of the multitudes of quotes I’m sure you could find hockey players around the world offering up. That’s not to mentioned the coaches, management, staff, media personnel, and fans that have nothing but the nicest words for him. Lidstrom touched us all in one way or another, and the players, just like you and I, will always remember him for it.