On Tuesday afternoon, the Detroit Red Wings announced that Hall-of-Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom was coming home to Hockeytown.
The defenseman accumulated 1,142 regular season points as a member of the Red Wings, and added another 183 in the playoffs. Lidstrom helped the organization capture four Stanley Cups and served as team captain after Yzerman’s retirement in 2006. Now, he’ll look to add to his legacy as a member of Detroit’s impressive front office.
Lidstrom’s Role with the Red Wings
While Lidstrom’s official responsibilities were not included in the team’s initial news release, his introductory press conference did reveal a few details.
“Nick will be involved in all aspects of hockey operations,” Yzerman shared, noting specifically that Lidstrom will serve as a resource for Detroit’s player development function and coaching staff. “I know Nick will add tremendous value to our organization,” Yzerman added.
In addition, Lidstrom will oversee the organization’s defensemen, monitoring their development and providing input as necessary.
“We all want to see the team and the organization make progress, become better, and start making the playoffs again,” Lidstrom stated, adding that the Red Wings have made solid improvement across the board this season. Now, his goal is to “chip in” however he can and help Detroit grow into a perennial threat.
Related: A Tribute to Nicklas Lidstrom
Finally, it should be noted that Lidstrom will remain in Sweden as he starts his new gig. There, he’ll be following Detroit’s European prospects “a little more closely” than the franchise’s North American prospects.
When Lidstrom’s press conference kicked off, it was clear that Yzerman was excited about the hire.
The two began talking about this opportunity at a rather fitting event – Ken Holland’s Hockey Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The conversation continued over the past couple months before Lidstrom agreed to come abroad.
Yzerman noted it was “very important” to bring Lidstrom back into the fold, citing his “tremendous voice of reason” as a player.
Now, Lidstrom will have the opportunity to help Yzerman build the Red Wings back into a contender – whether he’s guiding prospect development or suggesting adjustments to Moritz Seider’s game. Regardless, Lidstrom’s hire is a huge win for Hockeytown.
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Tony Wolak is based in the Washington D.C. area and covers the Detroit Red Wings for THW. As a former junior and college hockey player, Tony has a unique perspective on Red Wings topics.