Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has called it a career. As speculated on Wednesday, Lidstrom announced during a Thursday morning press conference at Joe Louis Arena that he is retiring from the sport of hockey.
Lidstrom is going out on his own terms and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies and a Conn Smythe Trophy -- all with the Red Wings. He also won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics for Sweden. He is a surefire Hall of Famer and will without a doubt be the final player to wear the No. 5 jersey for the Red Wings.
Lidstrom's career comes to a close after 1,564 games in the regular season and another 263 more in the playoffs. He recorded 264 goals and 878 assists for a total of 1,142 regular-season points. In the playoffs, he had 54 goals and 129 assists for a total of 183 points. Amazingly, he went to the playoffs in all 20 seasons of his career.
As good as Lidstrom was on the ice, he was even better off of it. He has been a role model throughout his career and is somebody all people -- not just hockey players -- can look up to. There's a reason his nickname is "The Perfect Human," as he exemplified what it meant to be a great player and a great person during his 20 seasons with the Red Wings.