Nicklas Lidstrom wanted to wear No. 9 when he started career with Red Wings

Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom said that he asked to wear No. 9 when he came to Detroit as a rookie in 1991, not knowing that had been Gordie Howe's number.

Nicklas Lidstrom retired at the end of the 2011-12 season after 20 years with the Detroit Red Wings, but when he first came to Detroit in 1991 he asked to wear No. 9. The Detroit Red Wings retired No. 9 in honor of Gordie Howe who played with the team from 1946 through 1971 and is an NHL legend.

Coming from Sweden, Lidstrom didn't know Mr. Hockey's No. 9 was retired in Detroit, and he settled for No. 5 instead. After his 20 seasons, Lidstrom made his own legend in Detroit and his No. 5 will surely be in the rafters along with Howe and the five other retired Red Wings numbers. The other Red Wings in the rafters are Sid Abel (No. 12), Ted Lindsay (No. 7), Alex Delvecchio (No. 10), Terry Sawchuk (No. 1), and Steve Yzerman (No. 19).

Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy seven times as the NHL's top defenseman and helped lead the Red Wings to four Stanley Cups during his time in Detroit.

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