Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman today announced that the team has hired Nicklas Lidstrom as vice president of hockey operations.
One of the most decorated players in NHL history, Lidstrom, 51, will be involved in all aspects of hockey operations for the Red Wings in his new role. Lidstrom spent his entire 20-season NHL career with Detroit, joining the organization as a third-round draft pick (53rd overall) in the 1989 NHL Entry Draft, debuting for the team during the 1991-92 season and serving as the team’s captain in his final six seasons with the team (2006-12) before retiring on May 31, 2012. Lidstrom’s No. 5 jersey was retired by the organization during the 2013-14 campaign, and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 in his first year of eligibility.
Lidstrom’s on-ice accomplishments are headlined by four Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008, the last of which made him the first European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup. He still ranks as the highest-scoring defenseman in franchise history, amassing 1,142 points (264-878-1,142) in 1,564 career games, while sitting second among players at any position in Red Wings history in playoff production, with 183 points (54-129-183) in 263 contests — which stands as the NHL record for postseason games played for a single franchise. The Red Wings qualified for the playoffs in each of Lidstrom’s 20 seasons, making him one of just two players (Larry Robinson) in NHL history to play in at least 20 seasons and never miss the playoffs. He was also awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most-valuable player in the playoffs in 2002.
Lidstrom became the first European-born and trained player to win the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman and went on to claim the trophy on six more occasions (2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011). He was named to the NHL All-Star Game in 12 seasons and finished on the NHL’s First All-Star Team 10 times and on the Second All-Star Team twice. Lidstrom produced at least 60 points in nine of his seasons with Detroit and holds single-season franchise records for assists (64) and points (80) by a defenseman. A native of Vasteras, Sweden, Lidstrom is also a member of the exclusive Triple Gold Club with a Stanley Cup championship, a World Championship gold medal (1991) and an Olympic Games gold medal (2006).