Happy 50th Birthday, Nicklas Lidstrom!
Here is my appreciation for one of my all-time favorite players in any sport:
Today (April 28th, 2020) is the 50th birthday of the greatest defenseman in the history of the Detroit Red Wings, and one of the best defenseman in NHL history, Nicklas Lidstrom (pictured above with fellow Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald).
Number 5 spent his entire 20 year NHL career with the Winged Wheelers (1991-2002), and in this writer's opinion, was the most indispensable Red Wing for at least 15 of them. And he was the captain of the Red Wings for the last six of those seasons, replacing the legendary Steve Yzerman in that prestigious role.
His record speaks for itself, but here are a few:
12-time NHL All-Star
7-time Norris Trophy winner (given to the NHL's best defenseman for a given season)
4 time Stanley Cup champion (6 trips to the Stanley Cup Finals)
Olympic Gold Medalist in 2006 with Team Sweden
1,142 career points (sixth most in NHL history for a defenseman)
I could go on even further, but I'll stop there. Before I give my list of "The Perfect Player's" top six moments in his career, here is my all-time first team in the sport of hockey (surprise, Nick is on it).
Goalie - Terry Sawchuk or (at his peak in the late 90's) Dominik Hasek
Defense - Bobby Orr and Nicklas Lidstrom
Center - Wayne Gretzky
Left Wing - Mario Lemieux
Right Wing - Gordie Howe (need a tough guy on my first team)
OK, on to my top six moments of Lidstrom's career: