Nicklas Lidstrom had been pondering retirement for several years. Thursday he finally made it official after 20 seasons at the age of 42. He didn't feel like playing anymore and he didn't want to play at less than his best.
I read his stats-- endless numbers of stats, all of them gaudy. He won four Stanley Cups along the way, all with the Red Wings. He goes down in my mind as the third greatest Red Wing of all time behind Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman. His stats are unreal as I said, meaning his number 5 will be retired and he'll be a first ballot entrant into the Hall of Fame in Toronto.
The Red Wings have big skates to fill and they now go into somewhat of a rebuilding mode. It won't be easy. It's hard to find guys with Lidstrom's versatility and durability. He was a credit to the team and he is now expected to move back to his native Sweden. What a performer for so many years.