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Red Wings Legend Lidstrom Accepts That Fame is Fleeting

Current NHL prospects never saw legendary Detroit defenseman in action

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Nicklas Lidstrom, ex-Red Wings
Legendary Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom recognizes that today's young hockey prospects hold no memories of his career.

As part of his duties as vice president of hockey operations for the Detroit Red Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom is often assigned with the task of checking in on hockey’s future. While he’s doing so, the Red Wings legend readily admits that these kids have no recollection whatsoever of his spectacular past.

And he’s okay with that.

“I have no problem with that,” Lidstrom 54, told Swedish website Expressen.se. “It’s a bit fun in a way. There’s a new generation coming up and I actually think it’s charming.”

It’s easy to forget how time flies. Next month will be the 12th anniversary of Lidstrom announcing his retirement from the NHL after 20 seasons with the Red Wings. During his Hall of Fame career he won seven Norris Trophies and four Stanley Cups. He became the first European-born and trained NHL player to captain a Cup winner and to win the Conn Smythe Trophy.

No Memories Of Lidstrom

Today’s up and coming hockey stars can Google all of that information about Lidstrom. They can watch his career highlights on YouTube. What they can’t do is recollect witnessing any of those magical events occuring.

“It was the same for me when I was growing up,” Lidstrom admitted. “There were players whose names you knew, but you had never seen them.”

It was in 2006 that Lidstrom would score the Olympic gold medal-winning goal for Sweden against arch-rival Finland at the Torino Winter Games. The players becoming eligible for the 2024 NHL entry draft were born in 2006.

Some of them weren’t even born when Lidstrom was netting Sweden’s most famous goal.

“Then you really become aware of it,” Lidstrom said. “They were born in 2006, the same year we won Olympic gold. So you know that the players have different role models than us and that is completely understandable.

“It is exactly as it should be.”