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Son of a Wing

Nicklas Lidstrom:Greatest Red Wing Ever

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Gordie Howe is “Mr. Hockey,” Steve Yzerman “The Captain.”

Nicklas Lidstrom does not have a definitive nickname.

Half the time, it seems, his last name is mispronounced even by the most ardent Red Wings’ fans as “Lindstrom.”

Or it’s simply, “Nick.”

The latter part is fitting because the brilliance of Nicklas Lidstrom during his two decades along the blue line for the Red Wings was his understated and overwhelmingly effective performance.

To a generation of hockey fans, raised in the 1950s and 1960s, Gordie Howe will always be the greatest Red Wing of all time.

To another generation, those raised beyond the early 1980s, it is overwhelmingly Steve Yzerman.

Yet, with all due respect to Mr. Hockey and The Captain, the greatest Red Wing of all is Lidstrom, whose uniform No.5 will be retired by the organization Thursday night before a game vs. Colorado at Joe Louis Arena.

Continues at length and whether you agree or not it's a good read.

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It's hard to compare to howe...none of us saw him in his prime.

lidstrom is undoubtedly a better player than yzerman, though.

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Hard to compete with the legacy of Howe and Yzerman, but Lidstrom probably has a good case for Greatest Wing of All Time in terms of his impact on the team's success. Wings were a cup contender for almost every season he played here. They weren't before him or after him.

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I love Nick, but Mr. Hockey was the greatest Wing ever. If you want to say The Perfect Human was the greatest Wing defenseman ever, not many would have the sense of humor to argue that. Gordie, bar none, the greatest all-around hockey player to ever lace them up for the Wings.

I will be attending tomorrow's game and just may shed a little tear. Greatest of all time or not, this was a huge loss to our team and the sport in general.

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lidstrom is undoubtedly a better player than yzerman, though.

Couldn't disagree more. Especially since comparing a center to a defenseman isn't so easy to do. But IMO Yzerman was definitely the greatest Red Wing of all time.

Internet.Unknown likes this

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Couldn't disagree more. Especially since comparing a center to a defenseman isn't so easy to do. But IMO Yzerman was definitely the greatest Red Wing of all time.

over the course of their careers, when you look at what lidstrom did as a defenseman compared to other dmen, vs. what yzerman did as a center compared to other centers, it's not even really close.

if i had to start a team with a 20 year old lidstrom vs. a 20 year old yzerman...well, i think that choice is a no-brainer.

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I like to think we have a Legendary top 3 in Yzerman, Howe and Lidstrom. All 3 different players, I don't give 2 s***s who's the best, I'm just glad they were all long time Red Wings that enrich the organization with a beautiful history. When you look at the rafters at the Joe, it's got some pretty amazing names up there.

roboturner likes this

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I think it's a very personal question, and you'll get a different answer from each fan. Was Gordie Howe the "greatest" Red Wing? Probably, but no one will ever mean more to me in the winged wheel than Steve Yzerman. Like ZWD said, we are damn lucky to even be having this conversation.

That being said, I am gutted that I will be on the other side of the country when Nick's jersey is raised. I will leave work early, ensure that I have copious amounts of alcohol on hand, and weep like a child. As it should be.

Z Winged Dangler likes this

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Be thankful that we can have this argument among players who are actually GREAT, as opposed to the greatest Blue Jacket of all time.

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lidstrom is undoubtedly a better player than yzerman, though.

First time I've ever agreed with you. Lidstrom is a top-5, arguably top-3 defenceman of all time. Yzerman wasn't even the 3rd best center of his era.

But Yzerman certainly means more to the Wings fanbase, taking them from the Dead Wings to 3 Stanley Cups.

Hockeymom1960 likes this

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Criteria for greatest Wing ever also has to take into account what they did after playing. Gordie for the most part has stayed a part of the WIngs. Hes always around promoting the club. DIdnt he and his wife help form the old Junior Red Wings?

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Comparison of Lids to Yzerman is probably that Lids was by far the better player, but Yzerman seemed to give more. Playing on one or no knees and probably significantly shortening a career so he could give his all. Nick in a way was the opposite: playing as good as possible for as long as possible, with very little risk in terms of longevity, and even the individual plays on the ice. Nick made the best decisions, Stevie made the right ones. Both are incomparable but I got to watch more of Lids so will always hold him in the highest esteem. But having seen how Gordie is still revered in the locker room shows he's the man to beat.

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When your nickname is Mr. Hockey, and you play for a team for 25 years, it's hard to say anyone was a better player for that franchise.

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Bummer. Mr. and Mrs. I won't be able to attend Nick's ceremony.

In a statement, Mike Ilitch said: "While Marian and I would love to be there, we won't be at tomorrow's jersey retirement for Nick Lidstrom. This past year, I had a medical procedure that has kept me out of the spotlight for awhile. I feel much better now, and I'm stronger every day. While we may not attend every event, we never miss a game on TV and are very involved in all our businesses every day from home and the office.

http://msn.foxsports.com/detroit/story/red-wings-owners-unable-to-attend-lidstrom-ceremony-030514

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When your nickname is Mr. Hockey, and you play for a team for 25 years, it's hard to say anyone was a better player for that franchise.

Lidstrom is one of a few that could make a case.

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