Detroit Red Wings presented by AT&T
2015-16 Ticket Plans Available Follow @DetroitRedWings on Twitter! Follow the Red Wings on Facebook! Follow @DetroitRedWings on Instagram! Follow OfficialDRW on Snapchat! Get Red Wings Email Updates Get Red Wings Text Updates Get the Detroit Red Wings Official Mobile App

  • RSS

Hedman has a heady day, meeting Lidstrom

Tuesday, 06.2.2009 / 6:31 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale
Share with your Friends

Hedman has a heady day, meeting Lidstrom
PITTSBURGH – For Victor Hedman, it was a dream came true.

One of the top prospects for the upcoming 2009 Entry Draft, Hedman had the opportunity to meet his idol, Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, during a visit to Mellon Arena on Tuesday. Hedman is one of five top prospects for the 2009 Entry Draft who are taking in the Stanley Cup finals experience with a meet-and-greet with the Penguins and Red Wings.

On hand beside Hedman were John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Evander Kane and Brayden Schenn. All will attend Game 3.

The playoff matchup will actually be the first NHL game that Hedman will see in person, and the fact he'll see several of his boyhood idols in action will make it all the more memorable. Hedman is the top-rated European skater on the draft board according to the NHL's Central Scouting.

The minute he entered the Red Wings' dressing room, Hedman's eyes got wide as he shook the hand of fellow countryman Tomas Holmstrom and worked his way around the tiny visitor's room. When he finally reached Lidstrom, it was a surreal moment. Both veteran and prospect spoke in English for the television cameras before quickly engaging in their native tongue.

Hedman smiled the whole time and posed for several pictures with Lidstrom, a six-time Norris Trophy award winner as the  NHL's best defenseman.

"I'm happy for him," Lidstrom said. "I watched him play in World Juniors a little bit and thought he was a great defenseman. He's going to have a good career, and I wished him luck in the upcoming draft and when he starts coming over here to play as well."
Lidstrom laughed when asked if he thought Hedman was a little star-struck.

"I thought he handled himself pretty well actually," Lidstrom said. "We had a good conversation and he seems to be happy to be over here and have a chance to watch a Stanley Cup playoff game, so it's good."

Hedman, born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, must have felt right at home with Swedish-born Wings Lidstrom, Holmstrom and Jonathan Ericsson offering their best wishes. The 6-foot-6 Hedman is projected to go among the first three draft picks later this month.

"I wasn't nervous -- we (Lidstrom and Hedman) spoke in Swedish and it was all good," Hedman told "They are all nice guys, so it was good to meet them. He asked me if I was coming over next year and we talked in Swedish about stuff back home. It was just nice to speak in Swedish to these guys."

Hedman and Tavares, the top-rated North American prospect, were both miked-up for sound and provided plenty of neat sound bites during the dressing room tours.

In the Pittsburgh room, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby asked Tavares if he and the other prospects were going to attend a Pirates' baseball game while in town. Crosby shook each prospect's hand before inquiring about how their time has been spent in Pittsburgh.

That's when teammate Maxime Talbot, whose stall sits next to Crosby, interrupted and asked the five youngsters what they were going to do after tonight's Game 3. They each shook their heads, wondering what was next.

"Well, I'll show you around the town," Talbot said with a smile and a wink.

The first Penguin to greet the prospects was center Jordan Staal, who isn't that far removed from making the tour himself.

"I wasn't nervous -- we spoke in Swedish and it was all good. They are all nice guys, so it was good to meet them. He asked me if I was coming over next year and we talked in Swedish about stuff back home. It was just nice to speak in Swedish to these guys." -- Victor Hedman

"I remember playing against Jordan Staal when I was 15 -- it was his draft year and I was in juniors (in 2005-06)," Tavares said. "It was cool to talk to him and it's hard to believe he's already played three years in NHL. It was nice to catch up with him."

Tavares and Duchene said it was refreshing to see players from both sides having so much fun only hours before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

"It's the most important time of the year for these guys and you don't want to forget that but, at the same time, you want to enjoy the experience and they are," Tavares said. "It's amazing watching all the passes on the tape. Everyone is in place to do the drills and no one is missing assignments. Having good habits in practice are reasons these teams are so good."

NHL Scouting Combine GearOn Monday, Duchene, No. 2 among North American skaters, was given his own personal tour of Mellon Arena by Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma. Duchene said his agent in Pittsburgh brought him to the arena and Bylsma just happened to be there, so the Haliburton, Ontario, native had the inside track on what to expect.

"I went into the dressing room and coach (Bylsma) happened to be there and he gave us a tour," Duchene said. "It was cool to see (Sidney) Crosby's stall. I'm a huge Crosby fan, but I never thought I'd be in awe the moment I saw his gear. I even got to hold his sticks and check out the curve and the flex.

"The passing of both teams and those little things they do during practice are exceptional," Duchene continued. "They go to the net hard and never give up on any drill. Those are things the best players do and everyone here is doing it."




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
© NHL 2015. All Rights Reserved.

Advertise/SponsorshipsOlympia Entertainment | Code of Conduct | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | Employment | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Site Map