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Lidstrom's enjoying retirement

Legendary defenseman visited with former teammates on Friday

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 5:44 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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Lidstrom\'s enjoying retirement
Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom were back together at Joe Louis Arena on Friday, meeting with former teammates. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – Last February, legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom attend a Red Wings’ game when he and close friend, and former teammate, Tomas Holmstrom, took in a game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.

“It feels good to be back, just a different feeling when you’re walking in here and you’re not a player anymore,” said Lidstrom, who stopped by the team’s dressing room after the morning skate. “It feels good to see the guys and a lot of the other people around the team.”

Lidstrom and his wife, Annika, arrived from Sweden early Wednesday evening and attended the shoot-out loss against St. Louis. It’s the Lidstroms’ first time back to the area since the seven-time Norris Trophy winner announced his retirement last May.

“I miss being in the locker room, being around the guys,” Lidstrom said. “When you’re watching the game and it’s the heat of the moment as a player that’s where you want to be. I miss that too.”

Lidstrom said that he’s easing into the new chapter of his life, helping coach his youngest son’s hockey team, occasionally scouting Swedish junior games in his hometown for the Red Wings, and being around his family a lot more.

“Just the every day of being home with the family, helping out with kids’ practices and taking them to school in the morning, picking them up in the afternoon,” he said. “Just the every day things you weren't around for in the past.”

One thing Lidstrom won’t be doing is planning a comeback, either to the NHL, or the Swedish national team. He ruled out both when asked Friday morning.

“It’s fun watching (games) and I know how fun it is playing, too,” he said, “but I also know what it takes to be there and that's something I can't be up to that level of play where I want to be. That was the main reason I retired and why I'm still retired.”

While he has no intensions of ever playing again, that hasn’t stopped the International Ice Hockey Federation from tapping the 42-year-old as an ambassador to the 2013 World Championship in Finland and Sweden in May.

“Being part of this is going to be fun,” Lidstrom said. “As a player, you show up and play the games and then you leave the venue and get ready for the next game. I'll have a chance to be there, see what it's like around the games. I'm looking forward to it.”

Lidstrom also looked forward to driving to the rink with his former chauffeur this week. The two were inseparable during their playing days with Holmstrom usually driving the pair to The Joe on game days.

“The ride this morning was the first one in a long while,” Lidstrom said. “It's fun, a lot of memories, it was a fun ride down.”

The Lidstroms are staying at the Holmstrom Hotel, where Nick thought the accommodations would be, er, better.

“I was expecting a little more hospitality from Homer,” Lidstrom joked. “We had some great times with him and his wife. It's fun being back and it's fun being around Homer again. We were close friends when we were playing and it's good to be back here again.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80