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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  - Managing Editor | 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 - 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

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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