Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nicklas Lidstrom Jersey Card

His Hall Of Fame career may be over, but I still have a lot of Nicklas Lidstrom cards to feature as I take my important cards from boxes to alphabetized binders, and few are more dear to me than my Lidstroms - the best defenseman of his era, a true gentleman who signed four cards for me roughly three years ago.

He spent his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings, winning four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies, one Conn Smythe, was the first European-born captain to get handed the Cup and stands as the single player who has appeared in the most games (1564) with the same team.

He also has medals of every kind with Team Sweden, from an Olympic gold (2006) to World Championship gold (1991), silver (2004) and bronze (1994), a feat that's hard to achieve on a team that's appeared in 25 straight postseasons (and would usually get past the second round).

He has played in 12 All-Star Games, made the First All-Star Team ten times (1998-2003, 2006-08, 2011) and the second All-Star Team twice (2009, 2010), proving he was an elite player until the very end; he was even fifth in Norris voting in his final season.

He amassed 1142 regular-season points and 183 more in the playoffs, all while facing the opposition's top players, and finished with an astonishing +450 (and +61 in the playoffs). That means he was on the ice for 500 more goals for than against, not counting the powerplay. That's a whole lot of one-sided play.

His individual achievements are superior to that of individual teams'.

Two of his four sons currently play hockey in Swedish leagues, so we may yet hear the Lidstrom last name uttered again, hopefully in Detroit.

Here's a card from back when he was sporting the alternate-captain's ''A'' in the Wings' white (then-home) uniform, from Upper Deck's 2005-06 Series 2 collection (card #J7-NL of the UD Game Jersey sub-set):
It features a red, game-worn jersey swatch and shows him wearing the Wings' classic white uniform.

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