One of the greatest hockey careers of the modern era, if not the greatest, will come to an end on Thursday. It is being widely reported that Detroit Red Wings defenseman and captain Nicklas Lidstrom will retire after 20 seasons in the NHL.
The announcement spurred strong Twitter reaction from fellow NHL players, fans and members of the media. Here are some of those reactions.
From the Fans
NHL fans are an extremely passionate group, and in today's instant news cycle, it didn't take long for the reactions to start pouring in.
Adam Waugh, a hockey fan from Columbus, Ohio, expressed his gratitude for getting to meet Lidstrom recently:
Glad I got the chance to meet Nic Lidstrom a couple months ago in Columbus. I thought for sure he'd at least play another year #alltimegreat— Adam Waugh (@Adamw031) May 30, 2012
The Vancouver Canucks' famous Green Men dropped their allegiances to appreciate what Lidstrom brought to the game:
Just read the news on @TSN_Sports . The game is going to lose a legend on Thursday. Lidstrom you were one of the greats. Class act too.— Green Men (@TheGreenMen) May 30, 2012
Angie, a hockey fan from Michigan, doesn't care who knows her loyalties during Thursday's press conference:
If/when Lidstrom announces his retirement tomorrow I'm going to probs start crying at work.
— Angie (@cumber1137) May 31, 2012
I loved Lidstrom more than I loved Yzerman. When I say Lidstrom has always been my fav player, I literally mean it.
— Amber (@amb3r_xx) May 31, 2012
Red Wings fan Joe Robinson is already looking to the future:
sad to see Nick Lidstrom retire. No clue whose gonna wear the C next year.#anxioustosee— Joe Robinson (@JobaRobinson) May 31, 2012
Even the Wings' most bitter rivals will miss Lidstrom, as evidenced by Chicago Blackhawks fan Ryan Steinacker:
I might be a blackhawks fan but you got to give credit to the best defenseman to ever play the game. #Lidstrom— Ryan Steinacker (@Steinacker41) May 31, 2012
Dave Shreeve, a hockey fan from Ontario, does not care what people think. He's a man, and he's going to cry:
From the Media
The media is supposed to be objective, but even some of them couldn't help but express themselves on what's going to be a sad day for hockey.
ESPN's Pierre LeBrun hits the nail on the head:
On Lidstrom retiring: his greatness wasn't just measured by his incredible play on the ice, but just as much by his class off of it.
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) May 30, 2012
Colin Moriarty, an IGN Playstation Editor and a New York Islanders fan, reflects on the generational difference between himself and Lidstrom:
I can't believe Nicklas Lidstrom is about to retire. I was seven years old when he started playing in the NHL.— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) May 31, 2012
ESPN's John Buccigross thinks the NHL is losing something special as Lidstrom heads out:
Nicklas Lidstrom retiring: The NHL's angel. If every NHL player played with his vision and class, we would have fewer concussions....
— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) May 30, 2012
Corey Masisak, a writer and editor for NHL.com, doesn't think it's even close as to where Lidstrom stands among the league's best defensemen:
I think the gap b/w Nick Lidstrom and the No. 2 defenseman of the past 20 yrs is greater than any top two at a position in any sport.— Corey Masisak (@cmasisak22) May 30, 2012
Darren Pang keeps it simple and sweet:
A gentleman is how I describe Nick Lidstrom. Both on and off the ice, he was as good as it gets. Congrats on brilliant career.#Wings— Darren R Pang (@Panger40) May 30, 2012
Josh Yohe, who covers the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, has no complaints about dealing with Lidstrom as a member of the media:
Dealt with Lidstrom on a few occasions. A true gentleman, the kind of athlete who makes hockey players the best in sports to work with.— Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) May 30, 2012
Ryan Dittrick, the website content coordinator with the Edmonton Oilers, ties this year's Stanley Cup Finals to Lidstrom's retirement announcement:
Fitting, considering Lidstrom's announcement tomorrow. He was my favourite defenceman growing up. Brodeur was a role model, too.— Ryan Dittrick (@ryandittrick) May 31, 2012
Alyonka Larionov, the daughter of Wings legend Igor Larionov and an NHL Network host, is sad to hear of the retirement of Lidstrom, seeing as she probably got more time with him than many of us ever could:
An incredible career. Master of his craft. A class act. A leader. A great family man. Sad to hear Lidstrom's retiring. #OneofAKind— Alyonka Larionov (@AlyonkaLarionov) May 30, 2012
From the Players
Some NHL players took to Twitter to express appreciation for a man they have not only grown up watching, but played against.
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson appreciated how Lidstrom could help young hockey players:
Sad to see Nick Lidstrom retire. One of the games all time greats on and off the ice. A guy that everyone can learn from.— John Carlson (@JohnCarlson74) May 30, 2012
San Jose Sharks forward Logan Couture thinks Lidstrom is going out on top:
Not many athletes can retire while still being one of the best players in the game. Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a great career.— Logan Couture (@Logancouture) May 30, 2012
Phoenix Coyotes tough guy Paul Bissonnette can never resist using humor on Twitter, but he makes a valid point here:
Lidstrom retiring is the worst thing to happen to Detroit since the colapse of the auto industry. #Lidstrom— Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0) May 30, 2012
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak, like so many others before him, keeps it simple:
Tough to see Lidstrom hang up the skates. One of the best all time on and off the ice. He will be missed! #Legend— Tyler Bozak (@Bozie42) May 30, 2012
New York Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto knows Lidstrom's place along another all-time great defenseman: