31st of May 2012 Author: Johnny Karp
After a 20 year career and four Stanley Cup wins, Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired from the National Hockey League on Thursday.
Lidstrom, 42, built up a prestigious reputation as a 12-time All-Star and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as top defenceman. His career was spent with Detroit and became known as the first European to captain a Stanley Cup champion when it went to the Red Wings in 2008.
"At some point in time it catches up with everyone and diminishes their ability to perform, something you love and care about passionately comes to an end sooner than what you would've liked," he said during a news conference.
"The last three years I waited until after the season was over to assess my ability to play another year ... sadly this year it's painfully obvious to me that my strength and energy level are not rebounding enough for me to continue to play."
Lidstrom won the Conn Smythe Trophy back in 2008 which made him the first European to earn the award for the NHL's most valuable player in the playoffs.
Lidstrom is listed sixth on the NHL's career scoring list for defencemen in addition to a wide range of other achievements and a successful career.
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