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Player Profile: Toni Lydman

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
By Matt Vevoda

Season Overview
Toni Lydman played in his 11th NHL season (second with the Ducks) during the 2011-12 campaign. The 34-year-old averaged 18:54 of ice time in 74 games.

More of a stay-at-home defenseman throughout his career, Lydman continued his streak of not having a minus rating next to his name to end the season (finished with an even zero mark). He has been at or above the plateau each of the past eight seasons, with his last minus season coming in 2002-03 while with Calgary. He enjoyed a career-high plus-32 season in 2010-11 with Anaheim and is a career plus-46.

Toni Lydman Video Highlights

Unable to pot a goal during the season for the first time in his career, Lydman was able to account for 13 assists. In the stats that go a little more unnoticed, he really shined. He ranked second on the Ducks in both blocked shots (153) and shorthanded time on ice (231:09), while also placing fourth on the club with 134 hits.

Proof that Lydman can have a large presence in the game without tallying a point was at its most evident in a 3-1 Ducks victory over San Jose on March 28. Playing hurt (with both neck and knee issues), the defenseman dished out five hits and had a game-high three blocked shots during 18:38 of ice time. He also registered a plus-two rating, tying a season-best which he did a total of eight times during 2011-12.

By the Numbers
200, career assists posted by Lydman in 812 career contests. That ranks him 13th among all players selected in the 1996 NHL Draft, which isn’t bad for a defenseman more known for the work he does in his own end. A fourth round pick (89th overall) by Calgary that year, the blueliner also ranks 12th in the draft class in games played.

Looking Forward
Lydman will enter the final season of a three-year contract he signed with Anaheim on July 1, 2010. With two new members on the team’s defense in Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray, it remains to be seen where the Lahti, Finland native will be slotted. Battling a torn meniscus for much of last season and a neck injury toward the end of the campaign, Lydman underwent successful surgery in April to repair torn cartilage in his left knee. He is expected to be at full strength come training camp, which he has been unable to do the past two Septembers having dealt with acute double vision in 2010 and recovery from shoulder surgery in 2011.

Toni and his wife, Heta, have two daughters: Amanda and Ellen. He considers Maui to be his favorite vacation spot.  Lydman’s first car, a small Mazda, was leased to him by the team he was playing for in the Finnish League. He really enjoys heavy metal music, saying he listens to it “Before the game, after the game, all the time.” Lists Mastadon as his favorite band. He began playing hockey at the age of nine in his native Finland.  Lydman has won two Olympic medals with Finland, a silver in 2006 and bronze in 2010.

He Said It
“I missed so much time and so much training that I just wanted to get back to playing. I should have been smarter. Then again, it’s not easy to take time off when the other guys are going. In hindsight, shoulda, coulda woulda. It doesn’t matter now.” – Toni Lydman

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