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Red Wings' Lidstrom set to rekindle rivalry

Hall of Fame defenseman will face Avalanche in Stadium Series Alumni Game

by Paul Harris / NHL.com Correspondent

DETROIT -- Nicklas Lidstrom has been skating on a regular basis, but he hasn't really been exerting himself. 

The former Detroit Red Wings defenseman, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November, was at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday, where he was honored before Detroit's 2-1 shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a pregame ceremony.

Lidstrom will play in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Alumni Game for a team of ex- Detroit players against former Colorado players Friday at Coors Field in Denver, the appetizer for the present-day Red Wings and Avalanche facing off outdoors on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2). 

"I've been skating with my son's team, I'm helping out as a coach there," said Lidstrom, who moved back to his native Sweden when he retired after the 2011-12 season. "But it hasn't been all too serious, I haven't broken many sweats in the last little while." 

The Red Wings and the Avalanche had the NHL's fiercest rivalry from the mid-1990s until the early 2000s. Detroit (1997, 1998, 2002) and Colorado (1996, 2001) combined to win the Stanley Cup five times in a span of seven seasons. 

"It'll be fun being back on the ice again," Lidstrom said. "Especially with the guys that you played with for so long and had so much success with. Now you're older, but you're going to have just as much fun, I think." 

Lidstrom's former Red Wings teammate Brendan Shanahan recently committed to playing in the game. Shanahan is the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs and, like Lidstrom, a Hockey Hall of Fame member. 

Other Hall of Fame members scheduled to play for the Detroit alumni include Steve Yzerman, Larry Murphy, Chris Chelios, Igor Larionov and Dino Ciccarelli. 

Hall of Fame members scheduled to play for the Avalanche alumni include Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Peter Forsberg, Rob Blake and Ray Bourque. 

Roy is Colorado's coach and Sakic is the Avalanche's general manager. They got in some practice for the game on the morning before Colorado defeated Detroit 3-2 in a shootout at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit on Feb. 12. 

"I'm about 30 pounds heavier than when I was playing," said Roy, who retired after the 2002-03 season. "I did OK with shots close in, but I was having trouble with long shots." 

He said it wasn't all bad blood between the teams. 

"We respected the Red Wings," Roy said. "It was a war on the ice, but a lot of respect."

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