There aren't many NHL players more universally respected than
Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom.
So when the 20-year veteran announced his retirement Thursday morning, the NHL fraternity immediately began flooding the Twitterverse with their personal tributes to a player who walked away less than a year after winning his seventh Norris Trophy as the League's best defenseman, second all-time behind
Bobby Orr's eight. It's part of an incredible mantle that includes four Stanley Cup wins, an Olympic Gold medal, a world championship, and 1,142 NHL points.
But when it came time for Lidstrom's NHL peers to send off the future Hall of Famer, the discussion wasn't about stats but about the class, respect, and dignity exhibited by one of hockey's all-time great.
Here are some of the player tributes that appeared on Twitter immediately after Lidstrom announced his retirement:
NHL Players' Nicklas Lidstrom Tweets
Viktor Stalberg ( ) @VStalberg
Seems like it will be a bit easier to play vs the wings next year. What a career he's had! One of the all time greats #5
Cameron Fowler ( ) @camfowler4
I want to wish a happy retirement to Nick Lidstrom, my idol growing up and the classiest act in the game. What a great career
Michael Del Zotto ( ) @MichaelDelZotto
What a career for Lidstrom. Bobby Orr and him top 2 defenseman to play. #classact #morepatiencethanahospital
John Carlson ( ) @JohnCarlson74
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.
Steven Kampfer ( ) @SteveKampfer47
Hard to imagine watching the Red Wings without Lidstrom. Guy was my idol and still is as a player and person. #playedthegamethebestway
Viktor Stalberg , Chicago Blackhawks , @VStalberg
"Seems like it will be a bit easier to play vs the wings next year. What a career he's had! One of the all time greats #5"
Cam Fowler , Anaheim Ducks , @camfowler4
"I want to wish a happy retirement to Nick Lidstrom, my idol growing up and the classiest act in the game. What a great career"
Michael Del Zotto , New York Rangers , @MichaelDelZotto
"What a career for Lidstrom.
Bobby Orr and him top 2 defenseman to play. #classact #morepatiencethanahospital"
Dustin Penner , Los Angeles Kings , @Dustinpenner25
"Grattis till Nick Lidstrom på en första omröstning hall of fame karriär. Det var en ära att jaga du runt isen och aldrig fånga du #legend"
Translation: "Congratulations to Nick Lidstrom on a first-ballot HOF career. It was an honor to chase you around the rink, and never catch you."
Kevin Bieksa , Vancouver Canucks , @KBieksa3
"Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a great career. Made the game look way too easy. Fun to watch even from the bench..."
John Carlson , Washington Capitals @JohnCarlson74
"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."
Carl Gunnarsson , Toronto Maple Leafs @carl_gun
"Sad day for all hockey lovers with Lidstrom announcing his retirement. Amazing career by the big #5 He will be missed #legend#thebest"
Nathan Gerbe , Buffalo Sabres , @NathanGerbe42
"Sad to see nick retire. Definitely one of my favorites. One of the best role models for any player. Congrats on a great career. #staygreat"
Zach Bogosian , Winnipeg Jets , @Bogogo_44
Nicklas Lidstrom for a great career. One of the best to play the game. #gentleman #NHL #Halfclapper"
Mikael Backlund , Calgary Flames , @mbacklund11
"Thnx for all the great memories you've been giving to all Swedish hockeyfans. Good luck in your new life. #BestD-ManEver? #NicklasLidström"
Logan Couture , San Jose Sharks , @Logancouture
"Not many athletes can retire while still being one of the best players in the game. Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on a great career."
Paul Bissonnette , Phoenix Coyotes , @BizNasty2point0
"Lidstrom retiring is the worst thing to happen to Detroit since the colapse of the auto industry. #Lidstrom"
Steven Kampfer , Minnnesota Wild, @SteveKampfer47
"Nick Lidstrom was the reason I wore #5 growing up and have wanted to wear it ever since."
"Hard to imagine watching the Red Wings without Lidstrom. Guy was my idol and still is as a player and person.#playedthegamethebestway"
James van Riemsdyk , Philadelphia Flyers @JVReemer21
"On and off the ice #classy #HOF #alltimegreat"
"Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on an incredible career, was a huge thrill to take the ice against him. Was amazing to watch how he carried himself"
Ian Laperriere , Philadelphia Flyers , @dooda1414
"OMG. Nick Lidstrom can put on a retirement speech. Great player / winner"
Patrick Dwyer , Carolina Hurricanes , @pattydwyer39
"Congratulations on a great career Nick Lidstrom. He was the class of the league. #oneofthebest #legend"
Ryan Whitney , Edmonton Oilers , @ryanwhitney6
"Lidstrom was a guy every player caught themselves watching in awe mid game. Game's not supposed to be that easy. Was an honor playing vs him"
David Moss, Calgary Flames , @djmoss25
"Had the privilege of growing up watching and playing against Nick Lidstrom #OneOfTheBest #ClassAct"
Kevin Shattenkirk , St. Louis Blues , @shattdeuces
"Congratulation to Nick Lidstrom on a legendary career. He is the true definition of a role model and it was an honor to play against him"
Jacob Markstrom , Florida Panthers , @j_markstrom
"Lidstrom retires after 20 @NHL seasons and showing the way for other swedes! one of the best of all time, proud to be a Swede! thank you"
Scottie Upshall , Florida Panthers , @ScottieUpshall
"Congrats Nicklas Lindstrom 'Norris' on a stellar NHL career. Easy to say our lives as forwards in the Joe will be much easier now"
Bobby Ryan , Anaheim Ducks , @b_ryan9
"I won't miss ya Nick, you're a nightmare to matchup with! But congrats on an incredible career! The game will miss you!"
Luke Adam , Buffalo Sabres , @LukeJAdam
"What an amazing career for number 5! Growing up a Redwings fan it was a honor to have played a game vs one of the best to ever play! #HOFer"
Devante Smith-Pelly , Anaheim Ducks , @smithpelly23
"What a career. Was an honour sharing the ice with Nicklas Lidstrom aka watching from the bench #HoF #congrats"
Matt Carle , Philadelphia Flyers , @mattcarle25
"Not much needs to be said about Nick Lidstrom, one of the best to ever play...often imitated, never even close to being duplicated #HOF"
Zach Bogosian , Winnipeg Jets , @Bogogo_44
"Nick Lidstrom says he's not at his level anymore and is retiring. Everyone now has a chance out there.Every right winger in the #NHL is happy"
Shane O'Brien , Colorado Avalanche , @ShaneOBrien55
"Congrats to Nick Lidstrom on his legendary career. He made it look so easy ever night out there and believe me it's not.. #ClassAct"
Matt Moulson , New York Islanders , @MMoulson
"Still remember my first game against #RedWings ... @teddypurcell16 and I stared at Lidstrom all warm up..great career and a class act"