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
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
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.
Hard to imagine watching the Red Wings without Lidstrom. Guy was my idol and still is as a player and person. #playedthegamethebestway