Skip to Main Content

'NHL36' to showcase Lidstrom behind the scenes

by Brian Hedger
DETROIT -- As the captain of the Detroit Red Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom is almost always there to speak with reporters before and after games.

Away from the rink, however, he's not exactly a guy who seeks out the spotlight. The 41-year old Lidstrom, despite being one of the best defensemen who's ever played the game, prefers to keep a low profile in his life outside of hockey.

That's what made Monday's news that he would be the latest subject of NBC Sports Network's documentary series "NHL36" kind of surprising. Fans, media and maybe even some teammates will learn a little more about Lidstrom through the camera lens -- as the show follows players for 36 straight hours and documents the experience.

Lidstrom said he was "encouraged" to do the documentary by both the Red Wings and the National Hockey League Player’s Association, and signed off on it after thinking it through.

"I had to think about it for a little bit and kind of get the details of what to expect and what they were looking for and what they wanted," he said after Monday's morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, which he spent off the ice in a meeting about the team's penalty-killing strategy and then riding a bike -- all while being filmed. "I think it's good for hockey, so I was willing to do it."

Monday was the first day of filming, so it was a little strange for both Lidstrom and his teammates to get used to the roaming video cameras and large boom microphone.

"It's different having someone follow you (around) the whole time, (filming) whatever you do whether you're in (the locker room) or … today I rode the bike instead of going on the ice and did some stretching," Lidstrom said. "It's just a matter of getting used to it."

Lidstrom was asked if the cameraman who was recording him on the stationary bike also hopped on for a spin.

"No, he wouldn't," Lidstrom said. "There were a lot of bikes free … a lot of bikes available, but he wouldn't jump on there."

Lidstrom has spent countless hours on the bike in his career, which allows his teammates to see the kind of intense work ethic it takes to not only be a top player, but have the longevity to do it for such a long career.

Detroit center Justin Abdelkader said that's likely what fans will get most out of the documentary.

"(They'll see) his calm demeanor, how he goes about his business," Abdelkader said. "He's a professional in so many ways. He has such a calming presence. You learn from him not to get too high or too low, just stay on an even keel. He's a great presence to have in the locker room."

Yet, away from the rink even his teammates might learn something from the show, which will run at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 25 and lead into NBC Sports Network's 7:30 p.m. broadcast of the Red Wings playing on the road against the Montreal Canadiens.

"It's a tribute to his game and his skill, but also how he goes about his business on and off the ice," Abdelkader said. "I'm not really sure what he does with his down time. I guess we'll find out."
View More