This appears to be the end of the line for legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom.
The Detroit Red Wings have scheduled a press conference for Thursday, beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET, in the C.C. Olympia Club at Joe Louis Arena. Participants at the press conference will include Red Wings Executive Vice President & General Manager Ken Holland and Lidstrom, the team's long-standing captain. According to NHL Network, as well as other sources, Lidstrom will announce his retirement Thursday.
The press conference will air live on NHL Network and be streamed on NHL.com.
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
Yahoo's Nick Cotsonika reached Holland at the GM Meeting in New York City on Wednesday and the GM would only say that Lidstrom will announce his future at the press conference.
"He's earned that right," the GM said.
Lidstrom, 42, is out of a contract and has not committed to returning to the Red Wings for another year.
There has been much speculation about Lidstrom's future since the Wings season ended in stunning fashion with a first-round exit at the hands of the Nashville Predators. The Red Wings are planning to have their organizational meetings later this week and a decision was expected to be reached then on the future of Lidstrom, who has spent his whole 20-year career with the Red Wings.
This past season, Lidstrom had 11 goals and 34 points in 70 regular-season games. For his career, he has 1,142 points in 1,564 games.
One of the top defensemen the game has ever known, Lidstrom has won seven Norris Trophies, including in 2011. He has been nominated for the award a total of twelve times in the past fourteen seasons and has finished no worse than sixth place in Norris Trophy voting during that 14-year stretch. He has been selected to play in 12 NHL All-Star Games and was named to the League's First All-Star Team 10 times between 1998 and 2011.
Lidstrom has also won four Stanley Cup titles with the Red Wings, the most recent in 2008. Lidstrom has been on a team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in every season since his rookie year of 1991-92. He won the Conn Smythe, as playoffs MVP, in 2002 -- becoming the first European-born player to claim the honor.
In 263 Stanley Cup Playoffs games, Lidstrom has 54 goals and 129 assists.
If he retires Thursday, Lidstrom will walk away as the active NHL leader in regulation and playoff games played, as well as plus-minus. He sits second amongst active players in playoff points and third in regular-season points.
Lidstrom is also a member of the exclusive "Triple-Gold" club, winning both an Olympic gold medal (2006) and an IIHF World Championship (1991) with Sweden to go along with his four Stanley Cup titles.
"In my opinion, Nick was one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League," said Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who played with Lidstrom in Detroit from 1991-2006. "It's a tribute to how talented of a player he is. I'm not sure if he's 42 yet, but to be one of the elite defensemen in the League at that age … he's just been fabulous."