The Detroit Red Wings have added another legendary franchise icon to the front office. Nicklas Lidstrom has been hired as the team’s new vice president of hockey operations, joining an executive group led by his former teammate Steve Yzerman. The Red Wings indicate that Lidstrom will now be involved in all aspects of hockey operations.
Lidstrom, 51, worked as a scout for the Red Wings a few years ago but has generally not had much front office experience. That certainly doesn’t mean he’s inexperienced though, as a 1,564-game career will explain. One of the very best defensemen in history, Lidstrom scored 1,142 regular season points, was awarded the Norris Trophy seven times, won the Stanley Cup four times, and is a member of the “Triple Gold Club.” He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015 and saw his No. 5 retired by the Red Wings in 2014.
The Red Wings, under Yzerman, have undergone a massive rebuild and are now focused on taking the next step. After a nice start this season it appears as though they are falling out of the playoff race again, but there is more than enough to get excited about in Detroit. For a young player like Moritz Seider–or even 2021 draft pick Simon Edvinsson–there is arguably no better role model than Lidstrom to be around and influenced by.
Yzerman and Lidstrom are certainly not alone in terms of ex-Red Wings. Pat Verbeek (assistant GM), Niklas Kronwall (European player development), Jiri Fischer (associate director of player personnel), Dan Cleary (assistant director of player development), Mark Howe (director of pro scouting), Kris Draper (director of amateur scouting), Kirk Maltby (pro scout), and others are all members of the organization, bringing a wealth of playing experience to the front office.