Nicklas Lidstrom is one of the best NHL defensemen to ever play the game. His 15-year career has been entirely spent in Detroit, playing for the Red Wings. Lidstrom has won three Stanley Cups, various NHL trophies and has been voted into nine NHL All-Star Games. Representing Sweden, Lidstrom won the World Championships in 1991. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, he was a major factor in Sweden's win over Finland in the finals, earning him a spot on the Olympic All-Star Team.
Lidstrom is generally considered the top NHL defenseman of his era, having won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman three consecutive seasons from 2000-01 to 2002-03 and again in 2005-06 and 2006-07. He has been nominated for the award a total of eight times in the past nine seasons. Lidstrom consistently ranks amongst the top in the NHL in ice time per game. He averaged 28:07 minutes in the 2005-06 season, a career high.
The secret to Lidstrom's game is his ability to read the play, see the puck and anticipate his opponent's moves. He is not a big hitter or a player that takes penalties very often. Lidstrom uses his stick in creative ways to block passes and take plays away from opposing players, making life difficult in every possible situation on the ice. He is now the captain of the Red Wings, providing leadership to a team that is consistently successful. Lidstrom averages around 50-60 points a season, traditionally, and has a relatively untapped offensive resource that comes out in flurries of activity. His shot is highly underrated.