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A salute to Lidstrom


Guest Phlyer1
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Great player and a class act.

awesome that he was able to play at such a high level for so long.

people say second best defenseman ever, behind #4 okay I've never seen Bobby Orr play he was just before i became sports aware plus it is sort of like arguing that someone is a better football player than pele. so i'll say he's the best defenseman i've ever seen.

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Great player and a class act.

awesome that he was able to play at such a high level for so long.

people say second best defenseman ever, behind #4 okay I've never seen Bobby Orr play he was just before i became sports aware plus it is sort of like arguing that someone is a better football player than pele. so i'll say he's the best defenseman i've ever seen.

I saw plenty of Orr and he was the best. Lidstrom is a clear second in my book though. Fantastic player and such a class act.

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@JackStraw

I agree. Orr was better. Orr transcended the game. He changed it. Before him, D men were simply defensemen. Orr changed the role of defenseman and the result has been more complete players. Players like Paul Coffey probably wouldn't have developed like he did without Orr. Lidstrom is the very best example of this, but he didn't change the game. He simply excelled at his position and played it with class, VERY consistently. I don't think I've ever known a more level-headed guy in a hockey sweater. You couldn't make him break, and you could only very rarely make him make a mistake. And when he did, the announcers would usually say something like, "Remember this ladies and gentlemen. You just saw Nick Lidstrom make a mistake."

As a Wings fan, it would be easy to put the Red and White glasses on and say he was the best ever, but stepping away and looking at the two players, Orr gets the nod. Like Gretzky changed the game, so did Orr for defensemen.

I think Lidstrom is below Orr, but above Doug Harvey. Hard to compare all of these players from different eras, but I'm sticking to this:

1. Orr

2. Lidstrom

3. Harvey

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You couldn't make him break, and you could only very rarely make him make a mistake. And when he did, the announcers would usually say something like, "Remember this ladies and gentlemen. You just saw Nick Lidstrom make a mistake."

I saw Lidstrom make a mistake once. He coughed the puck up near his own blue line and let the guy get past him. Of course he recovered and made the play anyway (he might even have gotten the puck back, I don't remember) but still, he did make a mistake. I saw it.

Orr didn't just change the game, he made NHL players look like college kids. I maintain that he was the most dominating player I've ever seen in a team sport, with the exception of some NBA centers like Wilt and Kareem, who just had an "unfair" size advantage.

1. Orr

2. Lidstrom

3. Bourque

4. Potvin

5. Robinson

I can't honestly rate guys I didn't see, like Harvey, but I know he deserves to be up there.

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@Phlyer1

What's totally cool about him is that Lidstrom would be the first to say that he should wait just like all of the other great players had to wait. He does not and never has considered himself above or more important than the game. This is a characteristic that I LOVE to see in ANY hockey superstar. And I love hockey, because we see this more often in hockey stars than we do with any other major sports' stars.

As much as I love Steve Yzerman, I will use him as an example to juxtapose Lidstrom: Yzerman had to LEARN that he wasn't above the game itself. He eventually did by finally submitting himself to Scotty Bowman's more-defensively-minded system for the good of the team. Lidstrom didn't have to learn that, because he never thought it in the first place. And, quite honestly, he had more right to--he was a better player than Yzerman, and that's saying something! But he didn't, because it is just totally not in his nature. His humility has always been a part of what makes him great.

Such will be a part of the legacy of #5. Sports will miss his example. The good part is that he was good enough where he will be remembered for a long time. He has set the bar high. Young players--heck, ALL players--would do well to follow his example in this regard.

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