Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Detroit Red Wings' Nick Lidstrom pays tribute to former teammate and Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman

When Red Wings defenseman Nick Lidstrom announced his retirement Thursday, the first former teammate he thanked was Steve Yzerman.

When Lidstrom talked about building the foundation for his career, Yzerman — Detroit's captain when Lidstrom joined the team in 1991 and now the Lightning's general manager — was his first reference point.

"Stevie was our leader," Lidstrom said. "What I learned from him over the years was his work ethic. He never took anything for granted. He worked hard, whether it was on the ice in practice or in the gym afterward. When you see a player like that, one of the leaders and one of the best players in the world do that, it's easy for young guys to follow."

"Nick's being very kind, and I appreciate it," Yzerman told the Tampa Bay Times. "But the reality is from the very first day, Nick was the same way: professional, classy, hard-working. He never changed for 20 years."

Yzerman, who played 14 seasons and won three Stanley Cups with Lidstrom before retiring in 2006, called his former teammate who succeeded him as captain one of the NHL's greatest players regardless of position.

"The consistency that he played with over 20 years from such a high level, from his very first game in the NHL, puts him among the all-time greats," Yzerman said.

"I don't know that people realize or appreciate how skilled he was. He was a tremendous athlete, but because he was such an intelligent player, it wasn't obvious. Everything he did was subtle. I always compare him to Roger Federer. He plays hockey like Roger Federer plays tennis."

Detroit Red Wings' Nick Lidstrom pays tribute to former teammate and Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman 05/31/12 [Last modified: Thursday, May 31, 2012 11:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show


    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  2. For starters: Souza returns to lineup



  3. Ronde Barber: Want intimidation? Look at past Bucs teams


    Ronde Barber says these days "it's hard to find throwbacks, where you go, 'That guy is a badass.' Where do you find that now? It's such a show-off sport." (Times 2012)
  4. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.