Detroit Hockey Now’s Bob Duff recalls Nicklas Lidstrom’s comments made regarding the loss of his friend and first defensive partner, Brad McCrimmon, who passed away in the Lokomotiv Yaroslav plane crash some 10 years ago today:
The bond between Lidstrom and McCrimmon and the appreciation Lidstrom felt for the ways in which McCrimmon showed him the ropes as an NHL rookie in 1991 were apparent when we worked together on Lidstrom’s book The Pursuit of Perfection.
“Listen kid, this is how it works,” Lidstrom remembered McCrimmon telling him time and again during that first NHL season. “I learned a lot from him.”
Players talk often about the little things they must comprehend when entering the NHL life. Lidstrom opened a window into what were some of those little things that McCrimmon taught him. Stuff like how to make the careful climb to the ice at venerable Chicago Stadium. That’s where Lidstrom made his NHL debut.
Over the years, several players took unflattering tumbles while navigating up the stairs from the visitor’s dressing room to the ice surface.
McCrimmon ensured that his new D partner wouldn’t be among them.
“He told me it was 18 steps,” Lidstrom remembered.