The Free Press’s Ryan Ford chose six of the most notable Red Wings rookie defensemen as examples for which Moritz Seider must strive to equal or exceed during his rookie NHL season, and his comparisons include Red Kelly, Vladimir Konstantinov, and, of course, Nicklas Lidstrom:
[Ulf] Samuelsson was right about the offense, but a little off about everything else. After just 18 games, Lidstrom was already second in the league among all players in plus-minus at plus-15 (behind his partner on the blue line, Brad McCrimmon, at plus-16), first among rookies in assists (11) and tied for first among rookies in points (14). Named NHL Rookie of the Month in November and December 1991, Lidstrom hit the All-Star break with seven goals and 33 assists in 45 games, with a plus-30 rating. A month after that, the Lidstrom legend had already taken root, as coach Bryan Murray raved to the Freep: “He’s so poised and under control,” Murray said. “I’ll bet if I told him he would be playing 45 minutes a game, there’d be no problem at all.”
Lidstrom did slow down a bit in the second half; he had four goals and 16 assists in 35 games, finishing the season with 11 goals and 49 assists. That slight slump likely cost him the Calder; he finished tied for second, with 23 first-place votes, behind a future Hall of Famer: the Vancouver Canucks’ Pavel Bure, who had 26 firsts. (Lidstrom tied with New York Rangers wing Tony Amonte, who led all rookies with 35 goals.) Still, there were plenty of honors in Lidstrom’s future: 11 All-Star Game berths, 10 All-NHL first-team nods, seven Norris Trophies, six seasons as captain of the Wings, four Stanley Cups, the 2002 Conn Smythe Trophy (as the postseason MVP), induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015, and, of course, his No. 5 raised to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena and Little Caesars Arena.
Continued (without a paywall, for once)