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When Lidstrom entered the league...

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04-01-2010, 04:47 PM
  #1
DowJones
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When Lidstrom entered the league...

I'm curious to hear from the guys who was around at the time what the impression was on Lidstrom when he first entered the league and joined the wings.

First of all, was there any hype at all, or did noone really know nothing about him? Obviously the Internet and Hfboards didnīt exist at the time which I guess was a *huge* difference.

Secondly, did he make an impression at all at first or did he very slowly grow into the player that he finally became?

Were all eyes and attention still on Stevie at the time? Where there even any room left for another promising rookie to gain some interest at all?

Please fill me in, would be interesting to hear the thoughts from the guys who followed the Wings back then...

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04-01-2010, 05:15 PM
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All I know is that he was underrated and underappreciated by the league as a whole, for many years, due to having a style of play that wasn't "cool" at the time. Non physical and silently dominant.

I don't think anyone could've predicted that he'd be one of the, if not the, best defencemen of all time - when he entered the league at age 21(?)

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04-01-2010, 05:33 PM
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theYman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowJones View Post
I'm curious to hear from the guys who was around at the time what the impression was on Lidstrom when he first entered the league and joined the wings.

First of all, was there any hype at all, or did noone really know nothing about him? Obviously the Internet and Hfboards didnīt exist at the time which I guess was a *huge* difference.

Secondly, did he make an impression at all at first or did he very slowly grow into the player that he finally became?

Were all eyes and attention still on Stevie at the time? Where there even any room left for another promising rookie to gain some interest at all?

Please fill me in, would be interesting to hear the thoughts from the guys who followed the Wings back then...

Well yeah he did make a pretty big splash. He had 60 points his rookie year and finished 2nd to Pavel Bure for the Calder Trophy. Pretty good company IMO.

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04-01-2010, 05:51 PM
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DetBigWangs
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I started watching hockey in '95. The first thing I noticed was that "man nothing bad ever happens when this #5 guy is on the ice".

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04-01-2010, 07:00 PM
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Harold Snepsts
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Originally Posted by DetBigWangs View Post
I started watching hockey in '95. The first thing I noticed was that "man nothing bad ever happens when this #5 guy is on the ice".
That's pretty much how I remember it. I started watching hockey in the mid 80s, but was in college when Lids first started playing so I didn't see many games. Then in 94 and 95, I started to figure out that not much bad happens when he's out there.

When I reaaallly noticed how great he was, was the Cup in 97, especially against the Flyers. The Legion of Doom was supposedly going to run all over the Wings defense. But Scotty Bowman, evil genius that he is, had the Wings D play the puck and not the body, because they'd not likely win a physical matchup. pretty much the exact opposite of everything you're taught on defense. But when you have Nick Lidstrom, it's suddenly not a crazy strategy. He and Murph completely shut them down.

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04-01-2010, 07:15 PM
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Marky9er
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I seen a game from his rookie year on Leafs tv, and they were talking about how they thought he could be a decent player in the league. Not too long after that he blasted a shot in the top corner. It was CBC so it obviously it wasn't a homer broadcast, but there was no 'hype'. A couple understated, honest comments. It was a different time, the only hyped prospects back then were CHL'ers, because people knew who they were. Crazy to think Lids was a 3rd round pick, and Andrew Bennett was the first Dman picked in that draft.

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04-01-2010, 07:46 PM
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It was Yzerman's team, of course.
Of course, those were the days when Paul Ysaebart was a big name and Probert and Gallant were still on the team.

But Lidstrom and Fedorov were both rookies that year, and exciting things were happening.
Both showed a ton of talent right from the start, although even then, Lidstrom wasn't quite so eye-popping.
He wasn't super fast, but he was a very smooth skater. And he had a nice shot and passed well.

Fedorov definitely got a lot more attention. But Lidstrom was highly regarded right from the start.
He was, however, very skinny and very weak early in his career.

He scored 60 points as a rookie. Steve Chaisson (I was a big fan) and Vladimir Konstantinov tied for second among team defensemen with 34 points.

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04-01-2010, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DetBigWangs View Post
I started watching hockey in '95. The first thing I noticed was that "man nothing bad ever happens when this #5 guy is on the ice".
This. And the Wings made sure to keep the hype around him down, going so far as to tell his agent, who accidentally discovered him while accompanying a Red Wings scout to a game in Sweeden, that Lidstrom was sure to be drafted but the agent couldn't tell anyone about him. As such, and because Europeans were not hyped at the time anywhere near as much, no one knew too much about his til he burst on the scene.

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04-01-2010, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordic View Post
All I know is that he was underrated and underappreciated by the league as a whole, for many years, due to having a style of play that wasn't "cool" at the time. Non physical and silently dominant.

I don't think anyone could've predicted that he'd be one of the, if not the, best defencemen of all time - when he entered the league at age 21(?)
Sorry but Orr wins that hands down, Lidstrom is somewhere in the 2-4 range though

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04-01-2010, 08:29 PM
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Alpha190
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If people havn't read the article how Lidstrom got drafted, here it is:

http://www.wingingitinmotown.com/200...ngs-1989-draft

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04-02-2010, 12:57 AM
  #11
mouser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Snepsts View Post
That's pretty much how I remember it. I started watching hockey in the mid 80s, but was in college when Lids first started playing so I didn't see many games. Then in 94 and 95, I started to figure out that not much bad happens when he's out there.

When I reaaallly noticed how great he was, was the Cup in 97, especially against the Flyers. The Legion of Doom was supposedly going to run all over the Wings defense. But Scotty Bowman, evil genius that he is, had the Wings D play the puck and not the body, because they'd not likely win a physical matchup. pretty much the exact opposite of everything you're taught on defense. But when you have Nick Lidstrom, it's suddenly not a crazy strategy. He and Murph completely shut them down.
Not only that, but most of the prognosticators were predicting a big physical battle between Lindros and huge hitter Vlad "the impaler" Konstantinov, who was the Norris runner up that season. Contrarian Bowman instead mostly matched up the smothering combo of Lidstrom and Murphy against Lindros' line.

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04-02-2010, 10:44 AM
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sepster
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Nick came to the Wings when they were still operating in their "Bruise Brothers" mode. Incredibly physical, gaining in talent and getting better, But, most fans still loved and expected the physical, North American game of hockey. Nick, as we all know, is not very physical by todays standards and by those days standards? Honest to God, for the first couple of years he was in the league a lot of fans referred to him as "Dickless Lidstrom."

So there you go, not only was there very little hype and practically no fan expectations, but some referred to what would become one of the greatest D-men of all time, and certainly the best d-men of his generation as "Dickless Lidstrom."

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04-02-2010, 11:36 AM
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DetBigWangs
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I would hate to be a Wings fan in the early 90s then. All my life I've loved skill over brute force. Not just in hockey either.

Skill trumps in all areas of human endeavor.

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04-04-2010, 12:04 AM
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FabricDetails
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Originally Posted by sepster View Post
Honest to God, for the first couple of years he was in the league a lot of fans referred to him as "Dickless Lidstrom."

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04-05-2010, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bob View Post
But Lidstrom and Fedorov were both rookies that year, and exciting things were happening.
Lidstrom came to the Redwings one season after Fedorov. Fedorov was second to Belfour in Calder voting in '91, and Lidstrom was second to Bure the next year.

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04-05-2010, 12:29 PM
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sepster
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FabricDetails, I don't know why you're rolling your eyes, I've had season tickets at the Joe since it opened and I absolutely remember fans in the stands yelling at Lidstrom becuase he wasn't physical. That "nickname" is what some people referred to him as.

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04-05-2010, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by pavel13 View Post
Lidstrom came to the Redwings one season after Fedorov. Fedorov was second to Belfour in Calder voting in '91, and Lidstrom was second to Bure the next year.
Jimmy Howard for runner-up!

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04-05-2010, 01:50 PM
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04-05-2010, 01:51 PM
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04-05-2010, 02:20 PM
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FabricDetails
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Mannn... Doesn't the card company have an editor to catch those kind of spelling mistakes?

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04-05-2010, 02:59 PM
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sarcastro
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Mannn... Doesn't the card company have an editor to catch those kind of spelling mistakes?
Hey at least they didn't call him "Lindstrom". That's something dozens of national and opposition announcers have never been able to figure out. At least a CK and a K make the same sound. There's no N in his last name anywhere.

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04-05-2010, 03:17 PM
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FabricDetails
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Originally Posted by sepster View Post
FabricDetails, I don't know why you're rolling your eyes, I've had season tickets at the Joe since it opened and I absolutely remember fans in the stands yelling at Lidstrom becuase he wasn't physical. That "nickname" is what some people referred to him as.
I didn't mean to convey that I didn't believe you. I chose the shake head smiley because I just don't like that Wings fans used to do that. Every player has negative critics but more often than not they exaggerate and lose sight of what's most important.

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04-05-2010, 03:29 PM
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sarcastro
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I didn't mean to convey that I didn't believe you. I chose the shake head smiley because I just don't like that Wings fans used to do that. Every player has negative critics but more often than not they exaggerate and lose sight of what's most important.
Yeah I think the card company suggesting he's "the next Borje Salming" shows what objective folks thought of Nick early on. That was back during the Probert/Kocur heyday, when things were a lot different for Wings fans and they expected their team to play a lot rougher.

It was probably the 95 team that made Wings fans realize they had something special going, and it was probably the 97 team where they got to that magic point between finesse and physicality.

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04-05-2010, 08:48 PM
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Jimmy Howard for runner-up!
yzerman and zetterberg were also runners up.

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Old
04-06-2010, 04:04 AM
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I remember Lidstrom getting some hype, but all eyes were on Fedorov in 1991 and that year Yves Racine, a dman selected in the first round in 87 also played close to a full season and put up some good numbers. Fedorov got ROY consideration, but the team was still under .500. The next year we were looking for a better team effort, but honestly the hype for the young guys was still Fedorov and then probably seeing if Primeau would step it up. Lidstrom definitely put up impressive numbers, but most people didn't recognize that he was solid despite being unspectacular. I certainly didn't. I remember being more disappointed that Racine took a step back (think he was on the first line). Chaisson and Coffey also kind of overshadowed him too being veterans and all.

Then in 1994, I remember seeing an article in SI that predicted the Wings would win the up and the subtitle of the article said Nicklas Lidstrom and the Wings will skate away with the cup... or something like that. At the time I thought it was odd that it didn't have Yzerman or even Fedorov, or possibly Coffey (he had 77 points that year to Lids' 56) as the person mentioned in the title of the article.

Long story short. I didn't figure it out on my own. Somehow I focused on young Racine probably in part because Lids doesn't do much to get your attention, something I had yet learn meant reliability. And I can say for a fact when I saw that in 94, I was a little surprised. I didn't really see the upside that people talked about.

Honestly, from 94-96 I remember thinking Konstantinov was the better D-man though Lids scored more. I thought 16 should have won the Norris in 1996. But in 1997, I think I really grew to see that Lidstrom was as good as anyone. And I honestly think Lids should have won the Norris' in 98, 99, 00, but needed to rest of the league to realize how good he was in the same way it took me years...

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