Nicklas Lidstrom has accomplished many things as a player that should make him proud. As a father, what took place this weekend probably trumps those things.
Lidstrom received the highest honor possible when he was named a member of the Class of 2015 by the Hockey Hall of Fame last Monday. But that pales in comparison to seeing two of his sons lace up the skates and take part in his former team’s development camp.
A third-round pick in the 1989 draft, Lidstrom was a 12-time All-Star during his 20-year career with the Detroit Red Wings, helping them win four Stanley Cup championships in the process. The 45-year-old Swede was the Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 2002 and captured seven Norris Trophies from 2001-11.
With his stellar career now in the books, Lidstrom has the chance to watch his offspring follow in his footsteps. He began viewing when Adam and Kevin participated with Detroit’s prospects in Traverse City.
The 19-year-old Adam is a forward who spent last season with VIK Vasteras HK of the Swedish second-tier league called HockeyAllsvenskan. In 40 games, he scored seven goals and set up seven others.
“It’s a different kind of hockey (in Europe),” Adam told the Detroit News. “It’s more skill (oriented) and not as physical as here. I feel I’ve learned a lot over there.”
A defenseman like his father, Kevin saw action with IFK Arboga IK of the third-tier Hockeyettan. The 21-year-old notched one assist in 22 contests.
Todd Nelson, who is the coach of Detroit’s American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids, is overseeing the development camp. He admitted to seeing some promise in young Adam.
“I’m not playing favorites by any stretch of the imagination,” Nelson told Mlive.com. “I saw a few sequences. He moves up and down the ice pretty well and makes some pretty smart plays.”
Adam was present at the ceremony in which his father had his No. 5 retired by the Red Wings. He admits it has been a dream of his to put on the team’s jersey as a player instead of just a fan for quite some time.
“It’s a special feeling,” Adam told the newspaper prior to the start of the camp. “I’ve thought about it my whole life, about wearing it, and now it will come true.”
Adam would love nothing more than to earn a roster spot and play for the Red Wings one day. He knows he has a great teacher in his corner who already has begun giving advice to his sons.
“He’s kind of quiet, he just sits and watches the game,” Adam said. “He’ll say a couple of things after the game to think about.”
Adam and Kevin would be wise to take those things and use them to their advantage. After all, the advice is coming from one of the greatest defensemen ever to play in the NHL.