Nicklas Lidstrom wanted No. 9 when he arrived in Detroit. That number belonged to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena with the name Howe above it, so the Red Wings’ equipment manager handed him the No. 5 instead.
Now, some 20-plus years later, the No. 5 and the name Lidstrom hangs right next to Howe’s.
Lidstrom, the former captain of the Red Wings, had his No. 5 retired Thursday evening before Detroit’s game with Colorado.
“This is something different,” Lidstrom said of the honor in comparison to his other accolades. “This is all about being a Detroit Red Wing.”