Nicklas Lidstrom, the Detroit Red Wings defenceman and one of the best blue-liners to ever play in the NHL, may announce his retirement at a Thursday morning press conference.
USA Today reports that Detroit GM Ken Holland and Lidstrom are set to speak at the morning conference.
Detroit Free Press reporter Helene St. James reports that Lidstorm would be announcing his retirement.
Holland wouldn't confirm the retirement rumours, saying that he would let Lidstrom make the announcement. "He's earned that right," he told journalists.
Lidstrom won four Stanley Cups and seven Norris Trophies and spent his entire 20-year career in a Red Wings uniform. In 2002, he became the first European to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
The Swede turned 42 earlier this year and there was heavy speculation that Lidstorm would retire at the end of the season. Earlier during the playoffs coach Mike Babcock said that Lidstrom hadn't made up his mind about retirement.
"I think Nick Lidstrom retires when he thinks he's not a good player anymore, but I think he's been a pretty darn good player," Babcock said to NHL.com. "I don't know what could possibly be more fun than playing hockey at a high level on a great team. And I know his wife, so she doesn't want him around for sure. Why wouldn't you keep playing?"
Nicklas Lidstrom's name became a trending topic on Twitter as players, coaches and former fans reacted to the reports. The Detroit Free Press is also asking for fan reactions using the #GoodByeLidstrom tag. A selection of responses are below: