Red Wings prepare to retire Lidstrom’s No. 5

The only thing that would make the Detroit Red Wings happier than seeing Nicklas Lidstrom’s No. 5 go up to the rafters in Joe Louis Arena on Thursday is if the former captain came out of retirement to play against the Colorado Avalanche after the ceremony.

Jonathan Ericsson thinks he could do it too.

“He could probably come in and play today without even practicing, that’s how good he is,” Ericsson told NHL.com. “Well, to be realistic, maybe he’ll need a few practices. But if he practiced for a week you wouldn’t even know he was gone for a year and a half.”

Unfortunately the Red Wings know all too well that Lidstrom has been gone since announcing his retirement on May 31, 2012. They’ll honor him Thursday by retiring his jersey, but seeing No. 5 up in the rafters will only remind the Red Wings players what they’re missing.

Lidstrom was their leader and best player until the day he retired. Goalie Jimmy Howard said it’s still weird that he isn’t around.

“You look in the middle of the dressing room and you’re expecting to see No. 5, Lidstrom’s nameplate sitting there,” Howard said. “But playing with Nick and just learning so much of how to be a pro on and off the ice, he’s just a great human being. When they say he’s a perfect human being, it’s actually true.”

http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=707819

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