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Red Wings hire NHL legend Nicklas Lidstrom as VP of hockey operations

Red Wings hire NHL legend Nicklas Lidstrom as VP of hockey operations
New Detroit Red Wings vice president of hockey operations Nicklas Lidstrom will work out of Sweden. Photo by Frankie Fouganthin/Wikimedia Commons

Jan. 11 (UPI) -- The Detroit Red Wings hired Hall of Fame defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom as their vice president of hockey operations Tuesday, the team announced.

Lidstrom, 51, spent his 20-year NHL career with the franchise. He debuted in 1991 and played his final game in 2012. The 12-time All-Star helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup four times.

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"I'm super excited to be back with the Red Wings again," Lidstrom told reporters. "It has been on my mind for a little bit of time. I wanted to get back and get involved with hockey again, especially with the Red Wings."

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said Lidstrom will be involved in all aspects of hockey operations, including watching teams throughout the Red Wings' minor league system.

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Lidstrom, a Vasteras, Sweden, native will work out of Sweden.

Lidstrom trails only Gordie Howe with 1,564 career games played for the Red Wings. He also totaled the third-most assists and the fourth-most points in franchise history.

Lidstrom was on the ice for 2,679 total scores, more than any player in Red Wings history. His 263 playoff appearances are an NHL record for the most with a single franchise.

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The Red Wings (16-16-4) sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. They lost four of their last five games. The Red Wings went 19-27-10 and finished eighth in the Atlantic Division last season. They last made the playoffs in 2016.

The Red Wings lost in the first round in each of their last three Stanley Cup Playoff appearances. They won their last title in 2008, with Lidstrom on the roster.

"We all want to see the organization make progress, become better and start making the playoffs again," Lidstrom said. "That's a goal for everyone."

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