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Nicklas Lidstrom's Career Plus-Minus vs. 1990s Defensemen

Former Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom capped off an amazing hockey career and retired in 2012.  He holds some incredible statistics over the course of his career, such as:

  • 20 consecutive years in the Stanley Cup Playoffs
  • 7 Norris Trophies for the NHL's Best Defenseman
  • 1,142 career points in the regular season, 6th in NHL history for defenseman

Granted Lidstrom was able to play with some of the true greats like Steve Yzerman, Pavel Datsyuk, Brendan Shanahan, and Sergei Fedorov...but one statistic that really stands out is his career plus/minus.  While it has it's drawbacks, plus-minus is a good marker of a player's effectiveness.

Below is a chart of Lidstrom's career cumulative plus-minus compared to top players that entered the league around the same time as him - Chris Pronger, Roman Hamrlik, Scott Niedermayer, and Adam Foote.

Couple this telling chart with the fact that Lidstrom was +61 in the playoffs, and only had one regular season in which he was minus (2010 he was -2).  It could be a long time before we see a defenseman as good all-around as him.



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