Source: Nicklas Lidstrom to retire

Updated: May 31, 2012, 1:23 AM ET
By Pierre LeBrun | ESPN.com

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will announce his retirement after 20 NHL seasons at a news conference Thursday afternoon, a source told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

"He's going to announce tomorrow his decision for next year. I'll let Nick, he's played 20 years, he can make his own announcement," Detroit general manager Ken Holland told reporters after the GMs met in New York before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Lidstrom, a surefire Hall of Famer, won the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman seven times. He was a runner-up three other times.

"If he does retire, he's going to go down as one of the all-time best defensemen ever to play," said Steve Yzerman, Lidstrom's former Red Wings teammate and the current Tampa Bay Lightning general manager. "Having played with him and watched him closely from his first game in the NHL, people know about it now and we said it all along, you have to watch him closely to appreciate how good he is, what a great athlete he is, because he makes the position look so easy. He is a special athlete."

The 53rd overall pick of the Red Wings in 1989 was part of four Stanley Cup winners with the Red Wings. He was named playoff MVP in 2002.

Lidstrom had 34 points and a plus-21 that ranked among the league leaders this past season. He missed a career-high 11 games due to a bone bruise on his right ankle.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.