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The life and career of Nicklas Lidstrom almost reads like a real-life hockey fairy tale. Drafted by the Detroit Red Wings as a 19-year-old defenseman out of his native Sweden, Lidstrom spent the next two decades manning the Motor City blueline. During those years he became a Hockeytown legend, amassing a mind-boggling collection of accomplishments and accolades: four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies as the NHL's best defenseman, a Conn Smythe Trophy, 12 All-Star selections, and gold medals in both the Olympics and World Championships.
Off the ice, life appears equally idyllic: Lidstrom is uniformly respected and admired by opponents, observers, and teammates alike, and he and his wife of more than 20 years have four boys who split their time between Sweden and their adopted homeland.
Perhaps only one question remains unanswered about the man teammates referred to as the Perfect Human: exactly how did he do it?
In Nicklas Lidstrom: The Pursuit of Perfection, the Hall of Fame defenseman and a who's-who of hockey luminaries investigate and reveal precisely how he made dominating the game he loves appear so effortless. How did an unimposing prospect catch the eye of Red Wings scouts during an era when few Swedes made it to the NHL? What was the secret to his remarkable endurance and longevity, allowing him to miss just 44 games in 20 grueling NHL seasons? And what level of preparation and study was required to transform a man who was not the biggest or fastest at his position into one of the greatest defensemen in hockey history?
You'll find the answers to all of this and more in Nicklas Lidstrom: The Pursuit of Perfection
The career of Swedish-born NHL superstar Lidstrom a Hall of Fame defenseman who won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings is detailed in this unsophisticated memoir that's longer on statistics and anecdotes than insight. In a sometimes nonlinear way, Lidstrom, with sportswriters Nordstrom and Duff, recounts his childhood growing up as part of a middle-class family in a small Swedish town. Lidstrom began playing street hockey as a seven-year-old, and soon dreamed of playing in the NHL. That dream was realized in 1989, when the then-17-year-old was drafted, beginning a two-decade affiliation with the Red Wings (his teammates nicknamed him the "Perfect Human"). Lidstrom's historic achievements (also listed in a three-page appendix) are interspersed with stories from coaches and fellow players. The prose is unexceptional ("Like all babies, he cried after emerging from his mother's womb."), yet the bigger disappointment is the by-the-numbers approach to his life. The narrative works best when he writes about his little-known private life, as with his humble post-retirement role coaching and doing scut work for his kid's team. Of interest mainly to Lidstrom's fans, this volume fails to make the sport and the magnitude of his achievements vivid.