Dear Nicklas Lidstrom,
We're all a little concerned right now in Hockeytown. See, when it was your predecessor's turn to step down, we all knew it was coming; injuries had put an end to his career, among other factors. And while we knew what to expect, that didn't make us any more prepared.
In your case, you're not in the same boat as your predecessor. You still have amazing hockey left in you. You have a place on this team. You have a place as our number one defenseman. Hell, you have a place as one of the best defenseman of all time in the National Hockey League. All of these facts make it harder to try to swallow the idea of you retiring. We can't stand to think of our team without you on it.
You need to come back. You need to get that fifth Stanley Cup. You need to get that seventh Norris trophy. You need to tie [or pass] the league leader in consecutive years in the playoffs [the record is twenty]. You need to be our captain still. We're not ready for the ZetterCaptain just yet. To see someone else wearing the C so soon...it's not time yet.
We stop breathing every time we catch a headline that involves your name. We click it anxiously and grit our teeth and wait for the page to load. It doesn't matter what the news is - we're on edge no matter what. We breathed a sigh of relief when Babcock said he knows you'll be back. We started being optimistic when Holland said he planned on getting you signed within a few weeks. We lost all of those confident feelings when you said you weren't sure what you were doing.
We had heart attacks when you said you enrolled your oldest son in a Swedish school. In Sweden.
Nick, don't leave us yet. It's not like you've turned into Chris Chelios. You're still one of the best defensemen in the league. Sure, you may not be as fast as you used to and you play a few minutes less per game than you used to, but has that stopped you from being amazing? Has that stopped you from continuing to be The Perfect Human? No, it hasn't. There's still a fire left in you - a good fire - and you shouldn't let that go to waste.
Look at what you did yesterday. You threw the first pitch at the Tigers game. And you threw a freaking strike. And then you said you could have done it better if you had a hockey stick to take a slap shot. Fuck, just seeing that picture of you up there in this post made me go into a fit of fangirlish, "HOLY CRAP! LIDSTROM, DON'T LEAVE!" shrieks - while no one was home, mind you. Go on the internet, check out the other Wingnuts' blog posts. See how many of them are about wanting you to stay for another year [or two].That should show you how much we still love you.
We're not ready to lose you yet, Nick. You shouldn't be ready to leave us, either.
With all the love in our hearts and souls,
Your Fans in Hockeytown and around the world