It was Nicklas Lidstrom night in Detroit on Thursday as the Red Wings honored their legendary defenseman by raising his No. 5 to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena, permanently placing him alongside the likes Gordie Howe, Sid Abel, Terry Sawchuck, Steve Yzerman and the rest of the franchise's all-time greats.
During his speech just prior to the raising of his banner, Lidstrom shared a story about how he ended up getting to wear that No. 5. It was a story that didn't seem to be very widely known. When he initially arrived in Detroit as a young player, and without knowing much about the history of the franchise, Lidstrom asked to wear the No. 9 he had previously worn in Sweden.
The problem with that, of course, is that No. 9 had previously belonged to Howe and had already long been retired by the time.
"I arrived not knowing much about the Wings...I asked for #9. The trainer said, "kid, that's just not gonna happen." - Nick #LidstromNight— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 7, 2014
After that, he went on to forge his own identity as perhaps the most famous No. 5 in NHL history.
Along with the jersey retirement ceremony, his former teammates gave him a brand new truck and are also sending him on an African Safari.
Here are some of the highlights from the entire ceremony.