As a self-proclaimed “admirably impartial Red Wings scribe,” it is difficult for me to narrow down three Detroit Red Wings players I would invite to enjoy my company for Thanksgiving. All joking aside, it wasn’t until recently that I had a vested interest in the Detroit Red Wings.
While I have quite a bit of knowledge of the team’s past, present, and future players, my answers may seem a bit trivial, simple, or even boring to some. Nevertheless, while I did not come into my hockey fandom as a Detroit Red Wings fan, these three players all had a hand in inspiring my love for the game and reigniting that flame years later.
The first person on my list would undoubtedly be the man with a plan, Steve Yzerman. He is not just a hockey legend but someone who sparked my profound interest in the sport of hockey at an early age. His leadership, skill, and dedication to the game have always been an inspiration for me and have oftentimes given me the motivation I needed to tackle difficult challenges in my own life.
There are far too many legendary moments I would love to pick his brain about. I would sit mesmerized, reliving those incredible moments as stories told straight from the man who experienced them firsthand. His journey from a young, talented player to a revered leader holds a treasure trove of anecdotes and experiences.
Next, I’d extend an invitation to Nicklas Lidstrom, a true maestro on the ice. Growing up, Nicklas Lidstrom was the idol of one of my friends. And, as a former “goaltender” (and by goaltender, I mean this same friend and his brother strapped roller skates to my feet, forced me into a net, and shot wristers at me until I cried), Lidstrom’s unparalleled experiences as a defenseman have always captivated me. His grace, intelligence, and defensive prowess are things I have admired from a young age and throughout my hockey journey.
And, of course, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have Gordie Howe join us, even though he’s no longer with us. His legendary status transcends eras, and his impact on the game is immeasurable. Sharing a meal with a hockey icon like Howe would be an unforgettable experience, and his stories would undoubtedly be an incredible addition to our Thanksgiving gathering. He was also one of my dad’s favorite players, and I’d like to imagine them playing together in that big hockey rink in the sky.