According to Aaron Ward of TSN, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman has decided to retire from the NHL. A solid defensive defenseman with strong skating and good puck movement skills, Lydman in 847 games with Calgary, Buffalo and Anaheim.
The retirement is a mild surprise. Lydman, a 35 year old unrestricted free agent out of Finland, has reportedly turned down a multi-year deal worth $5 million from an unnamed club. So his decision to leave appears to be for reasons other than lack of opportunity.
Hopefully his decision to retire has little to do with his last game on the ice. In a playoff game against Detroit Lydman was blindsided by Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader in game three of the opening round of the 2013 Western Conference playoffs.
Here is the hit....
Abdelkader was suspended for two games. Lydman didn't return in the series after complaining of migraines and a stiff neck. The Ducks lost the series shortly thereafter.
Hopefully Lydman's decision to retire has little to do with ramifications of this play.
I will remember Toni Lydman as a solid, minute eating defenseman. He contributed very little offense though his mobility and first pass out of the zone hinted at more skill than his statistical totals ever did. By all accounts he was a solid professional and a coach's delight.
Unfortunately Lydman always seemed to be on the losing side. His teams lost the 2004 Stanley Cup final, the 2006 Olympic gold medal game, the 2004 World Cup championship and the 1998 and 1999 World championship gold medal game.