"My drive and motivation are not where they to need to be to play at this level," Lidstrom said.
The 42-year-old Swede set an NHL record by playing 1,564 games with a single team. He had put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts.
"I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
When Lidstrom told him last week that he was retiring, Holland said he could have the weekend, weeks, or even months to think about it more in the hopes that he would change his mind. Holland now has $20-plus million in salary cap space to attempt to sign a standout defenseman, perhaps Nashville's Ryan Suter if the Predators can't re-sign him before July 1.
Even when Lidstrom didn't have one of his best years, such as last season, he was still the storied franchise's best player on the blue line and one of the better defensemen in the league.
Hartley to lead Flames
Bob Hartley has returned to the NHL as coach of the Calgary Flames. He succeeds Brent Sutter, who left the team in April after three seasons.
Hartley coached Colorado for five seasons and won a Stanley Cup with the Avalanche in 2001. He joined the Flames after a championship season with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland. Hartley also spent three full seasons and parts of two others as coach of the Atlanta Thrashers.
He agreed to a three-year deal with Calgary.
- Associated Press