Nicklas Lidstrom: Mario Lemieux was the best player I ever faced

Nicklas Lidstrom thinks highly of Mario Lemieux.

The defenseman, who will soon to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, recently said that of all the players he faced in his career, Lemieux was the greatest.

"It was all about Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Steve Yzerman," Lidstrom told Swedish newspaper Expressen, according to NHL.com. "Lemieux had an incredible reach and some really good skills with his stick. Gretzky had that too, but he made all the players around him better. Individually, I would say Lemieux was the better player."

The 45-year-old retiree, who spent his entire career with the Detroit Red Wings, winning four Stanley Cups, decided not only to reflect on the past, but also show his support for the future.

"Erik Karlsson already is a world-class defenseman and I really enjoy seeing Victor Hedman taking a big step in his career," Lidstrom said. "I'm also impressed by Hampus Lindholm, who plays against the top lines all the time. And of course, Oliver Ekman-Larsson; he's been the best defenseman for years now."

Lidstrom retired in 2012 after 1564 NHL games, scoring 264 goals and adding 878 assists.

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Nicklas Lidstrom: Mario Lemieux was the best player I ever faced
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