The next time Red Wings fans see No. 5 on a winged-wheel sweater, it will be on its way to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena.

Even though some of those fans were hoping to see Nicklas Lidstrom return to play in a lockout-shortened season, the longtime Wings captain has settled nicely into retirement in Sweden.

"It feels great to be back here in Michigan again," said Lidstrom, who returned to Detroit this past week for special appearances. "It feels good when you meet all the fans. They're all congratulating me on my career.

"Some wish that I come back and play. Just the nice words from people is very kind to hear."

Lidstrom has no regrets about his decision to call it a career, but still yearns for certain parts of the game.

"I do miss it sometimes," Lidstrom said. "I do miss the competing in different situations, being on the ice when the game's on the line. You want to be on the ice, whether you're up a goal or down a goal.

"Those important situations are something that I miss, just being in those competitive situations."

As many retired players say, besides the competition, Lidstrom most misses being around his teammates.