Rasmus Dahlin meets idol Nicklas Lidstrom before Sabres play Lightning in Global Series


Rasmus Dahlin found a surprise at his locker after the morning skate Friday.

Nicklas Lidstrom.

"I was shaking," Dahlin said. "I felt like a child. Yeah, that was cool."

The Buffalo Sabres defenseman had never met the Hockey Hall of Famer, who won the Stanley Cup four times and the Norris Trophy seven times with the Detroit Red Wings from 1991-2012.

The 19-year-old will play an NHL game in his home country of Sweden for the first time when the Sabres play the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2019 NHL Global Series on Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV).

Lidstrom will be on a rinkside set as an analyst for Viasat television in Sweden during the second game of the series Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV).

They made small talk, with Lidstrom asking Dahlin what he and the team had been doing during the trip. Afterward, Dahlin asked the 49-year-old for a photo in the hall outside the locker room.

How much did Dahlin look up to Lidstrom growing up?

"So much," Dahlin said. "He's the best of all time, so I don't know. That's the guy, I guess."

Lidstrom has been watching Dahlin since 2016-17, when Dahlin debuted with Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League.

Dahlin had three points (one goal, two assists) in 26 games as a 16-year-old that season, then 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 41 games for Frolunda the following season before the Sabres selected him No. 1 in the 2018 NHL Draft.

#hockey, #professional

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