- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Owner Mike Ilitch says he is going to miss a jersey retirement ceremony for Detroit Red Wings great Nicklas Lidstrom due to health reasons.

In a statement Wednesday, Ilitch said he underwent a medical procedure “this past year” that has kept him “out of the spotlight for a while.”

As a result, Ilitch says he and his wife, Marian, won’t be able to attend Thursday night’s festivities, when Lidstrom has his No. 5 retired before the Wings face off against the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena. The defenseman retired in 2012 after winning four Stanley Cups with Detroit.

The 84-year-old Ilitch says he feels “much better,” is “stronger every day” and never misses a Red Wings game on television. He says Lidstrom is “very deserving” of the honor.