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Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom officially joined the organization as a scout on Nov. 9.
Nicklas Lidstrom spoke recently about his decision to retire from the NHL, and says he doesn't regret doing so.
After walking away from hockey after 20 Hall of Fame-worthy seasons back in May, former Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has already been reeled back in by Detroit's organization after just two months, and will now officially join the team as a scout.
Though Lidstrom's specific role according to the team remains unclear, it's likely that he'll have his choice of whether to remain in Sweden or to return to the United States. Assistant Wings general manager Jim Nill mentioned that he has not talked with Lidstrom about the specifics of his scouting focus as of yet. "We might bring him back here," Nill said. "It depends on the situation. His terms. We wanted to keep him in the organization."
Lidstrom, who spoke with Swedish website aftonbladet.se, did manage to elaborate somewhat on what his scouting position might entail:
The idea is that I should shop around and look at some players that the club has drafted here in Sweden. It becomes a form of talent scouting but I will also go back to the States a few times a year and meet sponsors. Once down there, I will also attend the various events around the team....
Easily one of the most influential and recognizable players in Sweden, Lidstrom is the ideal ambassador for the Wings into the very talented world of both Swedish and European hockey. It was evident that the future Hall of Famer might just stick around for a while after the organization announced he would have a role 'in some capacity' in early June, and this diverse overseas scouting role appears like a great fit for both sides.
Even though he will be moving back to Sweden now that he's officially hung up his skates, retired Red Wings defender Nicklas Lidstrom is still expected to remain with Detroit's organization in some capacity according to general manager Ken Holland.
Lidstrom played in 1594 games on the ice for the Wings, and spent the better part of 20 seasons dealing with the day-to-day grind of being a cog in a well-oiled professional franchise. He knows the game about as well as anyone out there, and has spent more time in the Red Wings' organization than some of the most tenured scouts. Even if the crafty defenseman is nothing more than an occasional overseas ambassador to a foreign prospect or two, this is an obvious win-win for Holland and company.
While it's hard to believe that Lidstrom will be a significant part of anything that goes on right away since he's just now settling down, it's conceivable that he could get an itch at some point and want to try his hand in more of a front office role. For that reason alone it's great to have him in a position where that can actually be possible down the road. Watching a legend like Steve Yzerman leave town was a bitter pill for Detroit fans to swallow, so it was important to keep a Hall of Famer like Lidstrom as close as possible to the team heading into the future.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom has called it a career. As speculated on Wednesday, Lidstrom announced during a Thursday morning press conference at Joe Louis Arena that he is retiring from the sport of hockey.
Lidstrom is going out on his own terms and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game. He won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies and a Conn Smythe Trophy -- all with the Red Wings. He also won a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Olympics for Sweden. He is a surefire Hall of Famer and will without a doubt be the final player to wear the No. 5 jersey for the Red Wings.
Lidstrom's career comes to a close after 1,564 games in the regular season and another 263 more in the playoffs. He recorded 264 goals and 878 assists for a total of 1,142 regular-season points. In the playoffs, he had 54 goals and 129 assists for a total of 183 points. Amazingly, he went to the playoffs in all 20 seasons of his career.
As good as Lidstrom was on the ice, he was even better off of it. He has been a role model throughout his career and is somebody all people -- not just hockey players -- can look up to. There's a reason his nickname is "The Perfect Human," as he exemplified what it meant to be a great player and a great person during his 20 seasons with the Red Wings.
One of the big questions that will arise after Nicklas Lidstrom officially retires on Thursday is about who will step in his place as the next captain of the Detroit Red Wings. Right now, the Red Wings' three alternate captains are Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall. The favorite to become the next team captain is Zetterberg, according to Helene St. James.
Bank on Henrik Zetterberg being named the next captain of the Detroit #RedWings— Helene St. James (@freepwings) May 30, 2012
Zetterberg is the logical choice to be the next captain of the Red Wings. He has played for the Red Wings since the 2002-03 season, and he is signed to continue playing for the team through the 2020-21 season. He is one of the premier players in the NHL and is one of the Red Wings' leaders.
If Zetterberg is named the next captain of the Red Wings, Datsyuk and Kronwall will continue serving as two of the alternate captains. Should the Red Wings fill the third alternate spot, it will be interesting to see who ends up with it.
It's all but official at this point that Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is going to retire. Already, former teammate Aaron Ward confirmed that Thursday's press conference is for Lidstrom to announce his retirement, and two more reports indicate the same thing.
Source just confirmed to me Nicklas Lidstrom is retiring after 20 seasons in NHL.— Helene St. James (@freepwings) May 30, 2012
Hakan Andersson is the Red Wings' director of European scouting and is from Sweden. Obviously, he would be plugged in to know about Lidstrom's decision, which quickly is making the rounds in the hockey world.
Lidstrom's press conference on Thursday is scheduled for 11 a.m. ET.
It appears that Thursday's press conference with Nicklas Lidstrom will in fact be for him to announce his retirement. As soon as the announcement was made on Wednesday about a press conference with Lidstrom being held, speculation suggested that he was going to retire. Now, word is starting to leak out that Lidstrom is in fact calling it a career, as evidenced by this tweet from former teammate Aaron Ward:
According to source,Nic Lidstrom will announce his retirement tomorrow in Detroit. #TSN— Aaron Ward (@aaronward_nhl) May 30, 2012
More signs that Lidstrom is retiring come from comments Ken Holland has made. Holland told Nick Cotsonika that he talked to Lidstrom three or four times in the past week because he "wanted to make sure that he had all the necessary time." What's more, Holland said that Lidstrom has come to a decision and that it's a "major decision." There's also this:
Holland on Lidstrom "I'll let him make his announcement. He's earned that right."— Tim Wharnsby (@WharnsbyCBC) May 30, 2012
We all knew this day would eventually come, but it's hard to believe it may finally be here.
The Detroit Red Wings just announced that a press conference will be held on Thursday morning at Joe Louis Arena. The purpose? It's not clear, but the announcement states that general manager Ken Holland and captain Nicklas Lidstrom will be involved in the press conference, which is set to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
In all likelihood, this press conference will be about Lidstrom's future and whether or not he is returning for his 21st season in the NHL. For reference, last year when he announced his return, Lidstrom did so over a conference call. When that particular media event was announced, it was clear he wasn't going to retire over the phone, and he did end up coming back.
With the Red Wings calling an actual press conference at Joe Louis Arena, speculation suggests that it may be for Lidstrom to announce his retirement. That's just speculation, but would Lidstrom hold an in-person presser to simply announce he is returning? I suppose it's possible, but based on what he did last year, it would be a surprise.
At this point, you can bet all Red Wings fans are hoping that the difference in how the announcement is made results in the same announcement in the end -- that Lidstrom is coming back. However, it's a real possibility that this could be the end of the road for Lidstrom, and that is really hard to fathom given what a run it's been.
As the final seconds ticked down last Friday night and the Detroit Red Wings made their final push to try to bring Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals even at two, the eery thought began to creep into the collective mind of NHL fans everywhere; could this really be Nicklas Lidstrom's final NHL Game?
Over the last few seasons, the reality of the end has been apparent and now with the aging superstar in his 42nd year, it appears to be just around the bend. On Wednesday morning, Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press wrote a story explaining that Lidstrom would provide the Red Wings an official answer by mid-June after he has had a chance to discuss the decision with his family.
According to St. James, the biggest factor will be his motivation level and whether the seven-time Norris trophy and four-time Stanley Cup winning, 20-year vet has enough drive left in the tank for a 21st year.
It's that time of the year again: time to pose the question: "Will Nicklas Lidstrom retire this offseason?" True, the Detroit Red Wings are still in the playoffs and aren't a team you should ever count out (despite the fact that they're one loss away from being eliminated), but it's worth looking at now, with the regular season having reached its end.
Lidstrom will be 42 years-old this month (on April 28) and has played 20 seasons in the NHL, all of them with the Red Wings. Well, Lidstrom has already been asked whether or not he'll retire, and the Detroit Free Press wrote about it on Thursday:
Lidstrom very patiently answered that question today the same way he has answered it every other time it has been brought up this season -- or last year, for that matter: He'll wait till after the season is over, talk it over with his wife, then decide.
He's definitely not the type to manufacture a story - Lidstrom will make a calculated decision and announce it once the season is over. The last two offseasons have come with questions about Lidstrom and his future in the NHL, and it looks like this one won't be any different. Mike Babcock, the Red Wings coach, did have something to say on the matter:
"I'd be shocked if he retires," Babcock said. "But I've been shocked before."
We'll find out if Babcock will be shocked once the playoffs wrap up for the Red Wings.
Nicklas Lidstrom could have demanded a lot of attention as he mulled retirement for a second straight year. Instead, he handled it with the class and humility we've become accustomed to for the last 19 years.
Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom announced on a conference call Monday morning that he is going to return for his 20th season with the team. Lidstrom agreed to a one-year deal, and although the terms of the contract haven't been officially released, it has been reported that Lidstrom will make 6.2 million in 2011-12. That is the same salary Lidstrom had last season.
Explaining how he came to the decision to return, Lidstrom said he wanted to make sure he had the motivation to go through another offseason of training.
"I wanted to make sure I had the motivation and the commitment to work out for next season,'' Lidstrom said today during a conference call. "I wanted to make sure I'm motivated, still able to play at a high level at my age. I have to be motivated to play. You can't just show up and play 15-20 minutes a game.''
It's entirely possible 2011-12 could be Lidstrom's final decision, but he said he won't make a decision until this time next year. If he plays at as high a level as he did last season, it might be tough to walk away, especially if the Red Wings are still contenders for a Stanley Cup.
Either way, the good news is No. 5 will be patrolling the Red Wings' blue line for at least one more season.
There was a strong indication last week that Lidstrom would return for his 20th season next year. This morning, according to the Detroit Red Wings' official website, Lidstrom and Ken Holland will announce that Lidstrom will in fact be returning:
The Red Wings got their man when legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom told team officials last week that he will return for a 20th NHL season.
Terms of Lidstrom’s one-year contract were not finalized before today when the 41-year-old captain and general manager Ken Holland got together in Las Vegas.
Before the news popped up on the team's official website, their official Twitter feed announced an 11 a.m. media conference call involving Lidstrom and Holland, suggesting Lidstrom would return -- and, as many astutely pointed out, Lidstrom would never retire over a conference call.
I wasn't as sure as Sean last week that Babcock was talking purely on what he thought Lidstrom would do rather than what he might've known. The breaking news on the Red Wings' website quotes Babcock as saying he received Lidstrom's decision last Tuesday, around the same time he was quoted as saying, "He's too good. And our team is too good for him to quit," which -- I thought -- was too powerful of a quote from someone left completely in the dark on Lidstrom's inkling.
Obviously, it can't be overstated how great of news this is for the 2011-2012 Red Wings.
Lidstrom will find out this week whether or not he will earn his 7th career Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman.
Based an encounter in an airport earlier this week between a former Michigan kicker and Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock, it seemed as though Nicklas Lidstrom was set to announce his return sometime soon. Babcock apparently said at some point during the conversation that Lidstrom will announce he's coming back, but without the context of the conversation it was impossible to tell if Babcock had first-hand information or was relying on a gut feeling.
After Ansar Khan spoke to Babcock on Tuesday, it's clear Babcock was talking about what he thinks Lidstrom will do rather than what he knows Lidstrom will do.
Babcock is convinced that Lidstrom will return, though he hasn’t heard it from him.
"I’m 100 percent optimistic," Babcock said Tuesday.
Asked why, Babcock said, "Why not? He’s too good. And our team is too good for him to quit."
Lidstrom talked with Red Wings GM Ken Holland earlier this week, but no decision was made. Holland and Lidstrom are expected to talk again at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas next week. Considering the NHL Awards show is being held two days before the NHL Entry Draft begins, I would expect a decision to be shared with Holland while in Las Vegas. July 1 is the so-called deadline for Lidstrom's decision, but it's important for Holland to know before the draft so he can start planning accordingly with trades and stuff like that.
Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is expected to make a decision about his hockey future at some point this month. His "deadline" has been mentioned as July 1, the day free agency opens, but a decision is expected before the NHL Entry Draft begins on June 24.
Nothing has been announced yet by the Red Wings or Lidstrom, but former University of Michigan kicker Jeff DelVerne's encounter with Detroit head coach Mike Babcock on Monday suggests Lidstrom will return for another season. DelVerne ran into Babcock in an airport in Minnesota and even took a picture with him. He also got the inside scoop on Lidstrom:
Of course, we don't know what the context was of this conversation or if Babcock said this more as a prediction than a concrete statement. Even so, it's a good sign that Babcock is expecting to get another year out of Lidstrom.
Last week, Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios helped Kid Rock announce a concert scheduled for Aug. 12 at Comerica Park. The press conference took place on the beach, and Lidstrom, Chelios and Kid Rock actually arrived on paddleboards.
While on the beach for the presser, Red Wings TV caught up with Lidstrom to ask him about his decision for next season. Below is a video of the brief interview.
Lidstrom said there is "nothing new to report really." He has talked to Ken Holland and Mike Babcock about making a decision by July 1, and he said that is essentially his deadline. Lidstrom added that he just got back from a week-long vacation and still had not made up his mind as of the time of this interview (last Thursday).
Although Lidstrom's deadline to make a decision is July 1, I'd bet on him making up his mind before the NHL Entry Draft begins on June 24. If Lidstrom is going to retire, Holland could spend time at the draft formulating trade offers, so it would be important to know one way or another before the front office heads to Minnesota for it.
The Red Wings head coach said his wife went to the gym and saw Lidstrom “working out like crazy,” not particularly a trait of someone who’s planning on retiring.
“I’ll give you a good report, right from my wife,‘’ Babcock said during Wednesday’s news conference announcing Brian Rafalski’s retirement. "She was at the gym yesterday and Nick was working out like crazy. She said his shirt was soaked, I was so excited to hear that, you have no idea.’’
Lidstrom has told general manager Ken Holland he will make a decision before the NHL Entry Draft that begins on June 24. After July 1, Lidstrom will become a free agent, but there is little hope for other teams if they think they’re going to land the 41-year-old Norris finalist.
The million dollar question right now in Hockeytown is will captain Nicklas Lidstrom return for a 20th NHL season? Right now, it doesn’t appear we’ll know the answer in the near future.
Lidstrom said he will decide by July 1 whether or not he’ll return to the Red Wings next season. He’ll be 42 by this time next year, but he was still nominated for a seventh Norris Trophy this season as the league’s top defenseman. The Red Wings want him back for obvious reasons; Lidstrom netted 16 goals and 62 points in 2010-11, his highest totals in three seasons.
The future is even more unclear for fellow teammates Mike Modano, Kris Draper and Chris Osgood. Modano hinted toward the end of the season this would probably be his last year, but Draper and Osgood have both expressed their desire to return.
“What do I hope? I still want to play,” Draper said today at Joe Louis Arena as the Wings met to take their team photo and clear out their lockers.
Draper will turn 40 during the offseason and already struggled to find playing time in the fourth line bunch of Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller and Justin Abdelkader. But as an alternate captain he’s been an integral part of the Wings organization for all but 20 of his 1,157 career games. He, like Lidstrom, also has a family that has made many sacrifices to allow him to play for so long.
“This is home, that’s the one thing that probably makes it that much tougher. I’ve been here so long. This is all my kids know. A lot of people, when they get to this point in their career, they’ve been to different places, (the kids) have been to different schools, they’ve had different friends. For me, that’s not the case.”
The issue with all of these guys is money, something Detroit doesn’t have a lot of with the salary cap. Draper made $1.5 million last year and the Red Wings aren’t going to pay that amount again for someone who only had six goals and five assists in 47 games. The same goes for Osgood, who made $1.4 million and didn’t even make it through January due to injury. Lidstrom will certainly demand a salary upwards of $5 million, if not the same $6.2 million he made this year (and he earned it).
You can watch Lidstrom and his teammates discuss their futures here.
The scariest part about Thursday night's loss to the Sharks in Game 7 is that it could very well be the last time we see some of the Red Wings players on the ice or in the NHL in general. It's no secret that a few guys are getting up there in age, and it's possible Thursday's game could mark the end of an era depending on who, if anyone, decides to retire.
The most notable player that will have to make a decision about retirement is defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. Just like last summer, the Detroit captain will take some time to think about his future before deciding one way or another.
"I'm going to take my time and make a decision in the next little while, not sure how long it'll take,'' Lidstrom said after Thursday's 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks in Game 7. "I'm going to take everything into account, whether it's the series or the regular season or just the whole year.''
Fans, the front office, the coaching staff and the Red Wings organization as a whole hope Lidstrom decides to play for at least one more season. He showed during the 2011 NHL playoffs that he can still play at a high level despite turning 41 on April 28. What's more, the Red Wings should once again be contenders for the Stanley Cup in the 2011-12 season, so the hope is Lidstrom will come back and make at least one more run for another title.
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said he has "no idea" what Lidstrom will decide to do. He, like everyone else, hopes to get at least another year out of Lidstrom, but only time will tell if No. 5's future includes one more season of hockey.
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