Nicklas Lidstrom is officially back. The Red Wings' captain signed a one-year deal with the team earlier today, as confirmed by Ken Holland.
“I get to watch him every day,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I still think that Nick is the premier two-way defenseman in the world. There might be some player that maybe a little bit more productive, offensively, but I think when you factor in how good Nick is defensively, how he played the last half of the year, certainly the last 30 games … I still think we have one – if not the – best defensemen in the world. It’s a great day for Red Wings’ fans.”
A great day it is. While I certainly realized it was possible for Lidstrom to retire, I don't know if I was quite ready to see him go. Consider this: Lidstrom has been playing for the Wings since 1991. I was born in 1990, so for as long as I can remember, Lidstrom has been on the Red Wings. That's part of the reason why it was so tough to see Steve Yzerman retire. As long as I'd been a Red Wings fan, he had been on the team, and that is the case with Lidstrom as well. When he retires, it will truly be the end of an era.
As far as Lidstrom's contract goes, no specifics beyond the length were released. Ansar Khan estimates the contract to be worth "slightly more" than what Brian Rafalski currently earns, meaning it probably is just above $6 million.