Fresh off signing a one-year deal to stay with the Detroit Red Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom said the team’s commitment to winning was a key factor in his decision not to retire.
“If the team was looking to rebuild and get rid of older players it might have been a different situation,” Lidstrom said. "But they’re in it to win it. Kenny (general manager Holland) kept telling me that. He said, ‘We want to have a shot at winning the Stanley Cup.’
Lidstrom has won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman six times in his career, and although he wasn’t nominated this year he was still the team’s top off-season priority. Lidstrom had a slow start last season, but finished strong by tallying 49 points.
With Lidstrom now on the books for next season, the team can focus on signing free agent forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi. By taking a slight paycut, Lidstrom’s deal gives the Wings flexibility with the cap expected to go up to around $58 million. Only Pavel Datsyuk’s $6.7 million cap hit is higher than the captain’s.