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Mike Babcock Optimistic Nicklas Lidstrom Will Hold Off On Retirement

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.