The Malik Report
by George Malik on 04/16/12 at 07:10 PM ET
Updated w/ quotes at 8:31 PM: The Associated Press’s Larry Lage has filed the preliminary version of a story about Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom that will be bolstered with quotes from the 41-year-old about, well, the inevitable given the possibility that the Wings will play their last game of the season at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday if they can’t rally from their 2-1 series deficit:
Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom insists he hasn’t thought about whether this is his last season.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner jokes he’s gotten good at waiting until after each season is over to make a decision.
A week away from his 42nd birthday, Lidstrom looks as if he could keep playing for years if he chose to continue his stellar career.
More to come on this one via an update in a few hours, and it should be interesting to read what Lidstrom has to say.
Update: As it turns out, most of the comments come from Lidstrom’s teammates, as well as his opponents:
“I don’t try to think too much about it,” [Tomas] Holmstrom said Monday. “We have to enjoy this playoff and we have to win one game to get back in the series.”
Before the first-round series started, Lidstrom reiterated he hadn’t thought about whether this will be his last NHL season. How does he keep that topic off of his mind?
“I’ve gotten pretty good at it the last two years,” Lidstrom joked.
The four-time Stanley Cup champion and seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the league’s top defenceman has put retirement on hold in each of the past two offseasons. He signed one-year contracts, after dodging questions about his decision during the regular season. Detroit defenceman Brad Stuart has a stall near Lidstrom’s in the dressing room and is left to guess, like everyone else, about Lidstrom’s future.
“Nobody here knows if Nick is coming back, and I don’t think he knows,” Stuart said.
Lidstrom won the Norris Trophy last year, putting him within one of Bobby Orr’s record of eight, and was subtly stellar again this season. He had 34 points and a plus-21 rating, a statistic that equaled Nashville’s Shea Weber to rank among the league’s top defenceman.
“He’d probably tell you he doesn’t recover like he did when he was 20 or 25 or even 35,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “But he’s still a pretty good player and important to us.”
continue reading for Barry Trotz and Shea Weber’s takes on Lidstrom’s sustaind brilliance.
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