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Red Wings call press conference regarding Nicklas Lidstrom’s future; signs point to retirement

Updated 9x with Scotty talking about Nick at 5:04 PM: There’s a rumor going around that Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will retire tomorrow, and while I’m not convinced of it…The Red Wings just confirmed that something is up:

The Red Wings have called a press conference tomorrow morning at Joe Louis Arena. Ken Holland and Nick Lidstrom are expected to speak.

Cross your fingers, toes and veins, folks.

Update: Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Rick Bouwness...

The Detroit Red Wings have scheduled a press conference for Thursday, May 31, 2012, beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET in the C.C. Olympia Club at Joe Louis Arena. Participants at tomorrow’s press conference will include Red Wings Executive Vice President & General Manager Ken Holland and team captain Nicklas Lidstrom.

I’m guessing that the Wings will stream it online—actually, the Wings Facebook page is confirming it.

Update: As many sources have suggested, a press conference is a rare occurrence, but RedWingsFeed nailed it here:

RT @WharnsbyCBC: Holland on Lidstrom “I’ll let him make his announcement. He’s earned that right.”

And then there’s this from Nick Cotsonika:

Holland said he wanted Lidstrom to announce his decision. “He’s earned that right.” sounds like Lidstrom will retire.
Holland spoke to Lidstrom a couple days ago, three or four times in past week. “I wanted to make sure that he had all the necessary time.”
Holland on Lidstrom: “I mean, it’s a major decision for him. He’s obviously come to a decision, which he’ll announce tomorrow.”

Update #2: Urgh, per TSN’s Aaron Ward:

According to source,Nic Lidstrom will announce his retirement tomorrow in Detroit. #TSN

Update #3: Per FSD’s Ryan Field:

“@FSDwakiji: #Redwings Nick Lidstrom press conference tomorrow at 11 am. @FOXSportsDet will carry it live.”

Update #4: Urgh, per the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness:

We’ll learn Thursday at 11 a.m. whether Nicklas Lidstrom will return for another season in Detroit or retire.

And according to a source within the organization Lidstrom will be announcing his retirement.

Lidstrom will appear alongside general manager Ken Holland at the press conference.

When Lidstrom, 42, returned for his 20th season in Detroit last year the club did not hold a press conference to make the announcement, which led to speculation that his could be the end of the road for the seven-time Norris Trophy winner.

Lidstrom missed 11 games in the later part of the regular season with a deep ankle bruise and could never get back to full health.

“(I wasn’t) where I wanted to be,” Lidstrom said at the end of the season. “You want to be out there killing penalties, you want to be more in a rhythm but when you can’t do it, it’s hard to get that rhythm going.”

Lidstrom, who wound up missing a career-high 12 games this regular season, needed injections before games to dull the pain and it didn’t allow him play on the penalty kill.

“I felt it during practice a little bit when we were skating but I didn’t want to take too many shots (pain killing) for practices,” said Lidstrom, who turned 42 at the end of April. “Once the games were played it didn’t bother me at all.”

Per the Free Press’s Helene St. James:

Source just confirmed to me Nicklas Lidstrom is retiring after 20 seasons in NHL.
Bank on Henrik Zetterberg being named the next captain of the Detroit #RedWings
With Nicklas Lidstrom gone, hard to think Tomas Holmstrom retirement isn’t next. #RedWings

MLive’s Ansar Khan also says that Lidstrom is retiring:

Nicklas Lidstrom will retire after an illustrious career that includes seven Norris Trophies as the NHL’s top defenseman and four Stanley Cup championships, a league source confirmed to MLive.

The Red Wings have scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Thursday, during which Lidstrom and general manager Ken Holland will speak. No other details were immediately available and club officials could not be reached for comment.

“I’ll let him make his announcement. He’s earned that right,” general manager Ken Holland told reporters today at the GM meetings in New York.

Lidstrom, 42, said after the season that he would take some time to decide on his future. He said at the time that he was confident in his ability to continue playing at a high level and that his health and his age were not concerns. He said he has faith in the organization’s ability to maintain a talented and competitive roster and the motivation to win another Stanley Cup still runs deep.

But Lidstrom said he wasn’t sure if he still has the drive to train the way he needs to over the summer to be prepared for another long and grinding season. And, his family might want to return to his native Sweden.

“I feel physically I can still play,” Lidstrom said on April 24, when players cleaned out their lockers at Joe Louis Arena. “I can contribute, but you have to be motivated and you have to have the drive. … It’s the grind, that workout six or seven times a week. It’s hard.”

Update #7: Per Expressen’s Linus Hugosson:

Hakan Andersson just sent me a text, confirming the rumour that Nick Lidstrom is retiring. #nhl #redwings

Update #8: Just throw it on the pile, from the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:

The Red Wings and Nicklas Lidstrom have called a press conference for Thursday to announce the future plans of their star defenseman.

Aaron Ward, an NHL analyst for TSN of Canada, reported that Lidstrom will say he is retiring. Ward is a former Red Wings defenseman.

Ward attributed his information to a source.

The press conference will take place at Joe Louis Arena at 11 a.m. General manager Ken Holland also will attend.

Update #9: Via RedWingsFeed, the Denver Post’s Adrian Dater just spoke to Scotty Bowman about Lidstrom:

“I was very fortunate. I got to Detroit in his second season. Where could you ever get a player who would miss very few games, who could play at the level he was at? You never had to worry about him day-to-day,” Bowman told The Denver Post. “He was just one-of-a-kind. Even after they changed the rules after the (2004-05) lockout, his game never suffered. People thought he might not be able to handle the new game, but he did. The great players always adapt.

“He was a wonderful person and a terrific player. He was a natural choice as captain after Yzerman left. The thing I was always amazed about with Nick Lidstrom was how he could play with anybody as a partner on defense, and his game never suffered, and he could just play with anybody. When I first coached him, he was paired with (Vladimir) Konstantinov, and you know how good he was. But after that, he had a lot of fellows to play with and he never missed a beat. He never left his partner left to fend for a 2-on-1 or a 3-on-1. It was amazing how he was able to rack up the points and still never leave his partner in distress, like getting caught.

“He was uncanny in how he was able to play the point, at even strength or on the power play. He knew always when to keep the puck in, when to come up against the boards and keep it in. One of the first things I always look for in a defenseman is how they are able to play at the offensive point. Drew Doughty has caught my eye in that way now, and the kid in Ottawa, Karlsson, is so adept at creating chances at the point. Lidstrom, Bourque – they created so many chances from the point. But he took care of the puck so well too. He made so few mistakes. It’s going to be strange to watch Detroit without him.”

Bowman said he believes family considerations played the biggest part in Lidstrom’s decision – which, keep in mind, has yet to be made official. “His oldest boy, Kevin, is just starting to get really going as a player,” he said.

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mrfluffy's avatar

Well you can delete my comment just posted in the Draper post. Where’s the glue?

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/30/12 at 05:18 PM ET

TeamDub's avatar

I just sharted.

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 05/30/12 at 05:21 PM ET

awould's avatar

Too soon to be good news.

Posted by awould on 05/30/12 at 05:21 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Two Thousand Forking Six all over again.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 05/30/12 at 05:23 PM ET


Sounds like retirement. Would be no need for a press conference if he was coming back for another season.

Posted by Jeremy from Toledo, OH on 05/30/12 at 05:23 PM ET


This does not sound good.  They’ve never called a news conference before when he’s signed his one year contracts.  All they did was issue a press release.  I’m going to assume the worst until then.

Well, if changes are going to be made, they might as well be big ones.  And there would be no bigger one than Nick retiring.

Posted by Karen from Cleveland on 05/30/12 at 05:24 PM ET

MacPhisto's avatar

We’re effed…

Posted by MacPhisto from Hungary on 05/30/12 at 05:33 PM ET

Nate A's avatar


Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 05/30/12 at 05:37 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Its over. It had to happen sometime and Mr Holland has had a long time to work out plan B and it better be something better than he retires when Nick retires.

So is Nick going to be part of the Alumni game during the Winter Classic?

Posted by joedaiceman on 05/30/12 at 05:38 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

If it is retirement, it obviously really sucks.  But, if it allows us the money to sign Suter AND Parise it’s probably a plus when looking at the long term.  But it still sucks.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/30/12 at 05:40 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

my money is on retirement. this sucks.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 05/30/12 at 05:42 PM ET

joedaiceman's avatar

Who says Suter and Parise do not get resigned? Even if they don’t, about 29 other teams will be going after them hard.

Posted by joedaiceman on 05/30/12 at 05:42 PM ET

Chet's avatar

looks like retirement.

if so, happy trails to the classiest, finest player of the last 20 years, and thanks for the FOUR CUPS WE CAN STILL CELEBRATE!

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/30/12 at 05:43 PM ET


Thursday, May 31, 2012, will go down in infamy in DRW lore, especially for KH’s not doing enough to give TPH what turned out to be his last chance at the Cup.

Posted by Alex on 05/30/12 at 05:45 PM ET


Hoo boy…

Last year when the Red Wings called a presser re: Osgood I knew it was retirement…

So I’m going to say that it’s not.

Because I have to…

Posted by Garth on 05/30/12 at 05:45 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

Who says Suter and Parise do not get resigned? Even if they don’t, about 29 other teams will be going after them hard.

Posted by joedaiceman on 05/30/12 at 03:42 PM ET

They may re-sign, but I doubt it.  And with all the money we may have depending on this, we’ll be able to compete with any one of those 29 teams for them.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 05/30/12 at 05:45 PM ET

yzer19man's avatar

oh no, please don’t let it be so. I’m going to say an extra prayer or three before bed tonight.

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 05/30/12 at 05:48 PM ET


Happy sailing, Captain!

They do human cloning, do they?

Posted by Alex on 05/30/12 at 05:49 PM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

My heart sank about a mile when I strolled onto KK’s just now.
We’ve known it was coming.
IF it is what we’re all thinking it is… all I can say is a couple very simple words.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 05/30/12 at 05:49 PM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

I bet it’s retirement too.  Sucks he didn’t get to go out on top, but he’s had a hell of a career, and we’ve been lucky to be able to cheer for him as long as we have.

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 05/30/12 at 05:49 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Yep. Looks like he’s going. End of one hell of an era. Best defenseman ever. Like Red Berensen said, “He plays the game the right way.”

Aw, Nick. We’ll miss you.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 05/30/12 at 05:50 PM ET


We all knew this day would happen: we all just hoped it would happen later.

It does sound like retirement (that said I hope I am wrong). Lidstrom has such class that he is giving the Wings options before the draft so they can make trades and plans for his departure.

I hope someone asks him how much that injury late in the season this past year weighed on his decision going forward.

Posted by dca from back in Mich (from vac at Disneyworld) on 05/30/12 at 05:52 PM ET


Does last year conference regarding his future a conference call?

Looking around I’ve found this:

Seems that’s the end for #5 :(

Posted by GuiFavero from Brazil on 05/30/12 at 05:53 PM ET

WingedRider's avatar

It had to happen sometime! Pretty classy to tell them early.

I just wish he could stay with Wings organization in some capacity but that won’t happen either.

The BEST DMan and Person in the last 20 + years!!

He will be missed Big time by all !!!!!

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 05/30/12 at 05:55 PM ET

Rondo's avatar


Posted by Rondo on 05/30/12 at 05:55 PM ET

gowings's avatar

Holy s*** I almost passed out reading the title…then sadness came in. The only time I actually shed a tear for a retired player was for # 19. I know this was coming…but somehow ..I just did not want to believe it :(

I don’t want to go to work tomorrow…I will be a b*** all day.

Posted by gowings from MTL on 05/30/12 at 06:00 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

if so, happy trails to the classiest, finest player of the last 20 years, and thanks for the FOUR CUPS WE CAN STILL CELEBRATE!
Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 05/30/12 at 03:43 PM ET

This ^^^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/30/12 at 06:01 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I would also like to add that Lidstrom was a rare athlete in a day and age where fame goes to most athlete’s heads. The humble factor of the whole NHL dropped by 15% if he indeed is retiring. We were very lucky to have been able to watch such a great player who played the game the way it’s supposed to be played.
Sad day, my friends :~(

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/30/12 at 06:05 PM ET

perfection's avatar


we are screwed. Stuart and Lids both gone. Let’s assume Suter stays in Nashville or signs somewhere else… we’re going to be fighting for a playoff spot. this sucks big Swedish (meat)balls. Ouch. This one’s gonna sting all summer. Some major free agent splashes would sure help soothe the pain, but lets be real. There’s nobody available, including Suter, that really comes close to bringing what Lidstrom brings. One of the best of ALL TIME. Irreplaceable.

All good things must end, but seeing that its basically universally agreed upon that Lids has at least a couple good years left in the tank, this is harder to swallow. When Stevie finally hung them up, while it was tragic in one sense, you also sort of knew deep down he left it all on the ice. His body could simply take no more. But Lidstrom’s got the health, the conditioning, and the skill. He’s retiring simply because he doesn’t feel like doing it anymore. And while he has of course earned the right to do that and I wish him all the best, I’m extremely unhappy and disappointment with his decision.

The upside is that Ken Holland has the opportunity to prove yet again why he’s widely considered one of the top GM’s in sports. Time to make magic Kenny.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/30/12 at 06:06 PM ET

Aphaea's avatar

I knew this would happen someday, I just wish that day wasn’t now. Not that Lidstrom doesn’t deserve to go out on his own terms, because he absolutely does, but he’s the kind of player you wish could play forever. Always classy, always played the right way.

And now I have to try to delude myself that this just isn’t happening.

Posted by Aphaea on 05/30/12 at 06:27 PM ET


Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 05/30/12 at 04:06 PM ET

Holy shit, calm the f*ck down, dude.

Or don’t, who am I to tell you what to do?

Posted by Garth on 05/30/12 at 06:31 PM ET

TheFreak's avatar

Maybe Nick doesn’t care for the assistant coaches either…

Posted by TheFreak on 05/30/12 at 06:33 PM ET

Jeff  OKWingnut's avatar

Well, fuch a buncha shit.

Thanks TPH - you are world class, in every way.

It still sucks though.

Posted by Jeff OKWingnut from Quest for 12 on 05/30/12 at 06:46 PM ET

MacPhisto's avatar

Looking at the Final Four, they have plenty of above average defensemen and not one superstar, but stellar goaltending. The trends have changed from having a star-studded D backed by a good goalie to having a good D backed by a super goalie. And since this is a copycat league…can Jimmy do it?

Posted by MacPhisto from Hungary on 05/30/12 at 06:51 PM ET

Crow's avatar

Sad day followed by a big ? of the upcoming red wing season.  Is the sky falling?  Let’s see…

Kronwall/ Suter

Big ?

Posted by Crow on 05/30/12 at 07:00 PM ET



Posted by beanie on 05/30/12 at 07:10 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

I keep reading it over and over again…I knew this was coming but hearing it confirmed makes it feel different.  So very sad.  So very grateful that I’ve been able to watch him play magnificent hockey for so many years.

Thank you, Nick.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 05/30/12 at 07:46 PM ET

John's avatar

Kronwall/Suter is a nice top pairing, but it just makes me shutter when I think of, for instance, Lidstrom/Chelios.  What if we don’t get Suter, and we end up with this:


That, my friends, makes me a little nervous.  We either signing Suter, engaging in some major trading for a new blue line, or both.  But I would think signing Parise is definitely a second priority for Holland at this point.

Also, I agree with the comments that Homer is likely gone as well.  Mark it on your calendars, the ‘97 team is officially completely history.

Posted by John from Pittsburgh, PA (Wings fan for life!) on 05/30/12 at 07:55 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

Sad day for Wings fans and hockey fans in general.  He’s been one of the best players in this generation.

The few glimpses of the Lidstromless Wings we’ve seen over the recent years have been a bit terrifying.  The two times that Lidstrom missed any significant time with injury - this year and 2008 - the Wings went into a huge tailspin.  They looked lost out there on defense.  Perhaps with his retirement, the psychology will change and it wont be so bad (then again the Wings looked “lost out there on defense” throughout much of the Pedators’ series and Lidstrom was healthy then.)

That said, as depressing as it is to see him go and how there is no “replacing” Lidstrom, this will be by far the most interesting off-season for the Wings in some time.  It will also make the season a bit more interesting given the potential new faces and all of the question marks that will be surrounding a team.

As the Chinese proverb goes…  May we live in interesting times.

Posted by Ajax19 on 05/30/12 at 08:01 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

(then again the Wings looked “lost out there on defense” throughout much of the Pedators’ series and Lidstrom was healthy then.)

He wasn’t 100% healthy then.  I think that deep bone bruise never healed fully.

The Wings will have to step it up without Nick back there to bail them out.  It will be an interesting season.  Hopefully “good” interesting.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 05/30/12 at 08:08 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.