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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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Rondo's avatar

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

Hard to believe that the wings won’t sign a single d-man in the off-season if Lidas is in fact gone. They’ll surely make a pitch for Wideman or Carle if they don’t land Suter and if that doesn’t happen you gotta believe a trade is in order

Posted by Rondo on 05/30/12 at 08:09 PM ET

Rondo's avatar

I mean I love me some Kronner, I even have his jersey, but is anyone of the opinion that he can be THE number one guy on our blue line? He seems like more of a secondary leadership kind of guy on the back end to me but I could be way off base here.

Posted by Rondo on 05/30/12 at 08:14 PM ET


The one thing I’ll be curious is where they set the bar on highest salary now, since I thought NIck was the “bar” when they go out into free agency. There, my one speculative thought. I’ll be in denial for the rest of the night until the press conference.

Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/12 at 08:23 PM ET

monkey's avatar

Cross your fingers, toes and veins, folks.

Slowly bleeding to death, per your orders.  Hasta.

Posted by monkey from Prague on 05/30/12 at 08:27 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Cannot believe it’s been only 20 years now.

Posted by SYF from A tall cool pint of Guinness on 05/30/12 at 09:00 PM ET


And maybe he’s announcing he’s “taking his talents to South Beach”? 

And yes, of course, I’m kidding, but it might be the only way to get through the next 24 hours without curling up in a ball in a dark, dark place.    :(

If it is retirement (and it more than likely is), thanks for the memories!  Its been our honor to watch Nick all these years.  Truly a class act!

Posted by webman from Washington, DC on 05/30/12 at 09:02 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Sad to see you go, Nick…
The only thing sadder is watching a ‘class’ guy hang on a year too long.
Time just creeps up on us until it slams us at warp speed. 

Nothin’ ever stays the same.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 05/30/12 at 09:21 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

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.
Posted by Ajax19 on 05/30/12 at 06:01 PM ET

This is exactly right, and terrifying.

Posted by RWBill on 05/30/12 at 09:24 PM ET

HockeyFanOhio's avatar

Well, this completely ruined my day.  But congratulations to the best defenseman to ever play the game.  He will forever be a Red Wing.  Hopefully one day soon there will be a banner with a big 5 on it hanging from the rafters.

Posted by HockeyFanOhio from Central Ohio on 05/30/12 at 09:24 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

The one thing I’ll be curious is where they set the bar on highest salary now, since I thought NIck was the “bar” when they go out into free agency.
Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/12 at 06:23 PM ET

I made the observation a couple of weeks ago, Bugsy, that the model of not signing a new player higher than Lidstrom’s salary would have to go out the window to sign either Parise or Suter. 

I doubt that affected Lidstrom any way whatsoever, but it is a new paradigm for Wings cap-ology.  They will have to offer high single digits to land either or both of them, and we may be disgusted at the numbers we offer to get the Plan B people if Suter and Parise don’t work out.

Also, love your bar in Alexandria.

Posted by RWBill on 05/30/12 at 09:27 PM ET

Rumbear's avatar


Posted by Rumbear from Top O the Hasek, Czech out my recliner..... on 05/30/12 at 09:34 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I’m posting both here and at A2Y.  I’m on suicide watch.  F Me.

This was in the sports section the first morning I went to Sweden 2 years ago, nice breakfast material.  He had 997 points going in to the season.  The hope was he’d hit 1,000 there in Stockholm.  I think he was shut out.  The Wings stunk it up those 2 games.

Dagens Nyheter Breakfast 1Okt09

Posted by RWBill on 05/30/12 at 09:39 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Kris Kristofferson in the same category as TPH?  Not in my book.  This was odd.
Christmas, I’m getting sad.

Lidstrom Kristofferson WTF

Posted by RWBill on 05/30/12 at 09:44 PM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

... just ...

... numb ...

... and in denial ...

// sigh //

well ...

... L. ...
  ...  G.  ...
    ...    R.    ...
      ...      W.      ...

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 05/30/12 at 09:57 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

May his number hang in the rafters.

Thanks for the memories, Nick.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 05/30/12 at 10:18 PM ET


RW: alas, someone who actually knows or has been at Brian “Bugsy” Watson’s bar in VA? I’ve only read of it in a story a while back (with picture) on the web, not visited. In case you didn’t see my overworded signoff to this season, Bugsy was my first and only hockey autograph, when I was in De-twah, thus I thought I’d take his nickname as tribute.

Anyway, I can understand what you mean about the high numbers we’ll see to grab the elite/2nd tier free agent(s) if we get them (and people were up in arms about last year’s E contract—I agree the reaction this year could be much worse).

Posted by Bugsy on 05/30/12 at 10:28 PM ET

Trish's avatar

Scotty: ” It’s going to be strange to watch Detroit without him.”

Yo, Bubba!  Scotty is correct.  Lets hope it is “strange good” & not “strange bad”.


Posted by Trish from Tampa/Clearwater FL on 05/31/12 at 12:11 AM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 05/30/12 at 10:11 PM ET

That pic always makes me think of A-ha.

Sad to see you go, Nick…
The only thing sadder is watching a ‘class’ guy hang on a year too long.
Time just creeps up on us until it slams us at warp speed. 

Nothin’ ever stays the same.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 05/30/12 at 07:21 PM ET

You’re so right, gramps. I still blame Lil’ Gary. I think Nick would have played another year if another lockout was not looming.

We are so screwed. Kenny will not overpay for UFA’s. I just don’t see him spending the kind of money it will take to land Suter. Even if they have the cap room, paying Suter significantly more than Z or Pavs is counter to Kenny’s team building philosphy. We may just have to suck for a few years to pile up some draft picks.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 05/31/12 at 02:27 AM 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.