The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/17/11 at 04:53 PM ET
Updated with tidbits and KH interview audio at 3:33 PM: Amongst this afternoon’s Red Wings-related news, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun confirms that Nicklas Lidstrom will inform GM Ken Holland of his decision as to whether he wishes to continue to play hockey early next week…
The Detroit Red Wings should find out Monday or Tuesday whether legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will be back next season.
“Nick Lidstrom and I met Tuesday for a brief meeting,” Wings GM Ken Holland told ESPN.com on Friday. “He said he wasn’t prepared to make decision yet. We have plans to meet in Vegas on Monday or Tuesday and he said he would give me his decision then.”
Lidstrom, 40, is nominated for a seventh Norris Trophy and will be Las Vegas for Wednesday’s NHL awards show.
LeBrun also managed to get Jaromir Jagr and his agent, Petr Svoboda, to comment in English about Jagr’s attempts to latch on with an NHL team, including the Wings or Canadiens (but not the Penguins) for a one-year term…
“There’s a possibility, yes. My agent has talked to teams,” Jagr told ESPN.com from his native Czech Republic. “First we’d have to see if it can happen,” he added. “But if it happened, it would be very exciting. It also would be a nice challenge. There would be some people who think I’m not good enough.”
The 39-year-old winger, a former NHL All-Star with Pittsburgh, Washington and the New York Rangers, has played the past three seasons with Avangard Omsk in Russia’s KHL. He still could end up returning there.
“We’ll see what happens. I think the decision is going to be made soon,” Jagr said. “I have to decide soon if I stay in Russia because training camp starts two months earlier.”
Jagr’s new agent, former NHL player Petr Svoboda, told ESPN.com Friday morning from Europe that a decision could be made this weekend.
“I’ve talked to Montreal, I’ve talked to Detroit, a few other teams called once they found out he was ready to go to [the] NHL,” Svoboda told ESPN.com. “Hopefully we should have a better idea by tomorrow. There’s quite a few teams that have interest. Jaromir feels he’s NHL-ready again. I believe this might happen.”
Red Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed his team was in the mix.
“We have been contacted and we have interest. We’re exploring our interest,” Holland told ESPN.com Friday.
As the Detroit Free Press’s Helene St. James suggests, much of Jagr’s “fit” would come down to money:
The Wings are seeking a top-six forward, and naturally are intrigued at the thought of what Jagr could do, for example, on the right side of Pavel Datsyuk and on the power play. For the Wings, it comes down to deciding if Jagr is the best value for their money as they seek to improve a team that has lost in the second round of the playoffs two years in a row.
Any deal would be only for one year, and at a sensible salary-cap hit — around $2 million, plus incentives. That might be hard to finagle, as Jagr is rumored to be walking away from $4 million-$5 million in Russia.
Jagr’s agent also has approached the Rangers and Washington.
The Wings can’t pay Jagr the money they want to spend on Brian Rafalski’s replacement, plain and simple.
Update: In the “tidbits” department, the West Bloomfield Patch’s Sean Shapiro profiled “The Art of Strength’s” Mike Knight, a trainer who works with several Wings players;
• The Grand Prairie (Alberta) Herald Tribune’s Ivan Danielewicz says there are still tickets available for Mike Babcock’s charity dinner in Grande Prairie next Tuesday;
• Mississauga.com’s Chad Hackl reports that former Wings prospect Stephen Johnston’s enrolled at St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia;
• And as MsRedWinger notes, the NHL on XM Radio’s “Breakaway” show hosted Wings GM Ken Holland today, and here’s his interview with Gord Stellick. I have a doctor’s appointment which prevents me from transcripting the interview now, but I’ll do so later this evening:
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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.