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ESPN’s LeBrun on Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom’s future and Jaromir Jagr

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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SYF's avatar

I have a feeling King Lidas’ decision will probably affect Jagr’s and vice versa.

King Lidas stays on for one more year if Jagr says, “Yes,” to the Wings:


King Lidas signs for one more year and THEN Jagr signs.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 06/17/11 at 04:59 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

George, I posted this under your previous entry, but I heard Ken Holland on NHL Home Ice and he said similar things there.  He did admit to being “a little concerned” that Nick is taking so long to make his decision.  (Do I have any nails left to bite?)

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/17/11 at 05:16 PM ET


I can’t fathom Jagr taking less than 2.5 per…and I’m sure the Rangers would offer something stupid. I still think Jagr is an absolutely horrible fit for this team. I get frustrated enough watching Franzen coast around the middle of the rink for games at a time…when he should be putting up 40 goals a year. If Jagr was in the mix as well I’d pull every hair out of my huge mellon. But that’s just my own personal sh*t.

If we’re going to offer Jagr a contract, I say we kick the tires on Larry Murphy as well…add him as our #6-7.

Posted by godblender on 06/17/11 at 05:23 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

I’ll try to transcript the Holland interview when I can.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/17/11 at 05:26 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I don’t see Jagr on our team either.  When Ken Holland hints strongly that it’s time for someone as fired up and hard working as Kris Draper to hang it up, I get the impression he’s looking to get the team younger.  I can’t believe he’d let Drapes go and sign Jagr.  And I agree - I don’t think Jagr would take the kind of money the Wings would be likely to offer (if they make an offer at all).

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/17/11 at 05:34 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Gosh, thanks for the mention, George!  *blushing*

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/17/11 at 05:37 PM ET

cainer4wingsglory's avatar

I would only be down with the Jagr signing if it was at Hudler’s expense and his salary. Raffy’s money needs to be invested into a Dman or two, so that’s definitely off limits. Jagr is still a game changer and I’ll all for signing him to a one year deal. This isn’t Modano 2.0, Jagr can still actually play….

Posted by cainer4wingsglory on 06/17/11 at 05:57 PM ET


If this were to happen,
Penguin fans would hate the wings even more than they do now, which is hard to do.
Penguin fans would hate Jagr even more then they do.

The best thing to happen would be for Jagr to sign a 1 year deal to end his career as a penguin for 2 million.  Please shero, let jags retire a penguin and raise his jersey to the rafters at the end of the year (hopefully along with another cup banner) smile

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 06/17/11 at 06:00 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Well if it will piss off Penguins fans, then maybe I can warm up to the idea.  grin

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/17/11 at 06:05 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Yep, nothing like a Pissy Penguin.  tongue wink

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/17/11 at 06:10 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Always cite your sources. That’s what my professors taught me.

As for the probability of Jags coming to Detroit, it’s all about money, and if he’s not willing to come at a discount, he won’t be here.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/17/11 at 06:12 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

If you’re going to retire, you know it.

Nick will be back for one more year. Bank on it.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 06/17/11 at 06:22 PM ET

GrahamWIIM's avatar

Shoring up the defense is more important that landing a top-6 forward.

Personally, I’m not on board with signing him because I question how much he’s got left in the tank for an 82 game season and playoffs, but that’s just me. I understand that he and Modano are different players, but I fear that we’d be talking a lot next year about how he loafs and isn’t scoring if he goes into a slump.

Posted by GrahamWIIM from Chicago via Toronto on 06/17/11 at 06:29 PM ET

awould's avatar

I’d rather snag Laich for a 3 year deal…. unless they think one of the younger guys in GR can come in next year and really contribute as a top 6 forward, it makes no sense to sign a rent-a-player for one year.

Posted by awould on 06/17/11 at 06:35 PM ET

SYF's avatar

I’m not leaning towards signing Jagr neither but if the Wings are hoping to have Lidas for one more year, they need to have a formidable team around him to entice him to sign on.  It’s how he’s operated on past one-year contracts.

Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 06/17/11 at 06:48 PM ET

awould's avatar

they need to have a formidable team around him to entice him to sign on.  It’s how he’s operated on past one-year contracts.

I don’t think Lidstrom would ask or expect the team to sacrifice long-term success just so he could have another crack at it. Maybe signing Jagr isn’t sacrificing long-term success, I’ll leave that to Holland, but it certainly isn’t helping it.

Also, who is Lidas? What are you, his best friend?!

Posted by awould on 06/17/11 at 06:54 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Also, who is Lidas? What are you, his best friend?!

Posted by awould on 06/17/11 at 04:54 PM ET

Soulmates.  BFFs.  We’ve exchanged emails and decorating tips.


Posted by SYF from Ball's Hill on 06/17/11 at 07:00 PM ET

awould's avatar

Soulmates.  BFFs.  We’ve exchanged emails and decorating tips.

I’m about to get my house painted. Ask him for some tips on colors for a master bedroom….. i got like 7 samples and they all suck.

Posted by awould on 06/17/11 at 07:04 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

“Ask him for some tips on colors for a master bedroom….. i got like 7 samples and they all suck.”

I bet he’d recommend something like Championship Banner Red, Olympic Gold, or Stanley Cup Silver.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 06/17/11 at 07:19 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

you know what Nik?? i love ya, but quit with this indecision stuff, it’s not THAT difficult.

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/17/11 at 09:45 PM ET


it’s not THAT difficult.

Yeah, deciding if you’re going to change your ENTIRE LIFE is not difficult at all…

Posted by Garth on 06/18/11 at 12:11 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.