The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/25/14 at 04:30 AM ET
You may take this article from Expressen's Gunnar Nordstrom and Sebastian Mattson for what you will, and what follows is roughly-translated:
Lidstrom on why he turned down Babcock
Nicklas Lidstrom ahd a chance to return to the Detroit Red Wings as a coach--but he declined.
Now the 44-year-old reveals why he turned down the dream job.
"We're doing well here in Sweden after the move, and the children are thriving in school, so it never occurred to me to move back," says Lidstrom to SportExpressen.se.
In June, Mike babcock said that his search for an assistant coach had led him to one of the greatest Detroit Red Wings of all time.
"I called Niklas Lidstrom and offered him the job. I told him his wife was happier in Detroit than in Sweden. But he didn't buy it," Babcock said then.
In a conversation with SportExpressen.se, the Swedish legend now reveals why he turned down the chance to return to the team where he spent 20 years as a player.
"It's true that he called and asked if I was interested in taking one of the spots as an assistant coach for the upcoming season. I was very proud of the offer, it was really flattering," says Lidstrom.
"We're doing well here in Sweden after the move, and the children are thriving in school, so it never occurred to me to move back now. We moved home the last year for the children to go to school here."
Could it be the case that in a few years you would move back to Detroit?
"You should never say never. We'll see how we feel when we've been home for a few more years."
You've remained in touch with the Red Wings?
"Yes, I help and scout players here in Sweden and will continue to do so."
So it may be Detroit and America in the future?
"I will go over four or five times per season, which I did before. But right now is simply the wrong time for a move back. Maybe we'll change our minds in the future, I don't know."
Do you realize that you've turned down a job that many others could only dream of?
"Ha ha, so far I never thought that."
Babcock told the media in Detroit earlier this summer that your wife Annika thrived better in Detroit, and probably wanted you to move back?
"It was probably something he came up with himself," he joked.
Babcock's one of hockey's most accomplished coaches with two Olympic gold medals, a World Championship gold and a Stanley Cup on his CV. The job as an assistant coach in charge of defensemen went instead to another former player, Jim Hiller, a week later.
It was already announced that Tony Granato, who'd been let go from a similar position when Pittsburgh cleaned out its coaching staf recently, signed on with the coaching staff in Detroit.
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