The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/15/11 at 12:32 AM ET
Per MLive’s Ansar Khan, the Red Wings are not, in fact, offering guarantees as to Nicklas Lidstrom’s future with the team, but the Wings’ brass finally sat down and spoke to Lidstrom during the team’s organizational meetings, and they believe that Lidstrom’s strong season, the fact that he could play in his 20th season in Detroit and the fact that the Wings will be a contending team after their summer makeover all point to a relatively certain bet that Lidstrom will return:
Holland met with Lidstrom on Tuesday, following the first day of the club’s pro scouting meetings, but said he doesn’t know yet whether the team captain will play next season or retire. Holland said they will talk again at the NHL Awards Show on June 22 in Las Vegas.
Babcock is convinced that Lidstrom will return, though he hasn’t heard it from him.
“I’m 100 percent optimistic,” Babcock said Tuesday. Asked why, Babcock said, “Why not? He’s too good. And our team is too good for him to quit.”
Khan also reports that Ken Hitchcock is simply not in the running to replace Paul MacLean and Brad McCrimmon as an assistant coach:
“I talk to Hitch a lot, but we haven’t talked about that (assistant’s job),” Babcock said.
Hitchcock was one of Babcock’s assistants on the 2010 Canadian Olympic team.
Hitchcock, who coached the Dallas Stars to the Stanley Cup title in 1999, is seeking a head coaching job. New Jersey, Minnesota and Winnipeg are seeking head coaches. The Dallas Stars are on the verge of hiring Glen Gulutzan, who coached their AHL affiliate Texas Stars, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Dispatch reports that Hitchcock has one year remaining on his contract with the Blue Jackets at $1.33 million, and that if he joins the Red Wings, Columbus would be required to supplement his salary up to that amount.
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