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No guarantees, but Red Wings hope Nicklas Lidstrom will return; Hitchcock’s not coming to Detroit

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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Oilers Rock's avatar

if a team demotes a guy to the minors with a 36+ contract. does his cap hit stays on or goes away?

Posted by Oilers Rock from Edmonton, Alberta on 06/15/11 at 12:20 AM ET


if a team demotes a guy to the minors with a 36+ contract. does his cap hit stays on or goes away?


- If it’s a one-year contract, the hit goes away.
- If it’s the first season of a multiyear contract, the hit stays.
- If it’s the second or later year of a multiyear deal, the team receives $100,000 in cap relief. So, sending down a player with a $3 million cap hit would result in the team continuing to eat $2.9 million of that hit.

Source: http://capgeek.com/FAQ.php

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/15/11 at 12:31 AM ET

Bradley97's avatar

If the contract goes into effect after the 35 year old cutoff date (I don’t know what the actual date is) then the money is on the cap.

If the contract goes into effect before the cutoff, the money is buried (so if life contracts like Franzen’s and Zetterberg’s prove to be longer than the playing life of the player, they can be buried in the minors instead of bought out should they wish to keep playing at their cap hits with no team to trade them to, not that Mule and Z would do that to the Wings, and not that I don’t believe they will be able to fully honor their contracts).

On a side note, hopefully the life contract issue is settled by the league’s ruling last year, using those two contracts as the model for teams to follow for a number of sensible reasons.

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/15/11 at 12:34 AM ET

Bradley97's avatar

And what Sven22 looked up!

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/15/11 at 12:35 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

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

Well, let me be the first (and maybe the only one) to say…F you Nick. You’ve had more than enough time to figure out whether or not you want to play another season.

Don’t tell us you haven’t been able to talk to your family about this. Don’t tell us you haven’t thought about this for the past six months. And don’t tell us this is some huge decision for you. You know whether or not you want to play. So, spit it out.

This nonesense that players need weeks to figure out what they want to do is just that – utter nonesense. Stay or go, Nick. We’ll love you either way. The only way you’ll lose our respect is if you play the “Oh, gee, what should I do” game until after the draft.

We love you Nick. Don’t make your last decision one that tarnishes that image.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/15/11 at 01:03 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Settle down OTC, this is not Modano we’re talking about here. This is the always classy, professional and thorough Nicklas Lidstrom we’re talking about. He’ll have a decision in time for the free agency period. The wings are unlikely to make any moves with their draft picks regardless of his decision, and even less likely to move them specifically if he did choose to retire.

The man can take as long as he pleases. He’s the best defenseman that ever lived and still top 3 active into his 40s. You don’t even consider turning that away just because he wants time to get clear of everything for a fresh perspective and weigh his options. Most importantly, he’s earned it.

The only way he could tarnish his image at this point is to waffle until December, and then sign with San Jose for league minimum with no warning.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/15/11 at 01:20 AM ET

Oilers Rock's avatar

thanks guys. i was just wonder if theres any way we can get rid of khabibulins contract

Posted by Oilers Rock from Edmonton, Alberta on 06/15/11 at 01:25 AM ET


This nonesense that players need weeks to figure out what they want to do is just that – utter nonesense.

Is it?  Look at Modano.  He’s decided he’s retiring.  Then he’s probably retiring.  Then he’s retiring, now he’s thinking about a “farewell tour” season.

What’s worse, a guy who won’t shut up about it whenever he has a thought enter his head or a guy who’s seriously considering what to do?

And no, he hasn’t taken enough time.  Kenny Holland asked him for an answer before July 1st, so until the calendar rolls over to July, he’s taking as much as he needs.

Posted by Garth on 06/15/11 at 01:25 AM ET


“F you Nick”?!  Are you kidding me?  Holland and whoever else needs to know already knows.  Relax.  Plus, c’mon ~ It’s Nick f’ing Lidstrom you’re talking about here.  A little respect is in order.

Posted by Alyeska from Manhattan, KS on 06/15/11 at 01:40 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Nick tends to take all the time he is given to make his decision. Sometimes he’s a stubborn Swede there—he won’t say how he’s leaning until he’s been given all the time he feels is necessary to make a decision—but he is allowed to wait until July 1st and if he doesn’t decide until then, it’s gonna make us all sweat, but he’s earned that time.

He’s not trying to screw anybody over here. He’s trying to be thorough. That’s all.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/15/11 at 02:10 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

I can understand where OTC’s coming from. I’m supposed to be the calm and collected one and after a full month’s worth of no news save McCrimmon and MacLean leaving and no news-is-no-news-news regarding Ericsson, Miller, Eaves, Draper, Osgood and especially Lidstrom, I’m getting a bit of a complex myself.

It’s very hard to have to be asked to sit and wait like this. As Wings fans we’re so very used to Ken Holland and Babcock being demonstrative and making bold moves, and having to sit on our hands for a month while nothing’s gone on…It’s hard.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/15/11 at 04:17 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

  Posted by OlderThanChelios on 06/15/11 at 12:03 AM ET

I see what you mean. But given the choices, who would you prefer?

a) someone who makes a quick decision, then regrets it, compromising the team (which might have taken measures to deal with the decision) and being unhappy for the rest of his life?

b) someone who takes his time, assuring the team that he’s there because he really really wants to?

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/15/11 at 07:24 AM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

I also understand where OTC is coming from.  But we don’t know what all is going on with Nick.  He may have - rightly - given his wife and kids some time to think it over.  He also has to consider exactly what it is he would like to do if he does decide to retire.  Maybe he and the wife want to move back to Sweden, but maybe some of his kids want to stay here - they’ve lived most of their lives here.  It’s complicated when you have a family, so I don’t blame Nick for taking his time, even though I also going nuts with the waiting.

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/15/11 at 09:48 AM ET


Mr OTC & others who are quick to criticize Lidstrom—look at it from his perspective—this is a big decision—if he says, Retire, then that’s it-his career is over & there is no coming back—he wants to be sure of the right choice.  Look at Forsberg, Sundin, even Hasek - they retired then kept on coming back.  I remember the days when Reed Larson was the best we had on defense. Larson had a decent career, but nothing compared to Lidstrom.  Nick has spent his whole career here and given the Wings an honest days work for the big bucks they have paid him.  He will go down as the best defenseman in Wings history, and probably number 3 or 4 of all the Wings, after Howe, Yzerman & maybe Sawchuk.  If it wasn’t for the cap issues, Holland would probably give him till training camp to make up his mind.  It’s only another week or so & the decision will be announced.

Posted by howie young on 06/15/11 at 11:52 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Okay, “F you Nick” was probably a bit over the top. But it’s still hard for me to understand how it’s so difficult for someone to make a decision like this.

Some of you have offered plausible explanations for it, but I have to believe he’s been thinking about this (and talking to his family about it) for some time now. It’s not like this is a “surprise” decision for him.

As I said, I love the guy. But if he waits until after the draft to reveal his decision (thereby hampering the Wings ability to make a deal to fill his slot), it’ll leave a sour taste in my mouth where he’s concerned.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 06/15/11 at 01:10 PM ET


Yzerman once said about retirement decisions to take your time, make sure you have the desire, and if there is any doubt keep playing. That’s good advice for Lidstrom. I suspect he already has a decision, he’s just giving it time to make sure he’s comfortable with it.

Posted by StarZone from Haslett, MI on 06/16/11 at 12:09 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.


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