The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/13/11 at 03:36 AM ET
Updated with LeBrun at 2:06 AM:
The Red Wings appear to be staying in San Jose tonight based on Flightaware’s status of Red Bird II as still in California, and as that means the Wings will probably fly home in the morning
Make that the Detroit Red Wings are flying home from San Jose but won’t arrive at Metro Airport until nearly 6 AM, which means that they’ll either engage in their locker room clean-out on Saturday or Monday. After the Wings clean out their lockers and speak to the media one last time, they’ll continue to come down to the Joe for medical treatment (see: Johan Franzen, Danny Cleary, Todd Bertuzzi) and engage in exit interviews with the coaches and management, but after their interviews, most of the players who don’t have kids will head to their summer homes, and the ones who do have children will stick around until the school year ends.
The latter group includes Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who told the Associated Press that he’s not planning on doing anything less than the usual in taking his time and speaking to the Wings’ coaches, management and, most importantly, his family before deciding whether he’s going to continue playing:
“I’m going to take my time before making a decision,” Lidstrom said. “We’ll have our meetings and go from there. I’m going to take the whole year into account. I’ll take about as much time as last year. I’ll meet with the coaching staff. It’s been tough the last couple of years.”
Update: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun weighs in:
The 41-year-old Wings captain can certainly play for a few more years. He was dynamite again in these playoffs. But will he come back?
“I have no idea. I haven’t talked to him. Obviously we’re hoping,” said Wings GM Ken Holland.
Lidstrom said afterwards that he would wait and make a decision with his family.
“We all do [hope he returns],” said Henrik Zetterberg. “He has a lot of hockey left in him. In my eyes he’s the Norris Trophy [winner] and it would be great to see him back in a uniform next season.”
“He’s a family guy and he’s got kids and a wife,” said head coach Mike Babcock. “I imagine he’ll make a decision. But talking about this stuff right now, we haven’t had any time to think about this, so I can’t tell you much.”
That feeling was shared by Lidstrom, who was dejected after his team came so close to becoming only the fourth team in NHL history win a series after facing a 3-0 deficit.
“It’s a disappointing loss,” he said. Coming back the way we did, we played real hard, and we believed in ourselves, and then just coming up short. It’s real hard [right now]. ... We battled hard when we were down 3-0 and forced a Game 7. And to just come up short, it’s disappointing. I’m real proud of the way the guys battled.”
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