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Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom will return to Wings, signs 1-year deal at $6.2 million

Updated 5x w/ press release—ESPN’s LeBrun says Lidstrom signed for $6.2 million: Per DetroitRedWings.com’s Bill Roose, Gunnar Nordstrom was right in suggesting that Nicklas Lidstrom will return to the Red Wings for at least one more season:

The Red Wings got their man when legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom told team officials last week that he will return for a 20th NHL season.

Terms of Lidstrom’s one-year contract were not finalized before today when the 41-year-old captain and general manager Ken Holland got together in Las Vegas. The Wings’ pair is in Vegas for Wednesday’s NHL Award Show, where Lidstrom will learn if he won Norris Trophy for the seventh time in his career. He is also a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy and the Mark Messier Leadership Award.


Update: According to the Wings’ Twitter account, the Wings will make things official via an 11 AM news conference; the Macomb Daily’s Chuck Pleiness and MLive’s Ansar Khan, who says that the WIngs are still talking to Jonathan Ericsson and plan on bringing Brendan Smith up in a Jakub Kindl-like role; via RedWIngsFeed, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun confirms that Lidstrom told Holland on Sunday, and the AP’s Larry Lage confirms as well.

Update #2: The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan and Fox Sports Detroit’s Dana Wakiji confirm.

Update #3: Via RedWingsFeed, the Sporting News’s Craig Custance and the Free Press’s George Sipple also confirm.

Update #4: ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun says Lidstrom signed for his 2010-2011 salary of $6.2 million.

Update #5: Here’s the official press release:


...Six-Time Norris Trophy Winner Returns For 20th Season…

Detroit, MI… Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom on a one-year contract.  In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Lidstrom, 41, will return for his 20th season in Hockeytown.  He was Detroit ’s third-round pick (53rd overall) in the 1989 National Hockey League Entry Draft.  The Vasteras, Sweden, native has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman six times during his career (2001, ’02, ’03, ’06, ’07, ’08).  He is the first European-born captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship (2008) and the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP (2002).  Lidstrom is a four-time Stanley Cup champion (1997, ‘98, 2002, ‘08), holds Detroit’s single-season records for assists (64) and points (80) by a defenseman, ranks fourth in franchise history in games played (1,494) and points (1,108), and has the highest plus-minus rating (+429) since 1991-92, his first year in the NHL.  He was named the NHL’s player of the decade (2000-09) by both the Sporting News and SportsIllustrated.com.

“We’re thrilled that Nick has decided to come back and play another year.  He’s coming off an outstanding season and in my opinion, even at age 41, continues to be the top two-way defenseman in the world,” said Holland .

In 2010-11, Lidstrom finished second among NHL defensemen with 62 points (16-46-62) and was one of only two Red Wings to appear in all 82 games.  He is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons.  Should Lidstrom win the Norris, he would tie Doug Harvey for second-most all-time with seven and trail only the legendary Bobby Orr (8).

Lidstrom currently ranks second all-time with 258 career postseason games played (Chris Chelios – 266) and is second all-time among defenseman with 183 playoff points (Paul Coffey – 196).  His 54 postseason goals rank him third all-time among NHL blue-liners.

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Guilherme's avatar

Cap was 59.4M, he was paid 6.2M

Cap will be 64M, he’ll get 6.2M.

Come on, people (or person).

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 06/20/11 at 05:38 PM ET


how am i suppose to argue with someone who spells mad “made” and breath “breathe”?

Wow, what a stellar argument, but hey, if you want to go there then you can talk down to my typos when you learn how to use capital letters, alright?

Posted by Garth on 06/20/11 at 05:47 PM ET


I think Lidstrom actually HAS made enough money.

That’s a lovely opinion, but it’s not an argument.

Besides, why do you get to decide when someone has made enough money?

Why is it greedy for him to sign for $6.2M but not greedy for him to sign for $4M.  If he’s made enough money then you should be annoyed that he’s signing for anything more than league minimum.

If you’re not demanding that he takes league minimum, then your argument that he has made enough money holds no weight at all.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/11 at 05:56 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

I can’t imagine a single GM in the league using Lidstrom’s contract as a basis for negotiation with their own number 1 d-man no matter what it’s for.

I can pretty easily imagine that.  I can especially imagine that several years down the road after the context of Lidstrom’s situation gets lost to the soft buzz of history and the people who grew up idolizing him get told by GM’s “you want to be like Lidstrom, right kid?”
The fact is that, while nobody directly compares to Lidstrom, he still fits into a category.  He will be one of the NHL’s ten-best defensemen next year.  Regardless of his age, the ten-best defensemen in the league deserve to be paid for what they can be expected to provide.

But, and really this is another argument for another day, I think Lidstrom actually HAS made enough money.

I’m happy enough with just disagreeing without getting into a discussion of anarcho-syndicalism and the relative merits of establishing a system of government based on strange women lying in ponds and distributing swords.

Oh shit, I am a nerd…

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 06/20/11 at 05:57 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Name one player that was a top 3 at his position and followed that up with a 20% pay cut while the team spending cap increased by 12%.

Posted by RWBill on 06/20/11 at 05:59 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

Name one player that was IS a top 3 at his position…

Fixed that for you.

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 06/20/11 at 06:08 PM ET


I’m happy enough with just disagreeing without getting into a discussion of anarcho-syndicalism and the relative merits of establishing a system of government based on strange women lying in ponds and distributing swords.

Yeah, me too.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/11 at 06:18 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Please stop with both personal attacks and testosterone wars…

And Nick posted 62 points and remains the team’s #1 defenseman. He already dropped his pay from $7.5 million and he does not owe anyone a cent more in the discount department. The Wings have more than enough cap space to get the job done and will be fine in that department.

Nick not taking less does not detract from his character, leadership qualities or legacy, either.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/20/11 at 06:29 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

I heard we signed this Swedish guy Lidstrom.  I guess he’s pretty good or something.

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 06/20/11 at 06:36 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

I was hoping Lidstrom would play a 20th season for a little less, but the fact is he is taking a pay cut by maintaining his salary his 19th season. I don’t have to repeat the reasons for this because they’ve already been stated quite clearly. That said, there is no doubt in my mind that Lidstrom should be the highest paid defenseman on the Wings’ roster, and part of my reason for hoping he would sign for something in the five million range was that it might have helped convincing potential free agent defensemen targets to stay below four and a half. Of course, there was no guarantee that would work, and with the cap rising there is room to sign more than one top four defenseman should those players decide to stay in the four million range for the chance to win a lot of Cups.

As for defining what a troll and trolling means in Web jargon, thanks to my trusty dictionary add-on, here you go, JMB:

“Jargon File (4.3.1, 29 Jun 2001)”
troll 1. v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a
  posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or
  flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase “trolling for
  newbies” which in turn comes from mainstream “trolling”, a style of
  fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a
  bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies
  and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already
  do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is
  in fact a deliberate troll. If you don’t fall for the joke, you get to
  be in on it. See also YHBT. 2. n. An individual who chronically trolls
  in sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal
  attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other
  purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are
  recognizable by the fact that they have no real interest in learning
  about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the
  ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming
  characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of
  life on the net, as in, “Oh, ignore him, he’s just a troll.” Compare
  kook. 3. n. [Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for
  CS students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab
  policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves lurking in
  dark cavelike corners.

  Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower
  category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing
  some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also

  The use of `troll’ in either sense is a live metaphor that readily
  produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not
  infrequently sees the warning “Do not feed the troll” as part of a
  followup to troll postings.

“The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03)”
      An array language for continuous simulation, econometric
      modelling or statistical analysis.
      [“TROLL Reference Manual”, D0062, Info Proc Services, MIT

      An electronic mail message, Usenet posting or other
      (electronic) communication which is intentionally incorrect,
      but not overtly controversial (compare flame bait), or the
      act of sending such a message.  Trolling aims to elicit an
      emotional reaction from those with a hair-trigger on the reply
      key.  A really subtle troll makes some people lose their

I’m not going to call you out for trolling, JMB, because quite frankly I don’t care if your actions fit the definition or not. But just so you stop feigning ignorance (or lack of laziness, seriously, a click in my browser, a Google search, just the action of claiming not to know or understand what trolling is could be construed as trolling in and of itself), “now you know, and knowing is half the battle.”

Posted by Bradley97 on 06/20/11 at 06:39 PM ET

perfection's avatar

Posted by Garth

i absolutely WASN’T making that argument. I actually was saying that my views on wealth distribution have nothing to do with this. The only thing Lidstrom’s net worth has to do with any “argument” is that one can’t really say he’s getting paid $6mil instead of $4mil because he NEEDS it. He just doesn’t. Anyway, this isn’t really the crux of the argument which had more to do with his motives for playing. If the motive is to be on the best team possible for one final year, maybe it behooves him to shave a bit more off to invest in some teammates. But, as I also said, I don’t actually believe this argument is really true. I think it was much more true last season.

honestly at no point was I ever really saying Lids should take a paycut or that he owes anyone anything, but just that it sure would be nice if he did and I could see him doing it because he’s loaded and seems to be in it to win it.

J.J. from Kansas

your last post was awesome… nerd.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 06/20/11 at 06:58 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

how am i suppose to argue with someone who spells mad “made” and breath “breathe”?
Posted by jmb on 06/20/11 at 03:11 PM ET

One key trait of a blog douche is to point out minor spelling errors, as it is commonly accepted that blogs, especially this one, take on a rapid-fire character and none of The 19 obsess about minor mis-types or spells.

However, if you are going to try to make a point about the intelligence level of another poster by pointing out spelling mistakes, and in doing so commit a major blunder yourself, well, pot meet kettle.

At least we know what we’re dealing with.  Douche.

Posted by RWBill on 06/20/11 at 08:11 PM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

Something else to consider in light of his contract is that Lidstrom, by all accounts, has always intended to return home after his playing days are over.  He will end up losing far, far more of the money he made during his career than all North American players and most European players will to taxes.

But That Doesn’t mean he will bring all his money back to Sverige (Sweden) and tax them!!!

and yesssssssssss 1 more year…Yihaa

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 06/20/11 at 08:16 PM ET

tkfergy's avatar

Posted by jmb on 06/20/11

Since the annual rate of inflation is at 2% and Lidstrom took a 0% increase in pay means that he actually did take a pay cut.

Seeing as the cap increased to $64 mil and the loss of Ralf’s $6 mil that is $11 mil that they didn’t have last year to replace two players and resign another 3

Posted by tkfergy on 06/20/11 at 08:45 PM ET

Trish's avatar

How do I spell relief (yes, even at 6.2MM) ?  TPH

Posted by Trish from Tampa/Clearwater FL on 06/20/11 at 08:47 PM ET


The only thing Lidstrom’s net worth has to do with any “argument” is that one can’t really say he’s getting paid $6mil instead of $4mil because he NEEDS it.

If I misunderstood you, my apologies, but I don’t think I saw anyone saying that he “needs” the money.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/11 at 09:44 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Posted by Trish from PalmBeachCntyFL on 06/20/11 at 06:47 PM ET

Trish, how did you get that shirt?!?  I had a family member in Michigan hustle over to Hockeytown Authentics to get me one and they were already sold out.  :(

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/20/11 at 09:54 PM ET

MsRedWinger's avatar

Please stop with both personal attacks and testosterone wars…

So glad they listened to you, George.  *sigh*

Posted by MsRedWinger from the State where Tigers roam in the Spring on 06/20/11 at 09:56 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

Kenny Holland, ” Nik, this is great, now we need to talk about your compensation.”

TPH, ” Gee , Ken, the Red Wings have been great to me, I’d love to help out with a cut.’

KH, “What??”

TPH, ” Would 4 M be fair??”

KH, ” No. 8.4 M would be fair”

TPH, “Meet you midway, 6.2”

KH, ” It’s a deal”

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/20/11 at 10:05 PM ET


The thing with asking Lidstrom to take a pay cut is this:

If this happened next year and the Wings had to spend to keep Stuart, Kronwall, Abdelkader and Eaves around, and replace Homer and Bert, and Holland was stuck for cap space to keep Lidstrom around, you can bet that if Lidstrom wanted to play, he would take a pay cut.

But with Rafalski hanging them up, the CBA going up big time and the possibility of getting rid of Hudler, the Wings are overflowing with cap money, so to cry poverty and ask him to take a 1 or 2 million pay cut would be ridiculous and disingenuous.

Posted by Garth on 06/20/11 at 10:05 PM ET

Rdwings28's avatar

yeah, what Garth said….

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/20/11 at 10:24 PM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Every day I thank God and cafecitos for getting me through the morning.  This morning I thank God and Nick Lidstrom, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I may just be thanking the same person twice.

Welcome back home, Nick, and thank you.

how am i suppose to argue with someone who spells mad “made” and breath “breathe”?

i don’t buy the argument (that’s how you spell that,, calquake)

Ah yes…Attacking the spelling of others in an argument that has nothing to do with spelling.  I believe that’s the last resort of a douchebag.

He will end up losing far, far more of the money he made during his career than all North American players and most European players will to taxes.

Money made abroad, Shane—there IS a reciprocal tax agreement between the US and Sweden, so as an expatriated Swedish national, he’s most likely paid his taxes already.  That being said, he makes far above the threshold below the reciprocal agreement, so I suspect he’s paid double taxes on quite a bit of his earnings over his Wings career.  So in essence, your point still applies, just in a different way.  Ain’t tax codification fun?

Posted by Rdwings28 on 06/20/11 at 08:05 PM ET

You’re my hero.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 06/21/11 at 06:23 AM ET

George Malik's avatar

Andrew, please let it go. We’re done here.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 06/21/11 at 06:39 AM ET

Forlorn in VA's avatar

MsRedWinger, it looks like you can get that shirt online:

Posted by Forlorn in VA on 06/21/11 at 10:20 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar


Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 06/21/11 at 11:21 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.