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Your Monday morning downer: another media member with Red Wings ties says Lidstrom will retire

Update: Link fixed, sorry! Building upon last night and this morning’s slate of Red Wings discussion, today, 9.71 the Ticket’s Dennis Fithian and Scott Anderson weigh in, the classic Monday morning gut-punch “quarterback” in Ryan Lambert has offered his take on the old Wings’ old problems because they’re so old, I’m not even going to comment on this, and then…

MLive’s Ansar Khan offers ten takes on where the Wings go from here, and he leads off with a bombshell—a bombshell repeated by Larry Murphy and hinted at by Ken Daniels:

1. Will Nicklas Lidstrom return? My hunch is he will retire. It is the first time I have had that feeling, after expecting him to return for the past several seasons. He has played 20 seasons, a milestone that was important to him. He turns 42 on Saturday and has accomplished everything from a team (four Stanley Cups) and an individual standpoint (seven Norris Trophies). Is he motivated to train long and hard over the summer for another season?

Continue reading if you want to get Khan’s takes on Tomas Holmstrom, Johan Franzen, Jakub Kindl, Brad Stuart and the team’s free agency plans.

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Comments

hockeychic's avatar

George - link isn’t working, it is taking me to Puck Daddy instead of Khan.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 04/23/12 at 01:46 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

I know this is heresy around here, but I hope Lidstrom retires.

he doesn’t deserve to continue suffering through disappointing seasons, and I think what the Wings could get with the money they spend on Lidstrom would be extremely valuable.

they need scoring.  the defense will be fine with Kronwall, Suter (?), White, Ericsson, Quincey, Kindl et al

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/23/12 at 01:51 PM ET

Avatar

George - link isn’t working, it is taking me to Puck Daddy instead of Khan.

That’s just mean, George.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 01:54 PM ET

dougie's avatar

Everybody wants to walk away from the game on top, but few are fortunate enough to be able to.

I would be genuinely surprised to see Lidstrom return. He has nothing to prove to anyone.

If he wants to go out on top, he may be looking at multiple years to do so, so his “Do I have another year left in me” conversation could become “Am I willing to commit to a 2-3 year process.”

I don’t see that happening.

Posted by dougie on 04/23/12 at 01:57 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

I think Lids should retire too. It’s like taking a band-aid off slowly or quickly. It’s time to see what KH is made of. Improve this team in the off season….or else.

The Wings organization is almost loyal to a fault. They keep people around for what they did in the past as opposed to what they bring to the team now.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/23/12 at 01:58 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) gives me a good feeling that he’s not done:

“I think it’s easy to fix,” Lidstrom said. “The mistakes that were made, you can easily eliminate.”

Other than family, his main barometer for this is his ability to play at an elite level, and I think he proved that to himself again this year.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 02:12 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

The Wings organization is almost loyal to a fault. They keep people around for what they did in the past as opposed to what they bring to the team now.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/23/12 at 11:58 AM ET

I almost can’t even process this comment…....obviously he doesn’t bring much to the team now?  Clearly, they’re just keeping him around because of what he did in the past.

Anyone who suggests he should retire has no idea what he brings to this team not only off the ice, but on it, every single game.  He is still the best defensive defenseman in the League, and still has the potential to put up leading offensive numbers again too.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 02:18 PM ET

Avatar

“I think it’s easy to fix,” Lidstrom said. “The mistakes that were made, you can easily eliminate.”

I hadn’t read that quote, but I like it, and it definitely makes me think he’s at least leaning towards coming back.

I also don’t by the “he has nothing left to prove” argument.  He hasn’t had anything to prove for years.  He could’ve retired after the ‘08 win, after the ‘09 near-repeat or after the disappointment of ‘10 or ‘11.  I think this year, honestly, Holland is going to give him assurances that they’re going to make some serious moves to try and get Lidstrom one last cup, -none of this “we have cap space for the deadline, whoops we didn’t make any deals BS- I think Holland is going to load up as well as he can to help Lidstrom (and Holmstrom, if he doesn’t retire) go out on top.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 02:33 PM ET

calquake's avatar

I still have to go back to the facts that a) his youngest will be going off to hockey school in Sweden and b) Homer’s possible retirement.  Lidstrom is a man of routine, as shown in the NHL 36 segment, and disrupting his routine with Homer and his desire to see his sons play may be enough to make him retire.  When Nick sits down with Tick-Tock I’m sure the discussion will be on where the team is going in free agency and personnel changes.  I still see it as 50/50 for retirement maybe even a little more when you factor in those things.

Posted by calquake on 04/23/12 at 02:38 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

I almost can’t even process this comment…....obviously he doesn’t bring much to the team now?  Clearly, they’re just keeping him around because of what he did in the past.

Anyone who suggests he should retire has no idea what he brings to this team not only off the ice, but on it, every single game.  He is still the best defensive defenseman in the League, and still has the potential to put up leading offensive numbers again too.

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 04/23/12 at 12:18 PM ET

This ^^^^^^

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/23/12 at 02:43 PM ET

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I’m pretty sure there was an article earlier this year that mentioned Homer got his US citizenship and was planning on staying in the Detroit area, so Homer not being around probably is an overblown component of his decision.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Wings bring homer on as a specialty coach to help teach net front play.

Posted by Moocat on 04/23/12 at 03:06 PM ET

awould's avatar

Part of me wants him to retire just to get on with life after Lidstrom. But in reality, he’s irreplaceable and I’d love to have him for one more year so that the new CBA is in effect when he retires and KH can plan accordingly.

However, if him staying means the Wings cannot sign both Parise and Suter, then I’d like him to bow out gracefully. Not sure when two players of that caliber will be coming around again under favorable conditions.

Someone else can spend all day on capgeek figuring out the scenarios (please).

Posted by awould on 04/23/12 at 03:29 PM ET

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From an on-ice perspective I’m largely ambivalent if Lidstrom stays or goes.  IMO there are positives and negatives to either outcome.

He’s pretty clearly not the defenseman he was three years ago, or even last year, really… so if he does return we’re probably talking about a guy who might maybe slip into the top 30 or 40 defensemen.

If he’s coming back for 6+ mil again, considering his decline… enh.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/23/12 at 04:07 PM ET

ludmeister's avatar

Here’s my dream scenario. I’m not quite sure what Ken Holland has up his sleeve, but I sure hope he could pull something like this off. 

Of note here is that I’ve actually “spent” almost $1.0 mil more than the available cap space this year, and there’s no guarantee that it’s going up this year (especially with the CBA due to be restructured, IIRC).  But hey, this is my dream scenario, and a man can dream, yes?

Hudler is gone.  Homer is gone.  I like what both bring to the team (Homer’s a badass warrior and Hudler is an every-third-game-perhaps-sniper) but I want to see some youngsters on the forward corps, and Parise is the top-six goalscorer that Pav needs, IMHO.  Nyquist deserves a spot on the roster, and I’d love to see Datsyuk and Nyquist generate some chemistry, alongside Parise.  Demote or trade Emmerton, and give Riley Sheahan (is he a center?) a spot as 4th line center between Cleary and Bertuzzi.

On defense, let Quincey go.  If we end up keeping Lidstrom and purchasing the services of Suter and Parise, I think he’s got too high a pricetag, especially since I sorta like Ericcson’s upside more (yah. I said that).  Go out and sign Ryan Suter, and give Brendan Smith a go as a top-six defenseman.  I think the pairings could be very fluid.  I’d like Smith to get apprenticed under Lidstrom (who, since this is my dream scenario, re-signs for another year at $5.5 mil), for Kronner and Suter to line up people at the blueline, and demote Ian White to the third pairing to work with Ericcson or Kindl.

Goaltending is golden.  Joey Mac proved he can be money when Howard went down this year, and anyone who thought that Rinne is world-class but Howard isn’t. I just don’t agree.  Rinne may be better, but for the money, Howard is an incredible value and lets the Wings be just that much better on offense and defense.

CAPGEEK.COM CAP CALCULATOR ROSTER

FORWARDS

Zach Parise ($6.500m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Gustav Nyquist ($0.875m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m)
Drew Miller ($0.838m) / Darren Helm ($1.500m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.000m)
Danny Cleary ($2.800m) / Riley Sheahan ($0.900m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) /
Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) /

DEFENSEMEN

Nicklas Lidstrom ($5.500m) / Ryan Suter ($6.250m)
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Brendan Smith ($0.875m)
Ian White ($2.875m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m) /

GOALTENDERS

Jimmy Howard ($2.250m)
Joey MacDonald ($0.550m)

———
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS
(these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
SALARY CAP: $64,300,000; CAP PAYROLL: $65,142,045; BONUSES: $222,500
CAP SPACE (23-man roster):- $842,045

Well, that’s my few cents.  I’m sure there’s lots of room for debate, and I’m just offering this for discussion.  I’m simply of a mind like many of you that we have to add a few free agents, and promote a couple of kids.  And keep Lidstrom.  I don’t even want to think about him not being around.

Posted by ludmeister from Kentucky on 04/23/12 at 04:22 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

Link fixed. Sorry.

http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/04/red_wings_20.html

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/23/12 at 04:36 PM ET

Avatar

If Nick does retire and obviously Homer then won’t be back or if he chooses to stick around will end up playing for a “Joey Mac” type contract we will see just how great MIKE BABCOCK is as a coach.
Can he really coach a team to the playoffs with pretty much TWO superstars (Pav & Z) and very ordinary talent??
and
Can BABCOCK “recruit” the top-notch free agents that are and will be available on the market??

I’m doubting there is a “Hockeytown” discount anymore.

I still think Babcock is a “top 3” NHL coach.

Posted by Acim on 04/23/12 at 04:37 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

Acim, if Nick and Homer retire, you think the Wings would stand pat with the players they have, considering they’d have like $10-15 million to spend under the cap?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/23/12 at 04:48 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

FORWARDS
Zach Parise ($6.500m) / Pavel Datsyuk ($6.700m) / Gustav Nyquist ($0.875m)
Johan Franzen ($3.955m) / Henrik Zetterberg ($6.083m) / Valtteri Filppula ($3.000m)
Drew Miller ($0.838m) / Darren Helm ($1.500m) / Justin Abdelkader ($1.000m)
Danny Cleary ($2.800m) / Riley Sheahan ($0.900m) / Todd Bertuzzi ($2.075m)
Cory Emmerton ($0.533m) /
Patrick Eaves ($1.200m) /
DEFENSEMEN
Nicklas Lidstrom ($5.500m) / Ryan Suter ($6.250m)
Niklas Kronwall ($4.750m) / Brendan Smith ($0.875m)
Ian White ($2.875m) / Jonathan Ericsson ($3.250m)
Jakub Kindl ($0.883m) /
GOALTENDERS
Jimmy Howard ($2.250m)
Joey MacDonald ($0.550m)

Interesting. They’re saying Eaves will be 100% ready to go next fall. If that’s the case Eaves/Miller/Helm were a great energy line and quite frankly I think Eaves brings a little more to the table than Miller. That’s prolly why Sheahan won’t be up unless there’s injuries. I’d also LOVE for them to sign Doan. He could be next year’s Dallas Drake for us.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/23/12 at 04:56 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

if he does return we’re probably talking about a guy who might maybe slip into the top 30 or 40 defensemen.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/23/12 at 02:07 PM ET

Once again this kind of thing boggles my mind.  Perhaps a bunch of you watching these hockey games have never actually played the sport yourselves for any extended period of time?

Everything this team does well on the ice begins with him.  Just because he doesn’t do it in more obvious ways like a big Weber or Chara hit/slapshot, doesn’t mean he isn’t actually a more effective defender than them.  Or that he creates more offense than them with his breakout passes and accurate shot from the point.  One-on-one, there is no one a forward would like to face less than Lidstrom, and that has not changed one bit in the past few years.  It’s called defense!!  C’mon people, just look at all of the comments somehow actually suggesting the team would be better off if he retired this year.  Have you all gone crazy?

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 05:12 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I’d also LOVE for them to sign Doan. He could be next year’s Dallas Drake for us.

Posted by Vladimir16 on 04/23/12 at 02:56 PM ET

Then we could get to see this like every other game:

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 05:18 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by ludmeister from Kentucky on 04/23/12 at 02:22 PM ET

If you think Suter is signing for 6.25M and Parise for 6.5M you are out of your frigging mind.

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 04/23/12 at 05:27 PM ET

Avatar

Once again this kind of thing boggles my mind.

Me too.  He’s turning 42 and he’s maybe slipped out of the top five.  Why would anyone assume that, next season, he’s not going to be in the top ten….  Top 30 or 40?  Motherf*cker be crazy.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 05:28 PM ET

Avatar

Call me crazy, but I think it all depends on Lidstrom’s foot. 

If it heals up in the next few weeks or so where he feels good and can get the work in that he needs to stay in shape at his age, then I think it is probably that he comes back for another year.  I am saying probable, not definite.

If the foot continues to give him problems, I think he’ll hang him up.  Realize that this is the first year that he missed significant time during the regular season and wasn’t healthy in the playoffs.  It was a big factor for Rafalski and could easily be for Lidstrom as well.

Posted by Sabby on 04/23/12 at 05:32 PM ET

ludmeister's avatar

@ WingsFan—

Probably.  I’m fully willing to admit that. 

However, Suter was getting 3.5 mil last year (granted, he’s probably going to go for his big contract this summer) and 6.25 mil would be in the realm of Holland-magic if this worked out.  6.5 mil for Parise is actually a raise, he made 6 mil with the Devils last year.  If, as some have indicated, that Parise and Suter are real good friends and want to play together, Holland might just be able to sell this.

Lots of ifs.  But I think that if we get Parise or Semin, and end up with two of the following: Lidstrom, Suter, and Quincey, I think the Wings do alright this offseason. 

Thoughts?

Posted by ludmeister from Kentucky on 04/23/12 at 05:35 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Suter at 6.25 isn’t that crazy.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 04/23/12 at 05:38 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 04/23/12 at 12:18 PM ET

Oh my. Settle down, Francis. When I say the Wings are loyal to a fault, I’m not specifically singling out Lidstrom.

You can now go back to being the king of the internet or whatever it is you do to fill your day.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/23/12 at 05:47 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

And BrendonR, who here said the Wings would be a better team without Lidstrom?

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/23/12 at 05:51 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

I think Lids should retire too.

.........

When I say the Wings are loyal to a fault, I’m not specifically singling out Lidstrom.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC

Ha ha, look I don’t take it that seriously, but we’re here on a hockey blog debating Red Wings topics, and there are fewer points to be made in that regard that make less sense than Lidstrom retiring being a good thing.  Sorry if any feelings were hurt.

And BrendonR, who here said the Wings would be a better team without Lidstrom?

“...somehow actually suggesting the team would be better off if he retired this year.”

Better off and better are two different things.  Still, they wouldn’t be better, or better off.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 06:00 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Then we could get to see this like every other game:

Posted by BrendonR from Toronto, ON on 04/23/12 at 03:18 PM ET

Oooofff…..

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/23/12 at 06:18 PM ET

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

Again, no one in here said the Wings would be better without Lidstrom. Would they have to get better without him, unquestionably. That task lies with Holland.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 04/23/12 at 06:36 PM ET

Avatar

Random thoughts…

-Sheahan is still at least 1-2 years away (especially considering Detroit’s “overripe” approach).

-Smith needs to be given every opportunity to make this team out of camp. He has the makings of a solid top 2 and won’t benefit from more time spent on the Griffins’ roster. Unless he screws the pooch in camp, he should be our 6th d-man.

-Eaves/Helm/Miller line is as good or better than any 4th line in the league. Having that line firing will give Detroit a marked advantage on most nights, something they didn’t have this past season.

-I’m not at all sold on Mursak or Emmerton. They’ll need to really impress in camp to make the team (particularly if Holland actually goes hard for depth at the forward position).

-Please don’t let MacDonald be our backup goalie.

-Filppula should center the 3rd line.

-I hope some other team offers Hudler $4 mil per.

-My dream scenario: a top line with Pavs flanked by Iginla and Parise.

Posted by godblender on 04/23/12 at 07:10 PM ET

Avatar

Oh yeah…Lidstrom should be retained for as long as he wants to keep playing. He shouldn’t take a pay cut, either.

Posted by godblender on 04/23/12 at 07:12 PM ET

PaulinMiamiBeach's avatar

godblender, you’d rather Iginla on Datsyuk’s line than Zetterberg?

Posted by PaulinMiamiBeach on 04/23/12 at 07:31 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Smith needs to be given every opportunity to make this team out of camp.

Posted by godblender on 04/23/12 at 05:10 PM ET

I think it’s this kind of move that’s going to allow the team to have the cap space to bring in Parise and/or Suter, or whoever else, while still being competitive and retaining Lidstrom without some kind of big pay cut.  If there’s one thing the high-drafting teams have been able to do, it’s get big performances out of players still on their entry-level deals.  We all saw this year what Smith can do, and above all the enthusiasm and jump he brings to this team would be key.  Not to mention some much-needed swagger.  Letting Hudler go and giving Nyquist his spot in the Top 6 will add to the cap relief even more.

Still, if you’re Lidstrom and you want to return, and there’s a need for cap space, you’d think he’d have to at least consider dropping to $5 million for the sake of the team’s future.  If he was paid commensurate with his value and performance anyways, he would be one of the top paid players in the League, not a $6 million player.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 08:17 PM ET

statelouis26's avatar

IMO.

Hudler-Gone
Quincey-Should be Gone but back @3 mill
Holmstrom-Retire
Lidstrom-Back @ 4 mill
MacDonald-Back @1mill
Smith-In
Nyquist-In
Parise-@ 7 mill

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/23/12 at 08:33 PM ET

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Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 04/23/12 at 06:33 PM ET

MacDonald’s under contract for next year at $550K, but I hope they get a real backup.  His back worries me a lot.

Posted by Garth on 04/23/12 at 09:39 PM ET

Chet's avatar

the “overripe” approach isn’t going to work forever. the NHL isn’t for 30-something teams anymore. the grind of the season plus the intensity of the playoffs leads to injuries and fatigue.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 04/23/12 at 09:54 PM ET

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Once again this kind of thing boggles my mind.  Perhaps a bunch of you watching these hockey games have never actually played the sport yourselves for any extended period of time?

Everything this team does well on the ice begins with him.

How about everything that the team does poorly… or are you one of those guys who only compliments Lidstrom and never criticizes?

Look, this year Lidstrom was a good NHL defenseman.  He was, however, not exactly distinguishable from Ian White statistically.

Ian White.  Who is also competent, but far from elite.  Lidstrom was top 15 in goals, 42nd in assists, and 64th in ES points.  Behind such luminaries as Jay Harrison and… Brad Stuart.  Yes, that’s right.  Brad Stuart had more ES points this year than Nick Lidstrom.

I like Lidstrom.  He’s still a good NHL defenseman.

That said, some of you guys need to get a hold of yourselves and start looking at the world as it is.  There are actually other players out there who are good but who just happen to not play for the Wings.  For instance:

Weber, Suter, Keith, Seabrook, Pietrangelo.  All those guys are better than Lidstrom right now and that’s just the CENTRAL DIVISION.  Lidstrom’s not even in the top 5 at his position out of five teams worth of players as of today.  And it’s not exactly crazy to think Lidstrom will be worse next year than he was this year… when he just happened to be worse than the year before.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/23/12 at 11:15 PM ET

BrendonR's avatar

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/23/12 at 09:15 PM ET


Your using points as a measure his impact of a defenseman proves what I was saying.

Posted by BrendonR on 04/23/12 at 11:26 PM ET

Avatar

Points are a measure of his impact.  Not the definitive measure, not the only measure, but certainly a measure.  It’s the people who choose to ignore stuff like that just because it contradicts their preferred narrative who have a bit of a reality gap.

As I said, Lidstrom was a good NHL dman this year.  This ludicrous talk about him just slipping out of the top 5 or top 10 this year though is, quite frankly, disconnected.  As of today he’s not top 5 in the division, much less the conference, much much less the NHL.

There are upsides to him coming back next year.  There are upsides to him leaving.  If he comes back next year he will likely be an effective player.  If he doesn’t come back the Wings will have more cap space and greater impetus to be aggressive in free agency.

Mostly this point is moot because IMO it’s about 90/10 Lidstrom comes back for one more year, but this year will almost certainly be his last one.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 04/24/12 at 07:37 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.