The Detroit Red Wings are hoping that legendary defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom decides whether or not to retire before the June 25-26 NHL Entry Draft, reports Ansar Khan of MLive.com. The story indicates that the genius Swede will at least make his choice before the first day of unrestricted free agency, which is July 1.
Most in the Red Wings organization, including Holland, coach Mike Babcock and Lidstrom’s longtime teammates, think the six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman will return.
The Red Wings hope to sign him for slightly less than the $7.45 million he earned last season, likely for between $5 million and $6 million.
Holland said he hasn’t delved too deeply into contract talks with forwards Tomas Holmstrom and Todd Bertuzzi, a pair of unrestricted free agents the club also hopes to re-sign.
Khan reports that Red Wings GM Ken Holland will likely make qualifying offers to the team’s restricted free agents, including spark plug forward Darren Helm. He’s also expected to attempt to bring back the unexpectedly productive Bertuzzi, goalie screening expert Tomas Holmstrom and already signed one year export Jiri Hudler.
Getting Lidstrom back for $5 to $6 million would be a real boon for Detroit. He’s easily worth that much money, even at his “advanced” age. It could come down to term, at least if the blueliner would prefer a few extra years.
Want more information on the Red Wings salary cap situation? Be sure to check out my breakdown of their 2010-11 commitments right here.