Nicklas Lidstrom needs some time to make retirement choice

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It’ll be an inevitable annual question until he’s not playing in the NHL any longer: is this it for Nicklas Lidstrom? While Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said he would be “shocked” if Lidstrom hangs up his skates, the future Hall of Famer hasn’t been showing his hand. In fact, according to this Associated Press story, he might not actually know yet.

“I’m going to take a few weeks,” Lidstrom said. “I’m sure Kenny [Holland] wants to sit down and go over things as well. I’ll see what he wants to do and what timetable he’ll give me for me to make a decision.”

To some extent, he probably has a right to mull things over until the next free agent period begins on July 1. In fact, when you look at scenarios like Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne experienced in twilight years with Anaheim, one could argue that he could even wrestle with the decision a bit longer.

On the other hand, the Red Wings need to put together a plan this off-season. Tomas Holmstrom might retire as well while another key defenseman (Brad Stuart) might bolt to California for family reasons.

That being said, a lot of Detroit’s plans will probably hinge on whether they’ll have Lidstrom around or not. Babcock’s succinct quote explains why they’ll probably be willing to wait:

“He’s too good to quit,” Babcock said.