DETROIT – 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.
Clearly, the big piece to the puzzle for the Wings was resigning Lidstrom for at least one more year. Last season, he rebounded nicely from a sub-par 2009-10, defying Father Time again, and becoming the first 40-year-old defenseman to score 60-points in an NHL season, and last December, he scored his first and only hat trick of his illustrious NHL career.
Lidstrom is near the top of every career list in Red Wings franchise history. He is fourth all-time in games played (1,494), and he should likely pass Steve Yzerman (1,514) and Alex Delvecchio (1,549) on that list in 2011-12.It's SO very good to learn Our Captain will return for yet another season. Nothing lasts forever, of course, not even Hall o' Fame careers. It's with that in mind I'm thinkin' this upcoming season prolly will be Lidstrom's last. But wouldn't it be NICE if he went out by skating the Cup around JLA's ice just one more time? I most certainly think so.
Lidstrom is also third among Red Wings’ greats in assists (855); fourth in points (1,108); and ninth in goals (253), which is 12 behind John Ogrodnick.
He leads all active NHL players with an astonishing plus-429 rating.