Despite the early season goal-scoring slump, Lidstrom has come alive on the score sheet and has always delivered rock solid defense. Look for all the flaws you want, the fact is the Detroit Red Wings would be so jailsexed without Nick Lidstrom.
That said, he’s earned the right to go out on his own terms. If this season is his swan song, I bid him farewell, bow down, and thank him for his dedication to the team. Somehow, I think he’s enough of a battler where he won’t be pleased with how this season has gone: not only personally, but also in the standings.
Due to Nicklas Lidstrom’s age, I feel like he’s in one year territory. If you’re not familiar, every contract you sign after turning 35 counts against the cap no matter what happens to you: injury, retirement, demotion, etc. Just to be safe, I think Ken Holland and Co sign Lidstrom to one year deals until he decides he’s done. If he feels he’s got two years left in him, awesome, sign him up to a two year deal.
My feeling is that Nick signs a one-year deal and re-evaluates his future after 2011. If it ends with a Stanley Cup, it’d make five for him — and what better way to go out: frolicking among the greats. Money is going to be somewhere between 4 and 5 million, I bet. For argument’s sake, I’ll call it $4.5M.