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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Red Wings Sign Defenseman Lidstrom to One-Year Extension

The Detroit Red Wings announced today that they have signed defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom to a one-year contract extension worth $6.2 million. He would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1. In all 82 games last season with the Red Wings, Lidstrom scored nine goals and 40 assists for 49 points. In 12 playoff games, he added four goals and six assists for 10 points. In 1412 career NHL games over 17 seasons, all with Detroit, he has 237 goals and 809 assists for 1046 points. He has won four Stanley Cups with Detroit (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008), the Norris Trophy six times as the league's top defenseman (2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008), the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP (2002), and an Olympic gold medal (2006). This is an excellent signing for the Red Wings, as Lidstrom is easily the best defenseman in the NHL today and one of the greatest defenseman of all-time. He is an extremely intelligent offensive defenseman with a very accurate shot. He is also great in the defensive zone and is an excellent skater. Lidstrom had been contemplating retirement in recent months, but stated that he was leaning toward playing at least one more season. The $6.2 million he will make next season is a great price for a defenseman of his caliber, as he could easily command $8 million or more per season. Also, by taking a a bit of a pay cut from the $7.4 million he made last season, the gives the Red Wings some extra salary cap space to re-sign some impending free agents and perhaps add a depth player or two via free agency.

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