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Monday, June 20, 2011

Red Wings Sign Nicklas Lidstrom to One-Year Contract

Nicklas Lidstrom will be returning to the NHL for a 20th season. The Detroit Red Wings announced today that they have signed the 41-year-old star defenseman to a one-year contract worth $6.2 million, the same salary he made last year. He would have been an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and had been considering retirement. In all 82 games last season, he had 16 goals and 46 assists for 62 points. In 11 playoff games, he added four goals and four assists for eight points. In 1494 career NHL games, all with Detroit, he has 253 goals and 855 assists for 1108 points. Lidstrom 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). He is a finalist for the Norris Trophy, Lady Byng Trophy, and Mark Messier Leadership Award for the 2010-11 season. This is an excellent signing for the Red Wings, as Lidstrom is easily the best defenseman in the league today and one of the greatest defensemen of all time. He is a very intelligent offensive defenseman with an accurate shot who excels in the defensive zone and is excellent on the power play. Lidstrom's return will be welcome news to Red Wings fans who were stunned nearly one month ago when defenseman Brian Rafalski unexpectedly announced his retirement. Now with Lidstrom back in the fold for one more year, expect Detroit to be aggressive in the coming weeks to acquire a standout replacement for Rafalski.

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