The Detroit Red Wings will not be without the services of their captain and perennial Norris Trophy candidate for the 2011-12 season as Nicklas Lidstrom has agreed to a one-year deal with the club. The deal is reportedly worth $6.2 million, which is the same amount he earned last season on a similar one-year contract. The 2011-12 season will be Lidstrom’s 20th in the NHL.
Lidstrom’s intentions for next season were a talking point all season long, and the 41-year old defenseman said he would ponder his options following the Red Wings’ Western Conference Semi-Final elimination at the hands for the San Jose Sharks. It’s great news for an aging Red Wings team that can hold off on restructuring their blue line for another season. Lidstrom is a six-time winner of the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman, and has a shot at winning his seventh as a finalist again this year.
As the first ever European captain to hoist the Stanley Cup in 2008, Lidstrom was a part of four Cup champion teams with the Red Wings in 1997, 1998, 2002, and most recently in 2008. Lidstrom also holds several other ‘first European’ distinctions including first European to be win the Conn Smythe, first European to win the Norris Trophy, and first European defenseman to reach 1000 points in the NHL.
If the 2011-12 season is indeed his last, Lidstrom will join several other all-time greats that retired after reaching the 20-season milestone including, most recently: Rob Blake, Joe Sakic, and Teppo Numminen.