The past week was a bit refreshing for Red Wings fans everywhere. It was announced earlier this week that captain Nicklas Lidstrom signed a one year deal with the Wings for a reduced salary from last year. Last season Lidstrom earned $7.45 million and it is rumored that his recently signed contract will be for around $6 million. Whether the reduced salary is out of respect for the organization on Lidstrom’s part, or if it’s because of his declined point production last season (49points in 82 games) is unknown. I suspect it is a combination of the two.
There was a lot of talk about Lidstrom retiring this off-season, and that talk heated up when it was discovered that Lidstrom’s son was registered for school in Sweden.
Lidstrom will be entering his 19th NHL season, all of which have been with Detroit. While Lidstrom is still one of the best defensemen in the league, it appears as though his primary job may be changing. With a few young defense coming up like Jonathon Ericsson and Jakub Kindl, it could be Lidstroms job to teach them the ropes of playing defense in the NHL.
One of the other remaining Red Wings with four Stanley Cup rings also resigned with Detroit in the past week. Tomas Holmstrom was announced to have signed a two year deal with the Wings which will end when he is 39 years old. Holmstrom had 25 goals and 20 assists last season in 68 games. Even at 37 years old he continues to be a force for the Red Wings, especially on the power play. It is truly amazing how he can take such a beating in front of the net shift in and shift out.
According to Capgeek.com, the Wings currently have only nine forwards, six defense, and two goalies signed for next year. This leaves room for three more starting forwards, as well as three possible additional players that can be kept on the roster as scratches. Some of the bigger name unrestricted free agents that have yet to be signed by the Red Wings include: Todd Bertuzzi, Jason Williams, Kirk Maltby, Adreas Lilja and Brett Lebda. A few of the restricted free agents include Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Drew Miller, Patrick Eaves and Derek Meech.
If I were Ken Holland, I would make sure to sign Abdelkader, Helm, Miller, Eaves and either Lilja or pick up one on the free agent market.
You’re in Holland’s shoes, who would you sign? Do you think they made the right move signing Holmstrom and Lidstrom or is it time to move on?
Also, this being my first post, please post any comments or criticisms as well as any other suggestions about what you’d like to hear about. Would anyone be interested in a brief introduction post about me?
About the Author
Written by Tom Payment
Huge hockey fan, Detroit in particular.