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Published: Thursday, 5/31/2012

Lidstrom may announce retirement

Red Wings captain has spent entire 20-year career with team

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES
Nicklas Lidstrom took over as the captain of the Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2006-07 season. He was the first European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, doing so in 2008. He is expected to announce his retirement today. Nicklas Lidstrom took over as the captain of the Detroit Red Wings prior to the 2006-07 season. He was the first European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, doing so in 2008. He is expected to announce his retirement today.
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DETROIT -- Nicklas Lidstrom has made a decision about his future.

The 42-year-old Lidstrom will announce today whether he's retiring or returning to play a 21st season with the Detroit Red Wings.

Sources told the Detroit Free Press that Lidstrom will announce his retirement from the NHL in a news conference at 11 a.m. at Joe Louis Arena.

Wednesday afternoon, TSN analyst Aaron Ward posted on Twitter that Lidstrom would announce his retirement. Ward was a teammate of Lidstrom's in Detroit from 1993 to 2001.

The four-time Stanley Cup champion put retirement on hold in each of the previous two years by signing one-year contracts and answering questions from reporters on a conference call. This time, he's expected to confirm his retirement at Joe Louis.

Lidstrom, 42, has spent his entire 20-year career with the Red Wings, who selected him 53rd overall in the third round of the 1989 NHL Draft.

Lidstrom will retire as one of the NHL's most prolific defenseman. In addition to winning four Stanley Cups (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008), Lidstrom is a seven-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's top defenseman. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP in 2002 and was the first European to captain a Stanley Cup championship team when the Red Wings won the title in 2008. Lidstrom became the Red Wings captain prior to the 2006-2007 season.

In 1,564 career regular-season games, Lidstrom has scored 264 goals and 878 assists. In 263 playoff games, Lidstrom has scored 54 goals and 129 assists.

In 70 games this season, Lidstrom had 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) and a plus-21 rating that ranked among the league leaders. He missed a career-high 11 games due to a bone bruise on his right ankle. Nashville defeated Detroit in a Western Conference quarterfinal series 4-1, and Lidstrom was held without a point in his final five games with the Red Wings.



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