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Will Friday’s game be Lidstrom’s last?

Apr 19, 2012, 8:12 PM EDT

Nicklas Lidstrom Getty Images

The Detroit Red Wings are just one loss away from being eliminated going into Game 5 on Friday.

Detroit has certainly been competitive against the Nashville Predators in this first round series and we don’t want to imply that the Red Wings losing on Friday is somehow inevitable or even probable. However, every time they get into a situation where the next game could be their last, it’s hard not to think of Nicklas Lidstrom. He’ll turn 42 on April 28 and it’s entirely possible that he’ll decide to retire this summer.

“I’ve been hearing that same story for five years now,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I’d be shocked if he retired, but I’ve been shocked before.”

As Babcock said, this certainly isn’t a new story and Lidstrom is still good enough to play in the NHL. If he wants to extend his career to the 2012-13 campaign, the Red Wings will almost certainly offer him a new contract. However at some point, he will call it quits.

For his part, Lidstrom has said that he isn’t thinking about the possibility of Friday being his last contest. He just wanted to go out there and have a good game. Maybe he can even help get the Red Wings’ struggling offense back on track and record his first point of the series.

  1. thehighcountrybear - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:28 PM

    Wishful thinking from Nashville…and the rest of the league! Nicklas is going nowhere other than Sweden to rest-up after winning the Conn Smythe and yet another Cup! Sweden’s lovely in mid-June, and then back to his shack in Michigan come late August…?

    http://virtualglobetrotting.com/map/nicklas-lidstroms-house/

  2. spavs412 - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    One more year and he will play for his country too. I hope so and I’m a pens fan!! Class guy for sure nothing but respect the 2 yrs we played for the cup he really was classy

  3. phillyphever - Apr 19, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    I say at least two more years, when he can play for Sweden in the Olympics. Then he might hang it up for good.

  4. bensawesomeness - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    All of hockey loses when Nick decides to hang em’ up.

  5. gsprulz - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    i think it’s his last.

  6. taytay099 - Apr 19, 2012 at 10:25 PM

    I hope he doesn’t retire after this season. I love watching guys like him, Jagr and Selanne play. I grew up watching them.

  7. saintez - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    I have great respect having watched NL play the past 12 years. He’s classy, talented and a tremendous presence and leader. I have been a predator season ticket holder from the start of our franchise. We’ve not had love for many wings (chelios comes to mind) but I don’t know a single Nashville Predator fan who doesn’t respect NL. I hope he comes back if he feels like he can. And I hope his last game is Friday night for the 2012 campaign :)

  8. stakex - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if this was his last year.

    You know, Gretzky could have probably played for another 5 years and still put up numbers most anyone would be proud of. However, he couldn’t play good enough to make himself proud any more. Star players get use to playing at such a high level, and when they get to the point where their mind is telling them they can do things that their body won’t let them… a lot of players hang it up.

    Lidstrome still looks really good… but hes clearly not the player he was five years ago. The question is will he come back, knowing hes not going to be able to play at the level his mind thinks he should be able to.

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