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Jeff Riger: Lidstrom Returns For 20th Season

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DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 15:  Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the St.Louis Blues during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on December 15, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – DECEMBER 15: Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the St.Louis Blues during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on December 15, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan.(Photo By Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

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Monday morning could not start any better for the Red Wings as the team held a conference call to announce that Nick Lidstrom will be back for his 20th season in Detroit. Even though it’s no surprise that Nick is back with the July 1st free agency period fast approaching, people were starting to grow impatient about whether #5 will suit it up again. Lidstrom admitted that it gets harder every year to make the commitment to play and is certain that he still has the desire to make it through an 82 game season and playoffs still being a top 2 defenseman. While fans are elated that the captain will be back, GM Ken Holland could be the most excited saying “I don’t even want to think about the Red Wings without Nick Lidstrom.” Holland also letting on that as soon as Brian Rafalski retired him and Mike Babcock tried to persuade Nick to come back for at least one more year. Holland said during the teleconference that it would have been devastating if the team were to have lost both Rafalski and Lidstrom. Lidstrom is reported to make 6.2 million dollars for the 2011-12 season which is the exact same salary as he was paid last year.

With the future hall of famer being locked up Holland and the team will now turn to free agency where no doubt a top tier defenseman will be Detroit’s number one desire. A top 3 line forward will also be targeted by Detroit while also, figuring out what to do with Chris Osgood, Kris Draper Johnathon Ericsson and Ruslan Salei.

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