Tuesday morning the Wings gathered for the last time to take a team picture and reminiscence about what exactly went wrong in the first round against the Nashville Predators. They officially call it “Locker Clean Out day” but that is kind of misleading. Sure players clean out their lockers for possibly the last time, but they also admit to injuries that have plagued them, declare that next year will be different and of course they also assure the media that they have no idea if they will be back or not?
And that is pretty much how it went with Nick Lidstrom as well…
Lidstrom, like you would expect, met the media for a solid 20 minutes relaying one simple message; “I don’t know yet.”
Below are some of the more interesting quotes from the captain…
A lot of people believe Lidstrom will not return to the Wings if he believes the team is not Stanley Cup caliber anymore. “I think this team just needs a couple tweaks” Lidstrom said. I like the core that we have in here, if you look around the league there is so much parody. Teams are so close to one another so if you are not playing well or on top of your game you are going to lose and I think we have seen that in other series as well. Having said that, I still like the core that we have in here.”
Lidstrom was asked if he would consider a farewell season? A season where everybody knows he is leaving so he could essentially get standing ovations and the honors he deserves throughout the league? “I don’t think so, that has not crossed my mind either” said Lidstrom. I want to play out the season and not have to think about that and be reminded about it, just go out there and play and make a decision in the off season.”
Obviously Nick is thinking about family, his body and his passion as factors as if he chooses to come back for another season or not. “I know what I have to do to get ready for a long year” replied Lidstrom when asked about the grueling off season regiment it takes to remain a NHL caliber player. “I’m not willing to sacrifice that to have a good summer or take it easy during the summer time. It’s a grind to go through which all of us do in here and then you hit the grind of the season too. It’s a long year you play 3-4 games every week for over six month; it takes its toll on the body too.”
So does money play a role in his decision?
“No, no it doesn’t” Said Lidstrom “It wasn’t a factor last year or the last couple years so that is not a factor in my decision.”
So since money is not a factor would Nick be willing to take less cash if it meant the Wings could get more quality players to help win a cup? “That is something that I have not thought much about so it’s hard to answer that question” Lidstrom said. “I think a lot of guys have bought into the system that we have here to find the best available guy to get a good team on the ice, so I don’t think that has really been an issue on this team.”
Of course the only thing that matters at the end of the day is if the captain still has the passion to play a win his 5th cup? “It’s there in the back of my mind” said Lidstrom. “Especially when you have won before, the feeling of winning and finishing on top. I think it’s always in the back of players mind to win another cup.”
Watch the Nick Lidstrom video below and then you tell me if you think he is coming back?