June 20, 2011, Detroit, MI — Detroit Red Wings General Manager Ken Holland announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom on a one-year contract. In accordance with team policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Lidstrom, 41, will return for his 20th season in Hockeytown. He was Detroit’s third-round pick (53rd overall) in the 1989 National Hockey League Entry Draft. The Vasteras, Sweden, native has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman six times during his career (2001, ’02, ’03, ’06, ’07, ’08). He is the first European-born captain to lead his team to a Stanley Cup championship (2008) and the first European-born player to win the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP (2002). Lidstrom is a four-time Stanley Cup champion (1997, ‘98, 2002, ‘08), holds Detroit’s single-season records for assists (64) and points (80) by a defenseman, ranks fourth in franchise history in games played (1,494) and points (1,108), and has the highest plus-minus rating (+429) since 1991-92, his first year in the NHL. He was named the NHL’s player of the decade (2000-09) by both the Sporting News and SportsIllustrated.com.
“We’re thrilled that Nick has decided to come back and play another year. He’s coming off an outstanding season and in my opinion, even at age 41, continues to be the top two-way defenseman in the world,” said Holland.
In 2010-11, Lidstrom finished second among NHL defensemen with 62 points (16-46-62) and was one of only two Red Wings to appear in all 82 games. He is a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman for the 11th time in the last 13 seasons. Should Lidstrom win the Norris, he would tie Doug Harvey for second-most all-time with seven and trail only the legendary Bobby Orr (8).
Lidstrom currently ranks second all-time with 258career postseason games played (Chris Chelios – 266) and is second all-time among defenseman with 183 playoff points (Paul Coffey – 196). His 54 postseason goals rank him third all-time among NHL blue-liners.