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Lidstrom not ready to decide on future

Now that the Detroit Red Wings are out of the playoffs, so begins the endless debate and hand wringing over the decision that Nicklas Lidstrom must make this summer on whether to retire from the NHL or not.

He’s stated several times this season that he would prefer to go out while still playing at a high level, not “pulling a Chris Chelios” and seeing his minutes reduced each progressive season until he’s finally done with hockey. Instead, Lidstrom has indicated that he could never see himself not being a top pair defenseman and while he’s certainly far from being just an “ordinary” player he has started to drop off a bit the past season or so.

Of course, for Lidstrom, dropping off a bit means that he’s merely looked great instead of legendary.

With Lidstrom’s season over and still without a contract extension for next season, he says that he’s yet to think about his immediate future. Per Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail:

“I haven’t thought about it yet,” he said. “It’s not on my mind right now.

“I don’t have a timetable.”

Any other player, and you know it’s been on their mind. Mike Modano enjoyed one heck of a tribute in Dallas and Minnesota in his final games of the season, you know he was thinking about it. With Lidstrom, you have no choice but to believe him he says he’s done nothing but focus on his team and the playoffs; that’s just the way he’s been his entire career.

If one had to guess, Lidstrom will take a bit of paycut and sign an extension with the Red Wings. He’s still one of the top 5 defensemen in the NHL and he’s far from reaching the point where his game has dropped and he starts to lose minutes. Of course, Lidstrom still needs to have some long chats with his family, and with his son getting accepted to a prestigious school in Sweden who knows what may happen.