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The key to Nicklas Lidstrom’s future is... Tomas Holmstrom?

Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, Douglas Murray

Detroit Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom (5), who had an assist, and Tomas Holmstrom (96) celebrates Lidstroms’ first period goal in front of San Jose Sharks’ Douglas Murray during Game 3 in a second-round NHL Stanley Cup playoff hockey series, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in Detroit. All three players are from Sweden. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)


If you thought about the factors that could go into Nicklas Lidstrom’s decision on whether or not to retire from the NHL, would you guess that the future of teammate Tomas Holmstrom was one of them? Probably not, but that might just be the case.

Elliotte Friedman mentions in his weekly 30 Thoughts column that while there are many factors for Lidstrom to consider, the possibility of Holmstrom retiring might wind up being the one that makes up Lidstrom’s mind for him.

Ultimately, the No. 1 factor in Nicklas Lidstrom’s future is if he wants to put himself through everything it takes to get ready for the season. I mentioned on The Hotstove that he may leave if close friend Tomas Holmstrom retires -- a theory that, apparently, was backed up by Chris Chelios on NHL Live.

Sound crazy? It isn’t. Holmstrom and Lidstrom are very close friends and given that they’ve both played together in Detroit for a long time, it probably makes Lidstrom’s life a lot easier having a friend and countryman in the locker room to go through the rigors with.

What a twist it would be to see one of the game’s greatest players call it a career because a close friend beat him to the punch to do so.