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12-08-2005, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by doublejack
I agree with much of what you posted, but I think Lidstrom is declining faster than Chelios. Cheli's Norris finalist performance in 02 was exceptional. Had he won he would be the only defenseman to claim that trophy across 3 decades. And this was a year after he had major knee surgery, most 36 year olds would have quit after blowing out their knee. Instead Cheli came back 90-some days after the surgery. It was simply amazing. And at 44 he's still an NHL caliber player.

I'll eat my hat if Lidstrom is a Norris finalst again, or if he's still playing in the NHL at 44. Lidstrom is still a good defenseman, a top pairing guy for sure. But he's not in the top 10 in the NHL anymore. He's not even the best D-man on the team imo, despite his flaws I believe it's Schneider. Nick is not worth a 2y/$8 million deal imo. How good will he be next season? Or the year after that? We don't know. Lidstrom is clearly (to me anyway) not the player he was in 03-04. How much further will he degrade? It's a big risk to make that kind of offer. I would go 1y at a time for something in the 3-3.5M range tops.

There might be a team or two who will offer more money, but Nick will not be the hot commodity he used to be. He's getting old & slow, he's lost his shot and there are much more attractive defenseman to be had. I think teams are learning from Boston's error on Leetch and won't repeat it. I would love to see Nick back next year, but if it's not for an acceptable salary then it would be wiser to move on and spend the money on a younger franchise player.

As far as the Wings not being a playoff team without Nick, I agree and disagree. If Kronwall & Fischer were playing then we could get by without Nick. But with the situation being what it is yes we need him, and we need him badly.
Lidstrom is declining faster than Chelios? See...this is the kind of thing I am talking about on this board. I dont see this at all. First of all...Lidstrom was never fast. I keep hearing how slow he is getting. He was never fast to begin with and he is still the BEST positional defensman in the NHL. Second of all, he is on pace for another 60 point season. I hate to keep saying this over and over, but it seems people dont realize that he is still 8th among NHL defensman in scoring all while he is supposedly "rapidly declining" and having his stats "plummet" every year. Yes...he is getting older and his career is on the down slope now. But he isnt in a lead balloon free fall like alot of you keep talking about.

Lidstrom is our #1 defensman. Every night in the GTD's we talk about yet another terrible Schneider giveaway, many of which lead to goals or glorious scoring opportunities. Again...even though he is "rapidly declining"... we dont see Lidstrom with these kind of mistakes. So, I disagree with you on him being #2 behind Schneider. Nick is 4 points behind Schneider and playing MUCH better defensively than Schneider. Nick is still the go to guy.

Lastly, you say that if Kronwall and Fischer were healthy we could "get by without Nick"? Are you insane? Kronwall has 20 games of NHL experience. Sure, we all THINK he can be the next Nick Lidstrom, but that isnt a certainty. And Fischer, while he was playing great this year finally, is not a top pairing defensman by any means. Bottom line...this team needs Lidstrom with or without those other 2 guys.

Other than that, I think you make good points in your post. I say 2 years at $8 million is a great way to keep Nick in the fold.

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