Exploring the fantasy of Nicklas Lidstrom’s return to the Detroit Red Wings

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Red Wings made a hockey operations move on Tuesday that brought back former captain and hall of fame Nicklas Lidstrom. It’s not that shocking of a move to see Steve Yzerman bring in another former teammate as he “gets the band back together” and continues to bolster things on the hockey operations side of things.

But, when it came to his introductory press conference with the Detroit Red Wings, there was a set of quotes that got me thinking. There was a faux pas in what Lidstrom said. He referred to himself as happy to join the team, then corrected himself to the organization.

Here’s a tweet from Ryan Hana of the Winged Wheel Podcast that mentions what was said in the presser.

In a joking matter, Yzerman said he could make the other option happen, too, if Lidstrom wanted. While the 51-year old Hall of Famer is seldom to make a return to the ice, it got me thinking about what this Red Wings team would be able to accomplish with Lidstrom back on the blueline.

Like Hana says in his tweet above, Yzerman said what we are all thinking. So, take a moment to ponder what it would be like to have Lidstrom back on the ice.

The Detroit Red Wings blueline would flourish with Nicklas Lidstrom.

Now I’m not naive enough to think that Lidstrom is about to come out of retirement and join the team’s blueline. His return to the organization is exciting and certainly should leave fans feeling good.

But adding in that high-end caliber defensemen is something the Red Wings should consider. In Lidstrom’s last season with the Red Wings (2011-12), he managed 11 goals and 23 assists for 34 points over 70 games.

Before that, Lidstrom had been averaging closer to 60 points, whether he was above or below it. I mean, he’s an NHL Hall of Famer who wound up finishing his career with seven Norris Trophies, which tied Doug Harvey for second-most behind the great Bobby Orr.

It’s evident that the Red Wings would be better off with another future Hall of Fame defenseman who’s proven himself to work with Moritz Seider. Let’s be honest and let the fan in us take over for a moment…

Wouldn’t it be incredible to watch Lidstrom take the ice alongside Seider? Or in two years to watch him play alongside this year’s first-round pick Simon Edvinsson or Seider?

A minor slip-up during the introductory presser really got me thinking about a Lidstrom return. Since that is not happening, what is the next best thing?

If the Red Wings wanted to lock down their blueline for years to come, adding an impactful defenseman would do it. So while the idea of Lidstrom returning is like a fairytale, what’s the next best thing in today’s game?

It seems like a big trade would be the closest to accomplishing that. There may not be a ton of big-name defensemen on the trade market, but someone to look at is John Klingberg of the Dallas Stars, who has undoubtedly been one of their best defensemen down in Texas.

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While the Red Wings, unfortunately, cannot bring back Lidstrom to the lineup, they may be able to bring in a big-name defenseman to anchor things on the blueline alongside Seider.