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Lidstrom will decide by July 1 to return or retire

Saturday, 05.14.2011 / 1:41 PM / News

Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) - Nicklas Lidstrom says he'll decide by July 1 whether he's returning to the Detroit Red Wings for a 20th season or if he'll retire at the age of 41.

Lidstrom's teammates and coaches say they hope he comes back.

The six-time Norris Trophy winning defenseman was in the team's photo Saturday, two days after the San Jose Sharks eliminated Detroit in Game 7 of their Western Conference semifinal.

Mike Modano says he's leaning toward retirement. The 40-year-old Modano, who leads U.S.-born NHL players in goals and points, says maybe he's been grasping at something that isn't there by extending his career the past couple of years.

Fellow free agents Kris Draper and Chris Osgood say they want to play next season for the Red Wings.

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We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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