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Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock believes that Nicklas Lidstrom will not retire.
The issue that Lidstrom must face is his age and his injury. Most likely he will come back. Not only because of how this season ended, but because he knows the team needs him.
He is not putting up numbers like he used to, but he plays better then most 20-year-olds. A key factor on why he may retire is his injury.
He is realizing that he cannot do what he used to do. Kris Draper and Brian Rafalski realized this and retired. Lidstrom is a special case. He is for sure going to be in the Hall of Fame.
Detroit has two young defenceman who should be ready for next year (Jakub Kindl and Brendan Smith). Their first full season will be rough and Lidstrom would be a great mentor.
Perhaps the biggest argument on why Lidstrom will not retire is the Winter Classic. The chance to play in two of them is rare enough and is too good to pass up. The Winter Classic is expected to break attendance records. Two of the oldest teams in the NHL will face off in 2013.
He is past the point of personal numbers. He is at the point in his career where everyone knows he is great. He has the awards and rings to prove it. He now plays for the team. He is what makes Red Wings hockey thrive, and it would be a shame for him to go.