<
>

Lidstrom passes on free agency

DETROIT -- Nicklas Lidstrom signed a two-year contract extension Saturday with the Detroit Red Wings.

Lidstrom, who turns 34 this month, has won the last three Norris
Trophies as the NHL's top defenseman. His current contract, worth
$10 million annually, was due to expire after this season.

But Lidstrom is giving up the chance at free agency to stay with
Detroit, his only NHL team in a 13-season career.

"He's one of the best players in the league," Red Wings
general manager Ken Holland said. "We're glad he's committed and
locked up for two seasons."

Lidstrom wasn't in the lineup on Saturday night against
Columbus, Detroit's regular-season finale. The Red Wings have won
the Presidents' Trophy, which goes to the team with the NHL's best
record.

Lidstrom has 10 goals and 28 assists in 81 games this season.