Nicklas Lidstrom turned down an offer from Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock to join the team in a coaching capacity in June, and the legendary former defenseman says it was a family decision.
"It's true that he called and asked if I was interested in taking one of the spots as an assistant coach for the upcoming season," Lidstrom told SportExpressen in Sweden. "I was very proud of the offer, it was really flattering. We are doing well here in Sweden after the move and the children thrive in school, so it never occurred to [me] to move back."
The 44-year-old retired in 2012 after 20 seasons with the Red Wings. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion, a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, a 12-time All-Star and Olympic gold medalist.
Babcock said back in June that that he reached out to Lidstrom and tried to convince him to come back to the organization with which the blueliner spent his entire career.
"I called Niklas Lidstrom and offered him the job. I told him his wife was happier in Detroit than in Sweden. But he didn't buy it," Babcock said at the time.
Lidstrom says he won't completely close the door on returning to the NHL in a coaching capacity.
"You should never say never. We'll see how we feel when we've been home for a few more years."
He has remained in touch with the Red Wings by scouting players in Sweden since returning home. Lidstrom still plans to make a handful of trips to Detroit every year, but can't fully commit to moving back.
"I will go over four or five times per season, which I did before. But right now is simply the wrong time for a move back. Maybe we'll change our minds in the future, I don't know."
[H/T Kukla's Korner]
Feature photo courtesy of Rebecca Cook / Reuters