Gilchrist to Return to Wings

Brent Gilchrist, the rugged Red Wings forward who battled injuries for two seasons before finally being healthy for 2000-2001, has accepted his option to come back to the Red Wings next season.

The 34-year-old Gilchrist will make $625,000 next season as a third- and fourth-liner and penalty-killer, as Detroit General Manager Ken Holland will not try to buy out Gilchrist’s contract.

“It was a very easy decision for Brent to make,” Gilchrist’s agent, Barney Harris, said. “Brent likes the Wings and likes the area very much.”

Lidstrom Finally Wins Norris Trophy

After three years of finishing second, Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom finally won the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL’s top defenseman.

Lidstrom, who finished as a runner-up to Rob Blake, Al MacInnis and Chris Pronger in the last three seasons, was almost a unanimous choice for the award. His closest competition was Colorado’s Ray Bourque, who was the co-winner of the NHL Fans Association’s Best Role Model Award earlier this season.

“Oh, it’s tough to find words to describe how I’m feeling right now,” said Lidstrom, who flew back to North America after leaving to spend the summer in Sweden. “I’m really proud and honored to get this trophy. I have to give a lot of credit to the coaching staff and the players surrounding me.”

Lidstrom was also runner-up for the Lady Byng Trophy, while Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman finished second in voting for the Jack Adams Award.

Bowman to Return for Ninth Season in Detroit

The NHL’s winningest coach is expected to announce today that he will return for another season behind the bench of the Detroit Red Wings.

After productive meetings with Red Wings general manager Ken Holland last week and yesterday, Bowman has decided to hold of retirement for at least one more season. The sixty-seven year old Bowman recieved a clean bill of health last week, clearing him to continue his legendary career.

The return of Bowman is expected to give the Red Wings an advantage in signing free agent forward Martin Lapointe, who has stated that he felt he grew as a player under Bowman. Unfortunately, not all players will be happy with the decision. Aaron Ward, who was benched for all six games of the Wings’ first round playoff loss to Los Angeles, may request a trade out of Detroit and away from Bowman.