"I have too much respect for Nick because I know he's playing in pain. He's shown up at every NHL Awards show he's been nominated for. He's done everything the league has asked him to do. He's put in his time and he's paid his dues. I'm backing my player because I know he's hurt."
Holland said Lidstrom came to him Monday to tell him the tendinitis in his right elbow was flaring up. The Wings' captain had a MRI done Wednesday and Holland said they found a small tear.
"This has been an ongoing problem for Nick for a number of years, but it's only gotten worse as he's gotten older," Holland said. "The tear isn't really significant, but it'll only heal with rest. He felt a week off would help get him back healthy. He's never come to me and asked out of the game before, so I know he's hurting. There's a chance he might not play Tuesday (even if he's suspended). We're fortunate to have some points in the bank and we're looking at the long term here."
"We're being cautious [with Pavel Datsyuk] here because the last time I saw Franzen he couldn't play and wasn't walking well," Holland said. I have trouble asking players to go to Montreal who are injured. I don't even know where the two of them are."
Holland said he explained all this to NHL vice-president Colin Campbell earlier this week. Holland said he has no plans to call the league again.
"I don't know exactly what Gary has said, but we've always encouraged our players to go and they have over the years," Holland said. "We played in the Winter Classic when asked even though there was some internal opposition. We gave up our traditional New Year's Eve game. We've helped carry the flag for the league for more than a decade. I think we've tried to be good partners in these things. I understand the All-Star Game is important, but I'm not going to tell Nick and Pavel to go either."
Courtesy of the Windsor Star.