One year.... AND if the Cap indeed goes up a significant amount, I see no problem giving Lidstrom a RASIE, yes, A RAISE. He is the best defensman in the world and should be paid that. If indeed the cap goes up enough. Lids is the kind of player that wants to win and win often, so if the cap only inches up, I am sure he would sacrifice some more money to make this team even better....
I have a problem with giving Lidstrom a raise; it sticks us in a situation where the rest of the team may not be as good. This is important because of many reasons. Lidstrom and Rafalski will both be retiring soon, and the rest of the team primarily consists of players who would be sticking around. If Lidstrom taking a pay cut allows for us to get a much better player on the roster, potentially locking down a (preferably younger) top-pairing defenseman given that Rafalski, Kronwall, and Stuart all turn UFA after next season, as would Lidstrom if he returns. Next offseason will showcase Holland's true abilities as a GM, even if Lids is returning for 2012-13.
2 years at 4.8 per year.
I would take a 2 year deal for $4.8m for Lidstrom if it were a cap hit of $2.4m each year. Because I'm willing to risk eating that hit two years from now to guarantee his presence on the roster for next season.