Wings aren't sitting out without a fight, source

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 4:27 PM ET

MONTREAL - The Detroit Red Wings aren't going to let Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk sit tomorrow without a fight.

A league source told Sun Media that Detroit GM Ken Holland planned to appeal the decision by commissioner Gary Bettman to suspend Lidstrom and Datsyuk because they both pulled out of this weekend's all-star festivities in Montreal.

Under a rule relayed to the GM's by Bettman last spring, players who don't participate in the weekend must either miss the last game before the break or the first game back.

Holland couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, but said in an e-mail Saturday he wasn't happy with Bettman's ruling. "I disagree with the decision," Holland said.

"Lidstrom has played in 9 or 10 all-star games, shown up at every NHL awards show and has been a tremendous ambassador for our league," he said.

"He has tendonitis in his elbow that has been an ongoing issue for a number of years...I think he has earned the right to miss a game to try to get 100% healthy."

There is a strong belief the trade ball might actually start rolling with the clock ticking towards the March 4 NHL trade deadline. The whisper here is Toronto GM Brian Burke is going to make a hard pitch for Florida D Jay Bouwmeester. The belief is the Panthers are reluctant to make a move because the club is in the playoff race.

The Leafs have also been linked to Chris Pronger. Thrashers GM Don Waddell said he's going to decide shortly whether he'll be a buyer or a seller at the deadline. The indication is he has a lot interest in veteran D Mathieu Schneider.

"We'll see how the next couple of weeks go for us," said Waddell. "You always have to come to the decision whether you're a buyer or a seller. We haven't gone as well as we'd like, but we are playing better. I've said all along, we'll see where we are in mid-February."

Other teams to watch: Carolina, Ottawa, Toronto and the Islanders. The NHL is close to finalizing a deal to hold its annual award's show in Las Vegas in late-June. The NHL Players Association is also expected to hold its annual meeting.


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