Doing what Homer does best! - Claus Andersen
With all of the Wings legendary firepower one tends to forget what an intricate role Tomas Holmström played in shaping the Wings dynasty.
[Ed Note: Moved back to the top: Homer's presser is scheduled for 4:30 PM on Jan 22nd]
Holmstrom, who will turn 40 tomorrow, has been severely regressing in his play quality over the past two years and that can be expected considering the job that he has been doing. Much like what happened to Kris Draper, the Wings just didn't have an open space available for Homer and he was "forced" to retire. However, for those who watched the Wings during the last season, I think we all can agree that Holmstrom just has become to situational and not effective enough to be warranted a spot over a guy like Tomas Tatar or Jan Mursak.
Nonetheless, lets look back at one of the greats in Red Wings history.
"Homer" as he is known across the U.S. and Canada, does what few else will do, the dirty work. By doing what no one else wanted, this former 10th-round draft pick built himself to being the most feared man in hockey.
I think it is pretty safe to say that if you ask all the goalies in the NHL who they least like to face, the majority of them will say Holmstrom. There is a reason that he is known as the "Demolition Man". By using his body to redirect shots and screen the goalie, Homer became loved by Wings fans for doing what no one else wanted to do.
He also became a bit of a bad boy, constantly getting in fights and drawing penalties. An attributes that Wings fans adore (except for Abdelkader, cause he just times everything wrong).
However, by doing what he has been doing he has taken a brutal amount of hits and also often taking pucks to the face. This has undoubtedly led to some of the regression that has recently taken place. His body has simply been too torn up.
Homer will not only be remembered on the ice but also off the ice. Many current and former Wings constantly compliment him over his sense of humor and joy that he brings to the locker room. From what I hear, he always managed to stay positive even when the times looked the toughest.
Holmstrom was also Nick Lidströms best friend. I can't imagine how tough it must have been for Homer to see Nick retire. For those who saw NHL 36 last year, we all got a great insight into how well the relationship between the two was and how it helped keep both of them sane during those very weird schedulized west coast trips.
Living for four years of my life in Sweden, I have been able to see first hand how loved he is and the Swedish hockey community will miss him no doubt.
Homer ends his career with the Wings with 4 Stanley Cups and an Olympic Gold Medal. He also managed to play over 1,000 games with the Wings and score over 500 points.
I think that everyone can agree with me in saying that we all wish Tomas Holmstrom a great retirement!