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Tomas Holmstrom Retires

It's Official

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Red Wings press release:

Detroit, MI... Tomas Holmstrom, a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, ‘98, 2002 and ‘08, today announced that he will retire from the National Hockey League after 15 seasons. Holmstrom played all 1,026 games of his career in a Red Wings sweater, the sixth-most in franchise history behind Gordie Howe (1,687), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564), Alex Delvecchio (1,549), Steve Yzerman (1,514) and Kris Draper (1,137). The Pitea, Sweden, native also appeared in 180 postseason games for Detroit, fourth-most in team annals trailing only Lidstrom (263), Draper (220) and Yzerman (196).

Holmstrom, 39, was Detroit’s 10th-round selection (257th overall) in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He made his NHL debut on October 5, 1996, against the New Jersey Devils and played in 47 regular season games during his rookie campaign. Holmstrom, however, saw action in just one postseason game that year as the Red Wings marched to the 1997 Stanley Cup, ending a 42-year drought in the Motor City. The 6-0, 198-lb. forward worked hard to become a mainstay in Detroit’s lineup the following season, establishing himself as one of the NHL’s premier net-front players by perfecting the art of screening opposing goaltenders, deflecting shots and creating chaos in front of the opponent’s net. Holmstrom was at his agitating best on the Detroit power play, winning battles for loose pucks and establishing his territory at the top of the opposition’s goal crease. During the 1998 postseason, he collected 19 points (7G-12A-19P) and played in all 22 games as the Red Wings claimed their second consecutive title.

"Tomas Holmstrom was a fierce competitor who played hard every shift of every game," said Executive Vice President and General Manager Ken Holland. "He provided us with an abrasive style that complemented our skill players so well. He was fearless in going to all of the physical areas of the ice and was willing to take the punishment necessary in order to make life difficult for opposing defensemen and goalies. Homer was a team leader for us both on and off the ice. He’s a unique type of player who provided us with the league’s best net-front presence for 15 seasons."

Holmstrom posted 530 points (243G-287A-530P) over his 15-year career, the 13th-most in team history. Just over half of his 243 career goals came via the power play (122). He tallied 10-or-more power-play goals in seven of his last nine seasons. Holmstrom also registered 97 career playoff points (46G-51A-97P) in 180 postseason contests. Nineteen of his 46 postseason goals came with the Red Wings on the man-advantage.

Holmstrom’s best statistical season came in 2005-06 when he established career highs with 30 assists and 59 points. He followed that up with a career-high 30 goals in 2006-07. Last season, Holmstrom became just the 272nd player in NHL history to play in 1,000 career games when the Red Wings hosted the Anaheim Ducks on February 10, 2012, at Joe Louis Arena. He also became just the 48th player in league history to play 1,000 games with one team.

Over his 15 seasons in Motown, Holmstrom appeared in six Western Conference Finals and five Stanley Cup Finals. He played a part in 10 Central Division titles (1999, 2001, ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08, ‘09, ‘11), five Western Conference regular season titles (2002, ‘04, ‘06, ‘07, ‘08) and four Presidents’ Trophies as the NHL’s regular season champion (2002, ‘04, ‘06, ‘08). Holmstrom is one of five players to hoist the Cup in each of Detroit’s last four championship runs along with Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty.

Holmstrom also represented his native Sweden at numerous international competitions throughout his career. He skated for Tre Kronor at the 1996 IIHF World Championships, 2002 Olympic Winter Games (Salt Lake City), 2004 World Cup of Hockey and 2006 Olympic Winter Games (Turin, Italy) where he helped Sweden capture gold with a 3-2 victory over archrival Finland. Holmstrom was also selected to play in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver but was forced to withdraw prior to the tournament due to a knee injury.

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If/when they put up video of the presser, we'll post it. It's a must-watch for fans of Homer. Bill Roose also has a great writeup with quotes from some of the Wings players over at Give it a look.