One of the NHL’s longest tenured goalie pests is hanging up his skates.
Long-time Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom is retiring before the start of the 2013 season. Holmstrom has been a thorn in the sides of goaltenders, and a power play afficionado for 15 seasons, all with Detroit.
The 39-year old Holmstrom has a resume that most NHL players would kill for. He has won four Stanley Cups, and scored 243 goals– nearly all of the gritty, garbage variety. He’s become a legend to the fans in Detroit due to his fearlessness around opposing nets, and his willingness to take severe punishment to help his team win games.
With his retirement, Holmstrom is the second career Red Wing to retire this offseason. After Niklas Lidstrom announced his retirement last summer, it was speculated as to whether or not Holmstrom would follow suit given how close the two players are. Now the question comes whether or not he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Holmstrom has accumulated 530 points in 1036 games in his career. He’s always been a team first player, and didn’t hide the fact that he was loyal to his team and teammates. Whether that’s good enough to get enshrinement into the Hall of Fame remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that Holmstrom is one of the great players of our generation.
The Red Wings now have to figure out what they will do to replace Holmstrom for the lockout-shortened 2013 season and beyond. It’s more likely that it will come from a promotion within the organization as opposed to a free agent signing or a trade.