On Tuesday, Tomas Holmstrom confirmed reports that had surfaced for weeks, announcing his retirement after 15 NHL seasons — all of them spent in Detroit.
“After millions of memories, I’m here today to announce my retirement from Detroit Red Wings,” Holmstrom said. “It wasn’t easy decision to make, but it was the right one.
“I had a great job.”
Tributes came pouring in from team officials and players for the 40-year-old affectionately known as “Homer.”
Wings GM Ken Holland looked back on Holmstrom’s statistical accomplishments, noting that he played in the fourth-most playoff games in franchise history and retires as the club’s 13th-leading scorer all-time.
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock raved about Holmstrom’s work ethic and desire to win.
“He competed to get to his spot, was a great, great, great teammate, great man,” Babcock said. “Very, very, ultra-competitive. All the best players are ultra-competitive. And found a way to win four Stanley Cup championships and represent his country.”
Holmstrom’s legacy in Motown is left on the power play and, specifically, in front of the goal. The lumbering Swede turned net-front play into an art form — emerging as a staple of some of Detroit’s most lethal power play units during the 90s and 2k era.
He had at least 10 PPG seven times during his career, and has the third-most power play markers in franchise history, behind Lidstrom and Gordie Howe.
As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.
Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.
While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.
It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.
One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.
Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.
Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.
Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?
Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.
The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.
The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:
That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.
Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:
Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.
Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.