The Detroit Red Wings are set to lose another long-time member to retirement.
Goalie menace and power play goal scorer Tomas Holmstrom is set to call it a career according to Chuck Pleiness of the Macomb Daily in Michigan.
Earlier in the summer, it was believed Holmstrom and Nicklas Lidstrom’s fates would be intertwined as they’re very good friends. When Lidstrom announced his retirement, Holmstrom was still undecided on his future as recently as September.
Instead, at 39 years-old he’ll be retiring from the game and leaving behind a legacy that sees him as a folk hero in Detroit and despised by fans and goalies everywhere else.
In 15 seasons in the NHL, all with the Red Wings, Holmstrom won four Stanley Cups and finished with 243 goals. He also earned a reputation for bringing misery to opponents in front of the net thanks to his posterior and his stick work.
Detroit will likely give a shot to youngster Gustav Nyqvist to earn a larger role with the team and provide the goals they’ll lose with Holmstrom’s retirement.
According to Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland, it’s Tomas Holmstrom’s call on whether he’ll return for his 16th NHL campaign.
“I haven’t talked to Tomas much,” Holland told MLive.com. “We had talked about him taking all of June and July to see what he wants to do. I talked to him briefly in July. He’s going to take the summer, obviously.
“It takes a lot of determination for him to play. Homer is taking all the time.”
Speaking of determination, Holland seems determined not to rush the process and is allowing the 39-year-old to contemplate for however long he needs.
That’s probably because there’s much to contemplate. Detroit added three forwards to the mix this offseason — Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Damien Brunner — and figures to have former University of Maine standout Gustav Nyquist in a full-time capacity next season.
“If he decides to play,” Holland explained, “we have to have a discussion between Homer and I and probably Mike Babcock to see where he fits in.”
While the influx of new players and the retirement of friend and fellow Swede Nicklas Lidstrom might push Holmstrom to walk away, there’s some thought he’d like to go out in a better fashion than last season. Holmstrom posted his lowest point total since 1997-98 and went 28 straight games without scoring a goal.
There are reportedly teams out there that are interested in signing Tomas Holmstrom, but he doesn’t want to play for them.
“It’s playing in Detroit, or nowhere else,” Holmstrom said, according to the Detroit News.
It remains to be seen which of those two options he and the Detroit Red Wings will end up agreeing upon.
For now, Holmstrom is training like he does every summer, but he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of retirement. However, it remains to be seen if Detroit will have a place for him in the lineup when he comes to a decision.
Holmstrom, who will turn 40 during the 2012-13 campaign, averaged just 11:52 minutes per game last season. It’s also worth noting that Detroit signed Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo this summer. Still, Holmstrom thinks he can still crack Detroit’s lineup if he decides to extend his career.
“If I play my game, play my role, I know I can help this team,” Holmstrom said. “It’s great to see Sammy (Samuelsson) back, he’s going to help our team. And you need a guy like Tootoo, a disturber, a guy who can get in the other team’s face. Those guys will help.”
Holmstrom is expected to talk to Wings GM Ken Holland in another week or two. At that point, the two sides should come a decision regarding Holmstrom’s future.