Tomas Holmstrom has spent all 15 years of his career with the Detroit Red Wings.
Could his 16th be in a different city?
It seems implausible the 39-year-old would sign anywhere other that Detroit, but two recent items have raised the possibility meter — albeit slightly.
Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News caught up with Wings GM Ken Holland and asked about Holmstrom’s future with the club. Noting that Holland was “using much the same language about Holmstrom as he did about Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper before they retired,” Krupa got this response:
“If we don’t move younger people in, we’re going backwards.”
Krupa also alluded to this report from Swedish website HockeyEspressen.se, in which reporter Av Oscar Brostrom spoke with Holmstrom’s Michigan-based agent, Howard Gourwitz.
The details (thanks to the power of Google translate):
— Several NHL clubs have expressed interest in Holmstrom, but he’s yet to decide what he wants to do.
— Holmstrom won’t go back to Sweden and play in the SEL. If he plays next year, it’ll only be in the NHL.
It also sounds as though Holmstrom (who’s headed back to Detroit soon — he might live there permanently, retirement or no) and Holland will talk in the not-too-distant future about what direction the Wings want to go.
According to Capgeek, Detroit currently has 15 forwards under contract at the NHL level, including a number of the “younger” guys Holland alluded to — Cory Emmerton (24 years old), Jan Mursak (24) and Gustav Nyquist (22).
Also, the Wings have yet to deal with RFA forward Justin Abdelkader.