Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/22/12 at 05:15 PM ET
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Within the next couple of weeks, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland plans to meet with Tomas Holmstrom to discuss his future.
If Holmstrom says he’s done with professional hockey, well, that’s that.
If Holmstrom says he wants to play on, the Wings will have some hard thinking to do.
Holmstrom is a special, special player to the Wings. He’s been with them since 1996, has helped them win four Stanley Cups, has been a huge part of the phenomenal success the franchise has enjoyed since the mid-90s. He’s something of a folk hero for the way he didn’t let a dearth of skill and speed stop him from living his dream. He’s pioneered playing in front of the net. He’s aggravated many an opposing goaltender, deflected many a teammate’s shot.
He’s also 39 years old, and has played more than 1,000 NHL games, and hard games at that. His knees are a perennial point of soreness for him. He’s still got that knack for getting to the front of the net and hovering there, an asset that’s been a huge part of the Wings’ power play success for a decade and a half, but his effectiveness has been limited by the emphasis on shot blocking by penalty killers. He can’t deflect shots if the puck never gets near him.
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