The Malik Report
by George Malik on 08/10/12 at 02:51 PM ET
Update: sorry for being slow on the uptake with this one. I was out taking the mom to the doctor’s…Looks like Bill has already weighed in on this one: I know that more than a few Red Wings fans have wondered why the team hasn’t made a decision as to whether sixteen forwards (including the as-yet-unsigned Justin Abdelkader) means that there’s no space for 39-year-old Tomas Holmstrom, but MLive’s Brendan Savage spoke to Ken Holland about the looming questions about Holmstrom’s future, and Holland suggested that the team’s simply letting Holmstrom take the entire summer to come to terms with his situation:
“I haven’t talked to Tomas much,” general manager Ken Holland said. “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. If he decides to play – we’ve signed (Jordin) Tootoo and (Mikael) Samuelsson and (Damien) Brunner and (Gustav) Nyquist – we have to have a discussion between Homer and I and probably Mike Babcock to see where he fits in.”
That’s how things will work—it’s entirely possible that the Wings will agree to allow Holmstrom to essentially try out for the only team he’s interested in playing for, just as Kirk Maltby did two years ago, but Holland and Babcock may look at the roster (especially if they don’t have a trade in the works that would alleviate their roster crunch up front) and suggest to Holmstrom that he could save some blood, sweat and tears by holding a retirement presser instead.
The 39-year-old Holmstrom has taken a beating over the years in front of opposing nets and is coming off one of the least-productive seasons of his career, which has seen him play on four Stanley Cup championship teams.
Holmstrom had 11 goals and 13 assists in 74 regular-season games last season. He hadn’t scored fewer goals since getting eight in 2001-02 and the last time he had fewer points was in 1997-98 – his second NHL campaign – when he had 22. He went 28 games without a goal at one point last season and saw his playing time dwindle near the end of the season, when he was relegated to skating on the fourth line and power play.
Holmstrom’s best friend, captain Nicklas Lidstrom, announced his retirement in May.
“It takes a lot of determination for him to play,” Holland said. “Homer is taking all the time.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.