The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/11/12 at 05:40 PM ET
Updated 3x at 7:13 PM: Paul here for George who is deep-digging in Traverse City…
from Chuck Pleiness of Red Wings Front,
The writing seems to be on the wall for Tomas Holmstrom and it’s all saying it may be time to retire.
However, Wings general manager Ken Holland isn’t ready to close the book on Holmstrom until the two of them actually sit down and meet.
“We’re going to talk, if not in the next couple of days for sure next week,” Holland said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park to unveil a few of the players that will participate in this year’s Winter Class Alumni game. “I wanted to give him a lot of time. It’s been tough for him. His best friend was Nick Lidstrom. And he sees a lot of the players he grew up with have retired.
“He’s battled,” Holland added. “He’s played a hard 1,000 games. I think he wants to make sure that the decision that he makes, if he’s going to play, that he’s passionate about coming back, especially with the loss of Nick.”
continued and more on the Wings…
Update from George: Via RedWingsFeed, Holmstrom’s agent, Howard Gourwitz, told Expressen’s Oscar Brostrom that “several teams” are interested in Holmstrom, but as you and I know, he’s not playing anywhere but Detroit.
Update #2: Let’s nip this in the bud, via the Free Press’s Helene St. James:
Holland said he plans to talk later this month with Tomas Holmstrom. The Wings already have an overflow of forwards signed, and since Holmstrom isn’t considering signing with another team, he’s expected to retire.
Update #3: MLive’s Phillip Zaroo spoke to Holland about Holmstrom’s future, too:
“I wanted to give him a lot of time (to think about it),” Holland said. “It’s been tough for him. His best friend was Nick Lidstrom. And he sees a lot of the players he grew up with have retired. He’s battled. He’s played a hard 1,000 games.I think he wants to make sure that the decision that he makes if he’s going to play that he’s passionate about coming back, especially with the loss of Nick. And if he’s not going to play he wants to be sure if he’s walking away he’s never going to play again. He’s earned the right to take as long as he wants.”
Obviously, the team hasn’t stood pat. The Red Wings signed Jordin Tootoo, Damien Brunner and re-signed Mikael Samuelsson. There are 13 or 14 players vying for ice time.
“His role has changed on the team,” Holland said. “It’s hard to think a 39-year-old can play on the top line and play 18 minutes against some of the other team’s best players, but Homer has a lot of will and determination, and right now he’s deciding what he wants to do with the rest of his life over the next week.”
Holland is willing to give Holmstrom the space he needs to make a decision for himself, and while he has the utmost respect, especially for those who’ve been with the organization for so long, the general manager has to take into consideration what’s in the team’s best interests, as well.
“I want to sit and talk to him,” Holland said. “Homer knows there’s a lot of competition. No one knows as well as Homer does of how hard he’s worked and how hard he has competed and how hard he’s gone to the hard areas for over 1,000 games since 1996. That’s a conversation that him and I need to have and talk it over.”
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