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Now Holmstrom Can Go Home

via Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo on 2/10/12,

In March 1998, late in his second season with the Detroit Red Wings, Holmstrom gave up No. 15 to newly acquired veteran Dmitri Mironov. He switched to No. 96 to honor the year he arrived in the NHL, but coach Scotty Bowman suggested something else.

The details have gotten hazy, and they depend on who you talk to. But the conversation went something like this:

“You should wear 98,” Bowman said.

“What do you mean?” Holmstrom said. “Why?”

“Because that’s the year you’ll be going home.”

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

Scotty Bowman has coached a thousand players, but no one quite like Tomas Holmstrom. Here was a guy who came over from Sweden with none of the usual skills of a European forward, but something else: Determination so immense it was tangible.

Holmstrom’s willingness to go where no one else would go — the front of the net— earned him a distinguished career with the Red Wings, but one that he’s ready to call over. He informed the club this afternoon that he’s done playing. The announcement will be made formal later this week, a person familiar with the situation told the Free Press.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: tomas+holmstrom


bezukov's avatar

I’m gonna miss Homer, but I won’t miss the waived goals and reputation-based penalties he drew at least once every two games.

He was a fantastic player, and if the Red Wings had an “honorable mention” or hall of fame sort of deal (in lieu of retiring his number), Homer would be a top candidate.

All in all, I think his retirement for the best.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 01/07/13 at 11:28 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

On teams with players like Yzerman,Fedorov,Shanahan,Lidstrom, and numerous other Hall of Famers, Holmstrom was Always my favorite. There’s a reason why there aren’t many players like Homer, because it takes a big pair to stand in the crease night after night and do what he did, and that is why he won’t be easily replaced. I hated to see Stevie retire and Players like Nick come around once in a generation, but not seeing 96 planted in the goalmouth tipping in another goal and driving the goalies crazy is sure gonna suck. Best wishes Demolition Man.

Posted by Down River Dan on 01/07/13 at 11:52 PM ET

calquake's avatar

So who’s going to do Homer’s job on the current Red Wings?  I don’t know but I’ve got a tip for Emmerton or Mursak.  You want to be on the team this season?  Take over Homer’s role, do it right and you will get ice time.

Posted by calquake from Hoping for the best, preparing for the worst on 01/08/13 at 12:01 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

He changed an element of the game. Remember when Avery attempted to do his version of Holmstrom’s sight line blocking? No one did it like Homer’s big Swedish ass.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 01/08/13 at 12:53 AM ET

awould's avatar

One of my favorites. He’ll be missed.

Posted by awould on 01/08/13 at 02:05 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar


Posted by Hippy Dave from Somewhere West of Detroit on 01/08/13 at 02:55 AM ET

tuxedoTshirt's avatar

He changed an element of the game.

Yeah, and got a rule named after him. 
But I have always seen him and Nick as a pair, it wouldn’t seem right to have Homer with no Nick.

Posted by tuxedoTshirt from the Home of the 1937 World Champions on 01/08/13 at 03:42 AM ET

Gary A$$ SUCK !!'s avatar

We will miss you sa JÄvla mycket…Hope you could stay here and help the young
good hockey prospects Michigan has to offer,,Go Red WINGS Go clap clap clap….see ya in Sverige homer,,,!!! tack for en lang och lyckad career good lyck for vad du och fimiljen hittar pa,.,,LULE ?????? Hmmmm

Posted by Gary A$$ SUCK !! from Fort Myers, Florida on 01/08/13 at 05:13 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

Homer’s big butt in the face of the goalie has been an unspoken weapon for the Wings through 4 Stanley cups.
God’s Speed, Homer!

Posted by w2j2 on 01/08/13 at 08:11 AM ET

AndrewFromAnnArbor's avatar

Except that he’s not going home.  He’s already home.

He’s stated many times that after he retires, he’d like to naturalize as a US citizen and stay in Metro Detroit.  On the ice or off it, we’re damned lucky to have him.

Posted by AndrewFromAnnArbor from Fortress Europe on 01/08/13 at 09:51 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

I am going to miss Homer terribly. He is one special kind of player. And, that beautiful, goalie interfering, A$$ of his. It is one of a kind.

All the best Homer.

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 01/08/13 at 09:58 AM ET

hockeychic's avatar

Just not going to be the same without the Demolition Man.  I will miss his interviews between periods when you couldn’t understand anything he said.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 01/08/13 at 11:38 AM ET

MOWingsfan19's avatar

Hate to see him go even if it’s a year overdue. #96 will be sorely missed.

Posted by MOWingsfan19 from I really like our team on 01/08/13 at 11:41 AM ET

YzermanZetterberg's avatar

Another sad day in Red Wings history. The last major tie to the ‘96-97 and ‘97-98 Stanley Cup teams and, really, ‘01-02 too.

Best wishes to Homer and his family…and thanks for all the great memories on and off the ice.

Hey, maybe FSD can have him in the Bernstein Advantage Studio with Mickey York instead of Darren Elliott.  grin

Posted by YzermanZetterberg on 01/08/13 at 12:39 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

When they raise #5, they need to raise a pair of pants above each crease.

Posted by mrfluffy from the phone, calling Detroit, telling them it's on 01/08/13 at 12:45 PM ET

ChowYunCat's avatar

When they raise #5, they need to raise a pair of pants above each crease.

A thousand times, this.

Posted by ChowYunCat on 01/08/13 at 01:27 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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