DETROIT – Tomas Holmstrom will get one more chance to stand in front of the crowd at Joe Louis Arena.
Holmstrom will announce his retirement at a press conference Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. prior to the Wings’ home opener against the Dallas Stars.
The news of his retirement was first reported by The Macomb Daily on Jan. 7.
Holmstrom, who told the Wings a while ago he had planned to retire after 15 seasons, is the last of five Wings to have played on all four of Detroit’s Stanley Cup championship teams since 1997. The other four players on the distinctive list are Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty.
“He’s just a good dude, great guy and great teammate,” Todd Bertuzzi said last week. “If you can hand one compliment out he was an outstanding teammate. He never complained. He always went out there and played probably the hardest 1,000 games ever played.”
Last season, Holmstrom became just the sixth player in a Wings uniform to play in 1,000 games, doing so living around the blue paint of the goal crease since joining the team.
“He took it to an art form,” Bertuzzi said. “There are guys that can stand in front of the net and screen, but there are guys that can actually tip slap shots coming for every angle. He just took it to a whole new level. I can see young kids mimicking themselves after Homer.”
Holmstrom turns 40 on Wednesday.
“He always took a beating in front of the net,” Darren Helm said last week. “He did a good job doing that. He’s a tough player. You just watch him and see what it takes to get those greasy goals. He was really good at it. Sometimes you have to take that beating, like he did. It’s worth it in the end.”
Holmstrom, who was a 10th round pick in 1994 by the Wings, ends his 15-year career playing in 1,026 games with 243 goals and 287 assists. He finished with 122 goals on the power play, which ranks him third in franchise history behind Steve Yzerman (202) and Nicklas Lidstrom (132).
His retirement seemed inevitable after the Wings added three forwards – Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo and Damien Brunner – this offseason. Management also wants to give rookie Gustav Nyquist a shot this season.
Then it almost seemed official when Samuelsson was given Holmstrom’s stall in September during informal skates at Joe Louis Arena.
“Homer will be missed for sure, especially in the dressing room,” Samuelsson said last week. “His one-liners are hard to beat. Everybody thinks he’s hilarious.”
Holmstrom saw his minutes drop over the last few seasons, but his contributions on the power play were still valuable.