Tomas Holmstrom got his wish.
Just days after his Swedish-born teammate, Nicklas Lidstrom, inked a one-year deal to return to the Detroit Red Wings, Holmstrom re-upped with the club, signing a two-year deal worth $3.75 million.
“I want to finish my career here,” Holmstrom said during a phone interview Friday afternoon. “I’ve been here 14 years. This is my home. I’ve had a lot of success here. I wanted to stay here and get more chances, at least, to win another Stanley Cup before I retire.”
Holmstrom, who will make $2.25 million next season and $1.5 million the final year of the deal, has won four Stanley Cups with the Wings.
His agent, Howard Gourwitz, said after the season that Holmstrom wasn’t going to take a “hometown discount” on this deal and there was a possibility he would test the free-agent market. But in the end that proved never to be a serious option.
“I really never wanted to go anywhere else,” said Holmstrom, who made $2.25 million last season.
Two seasons ago, Holmstrom suffered a hernia and injuries to his knee and back.
This year his health was close to perfect, missing just 13 games in January with a broken foot after getting hit with a puck. He wound up with 25 goals, which was second most on the team, and had a team-leading 13 goals on the power play.
“My thoughts were more about retirement these last couple of years because of my injuries,” Holmstrom said. “I felt pretty good last year. My knee and everything else felt good. I had a lot of fun last season.”
Holmstrom, 37, was a 10th round draft pick of the Wings in 1994 and has made a habit of giving goalies fits with his net-front presence. He has 214 goals for his career, 102 on the power play, and 255 assists.
“You know your career is going to end, but you really don’t want it to,” Holmstrom added. “Playing hockey is something I’ve done my whole life. I think I love it more now than I did when I started.”
If Holmstrom remains in semi-good health, he will become just the sixth player to play 1,000 regular season games for the Wings. He has played in 879 thus far.
“You don’t think so much about that when you first get to the league,” Holmstrom said. “That for sure would be a great milestone to reach.
“My kids and wife really like it here,” he continued. “It really doesn’t come down to money for me at this point of my career.”
The Wings now have 17 players under contract for next season with a salary-cap hit of $52.3 million.
Last year’s salary cap was $56.8 million and is expected to rise slightly to roughly $58 million for next season.
Their next order of business is to try and work out a deal with unrestricted free agent Todd Bertuzzi, who expressed interest at the end of the season in returning to Detroit. Bertuzzi made $1.5 million last year.
The team is also expected to retain restricted free agents Patrick Eaves, Drew Miller, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Derek Meech.
It’s uncertain if the Wings will be able to resign unrestricted free agents Andreas Lilja and Kirk Maltby.
Jason Williams and Brett Lebda will not be resigned.