|Professional goalie or not, |
that CAN'T be pleasant.
Hey, I've been known to say things in the heat of the moment and to be very hyperbolic in my analysis of things. It's part of my charm, and my seething desire to see the Wings stomp every other team into the dirt. So while I may be over the top in my comments, it doesnt change my frustration with Tomas Holmstrom's contributions to the team as of late.
However, that doesn't make me forget the long career that Homer has had in Detroit and the contributions he has made over the years. In fact, my comment reads, "I can't for the life of me figure out what value this guy brings to the Wings anymore..." And looking at the definition of what earns you the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, I think Tomas Holmstrom is a solid contender, and here I am to make the case for him.
Who is Tomas Holstrom?
Homer came to the Red Wings and was immediately hounded by opponents and coaches alike. Scotty Bowman constantly was on Homer's case to improve his skating abilities. And you could tell that as the years went by, Holmstrom definitely became a better skater, a better puck handler, and even developed some offensive skills. Still, that couldn't deter him from his true calling: standing in front of the net. Let's look at some major moments in Tomas Holmstrom's career.
1996: Tomas Holmstrom is drafted by the Red Wings. When asked about the draft choice, Red Wings General Manager Ken Hollands says, "We're decided to give this whole 'drafting Swedish players' thing another shot to see if it'll finally pan out"
November: Foreshadowing things to come, Holmstrom gets his first goal (11/16/96 against San Jose) and his first assist (11/27/96 against Toronto), both on the power play. Holmstrom is confident his contributions were noticed and he'll have a long, uninterrupted stay in Detroit.
December: Holmstrom is sent down to the AHL
January 1997: Holmstrom is reassigned to the Wings because apparently at the time, Ken Holland had the decision making abilities of a cat faced with an open door.
June 7th: Having finally reached, as his team mates explained to him, "the biggest goal" in hockey, Holmstrom temporarily disrupts the presentation of the Stanley Cup to (OCMC) Steve Yzerman by standing in front of it and obstructing its view.
1998: In an impressive performance, Holmstrom is 3rd in playoff scoring behind (OCMC) Steve Yzerman and Sergei Federov. Upon being questioned about his lack of scoring, power forward Brendan Shanahan gave a mono-toned, albeit reasonable explanation that nobody in the hockey world was willing to accept.
|"Y'see it's a problem of motivation, Bob. If I work my ass off|
to make a fair and reasonable suspension, people throw things
at my family in public. So where's the motivation?"
2005-2006 season: Holmstrom scores a career high 29 goals, earns a career high 30 assists and 59 points. And won a goal medal. Go ahead and read that again.
2007-2008 season: Only plays 59 games for Detroit. He would have played more, but he took an arrow to the knee.
2007-2008 playoffs: Leads the team in playoff penalty minutes with 26. We'll leave it as an exercise for the reader as to what the majority of those penalties probably were for.
To date, Holmstrom has scored 240 goals, earned 285 assists for 525 points. He's +32, with 119 of those goals coming on the PP and 38 of his goals being game winners. Over a career spanning 15 seasons and 1,019 regular season games and four Stanley Cups. I may harp on Holmstrom, I may be disappointed that he has a hard time doing his job anymore. Some of that is his fault, but a lot of it is not.
|Pictured: Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Grandfather|
Fredrik Holmstrom, reporting for work. Little known fact:
Holmstrom comes from a long line of bakers.
So maybe it is getting time for Holmstrom to hang up the skates and pass the torch to the next generation of hard working, gritty, unappreciated forwards who'll go to the corners and the front of the net to fight battles that Ville Leino is too chicken shit to fight. But before he goes, he deserves another trophy on the mantle.