Longtime Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom announced his retirement on Tuesday, just hours before the team’s home opener.
The move was expected but delayed due to the NHL’s lockout wiping out what would have been the first half of the 2012-13 season. With training camp compressed into a single week after the end of the lockout, there was no time for a formal announcement.
Holmstrom retires having played 1026 career NHL games across 15 seasons, all with the Red Wings. He scored 243 goals and added 287 assists, with 122 of those goals coming on the power play.
“Fierce, fierce competitor. Fearless.” Red Wings’ general manager Ken Holland said in describing him.
He became a net-front specialist in the mold of Dino Ciccarelli early in his career, taking abuse from goaltenders and defensemen alike, which eventually took its toll. He played only 59 games during the 2007-08 season and dropped to 53 the next year. He reached 68, 73 and 74 in his final three seasons, at which point he was reduced mostly to the fourth line minutes and the power play.
Holmstrom was originally drafted by the Red Wings in the tenth round of the 1994 NHL entry draft, 257th overall.