"I really enjoy it," he said. "It's so much and so rewarding when you teach the kids, and they do what you tell them to do. The younger one, he's a little bit like me, crashing the net and skate like me. See what happens."
Forward Tomas Holmstrom tallied 530 points during his 15 year career, all spent with the Detroit Red Wings.(Photo: Tim Fuller, USA TODAY Sports)
Red Wings' Tomas Holmstrom hangs up his skates
On and on Holmstrom went, having fun at the expense of everyone: Equipment manager Paul Boyer, for never providing enough glide for Holmstrom's skates, a self deprecating joke recognizing Holmstrom's reputation as the only Swedish player who couldn't skate. Zamboni driver Al Sobotka, "the best octopus swinger, and the best barbecues. And sometimes you drove the Zamboni, too." Johan Franzen, who Holmstrom Under Armour Drive Shoes
Holmstrom acknowledged team scout Hakan Andersson for recommending the Wings select Holmstrom in the 10th round of the 1994. "I really appreciate that. Good job, Hakan, for doing that."
Kris Draper echoed that sentiment, explaining that, "Homer didn't even realize that he'd throw something out there and loosen up the whole atmosphere. That press conference right there, I mean, we lived that for 15 years. That's the beauty of it. Every day, sometimes twice a day, you'd get it at get it in the morning and at the game. That's why he was so popular with his teammates."
"I had the greatest job in the world. Now it's time to move on. Before I do so, I'd like to share some memories."
The emotion that tinged his acknowledgement that it was time to call it a career quickly segued into hilarity as he named nearly everyone he has ever been in contact with.
It didn't go unnoticed that Holmstrom retired on one of the coldest days in recent memory. It was only fitting, given all the jokes about how he's from the North Pole. "He's probably the only guy that doesn't realize that it's cold outside," Draper said. "This is Under Armour Curry 3 Dubfetti
DETROIT Tomas Holmstrom left no one unscathed as he announced his retirement. To the utter delight of his Red Wings teammates, his coaches, his general manager, trainers and family, Holmstrom spoke for 15 of the funniest minutes in club history.
what he grew up in."
Story HighlightsThe forward spent his whole career with the Red Wings, recording 530 points, 13th most in in franchise historyHolmstrom was selected 257th overall and worked his way from the fourth line to the firstThe Swede will still be living in Michigan with his wife and three children
be such a good friend for me 15 years later. All the car rides we took over 15 years, I can't remember how much we talked. Maybe I was doing all the talking. He is a good listener, for sure."
said needs to sit down on the plane and listen to Henrik Zetterberg, "and not eat so much."
Holmstrom met with Lidstrom, who retired in May, back in Sweden after New Year's to talk over the decision. "We just said, we're done. That's it."
Holmstrom's wife, Annelie, and their children Max, 11, Isak, 9 and Isabel watched from the front row. When the call went out for any last question, Isabel raised her hand, then shied from going through with a question. Holmstrom had just told them, "I"m going to be home more, so you have listen to me some more, OK?"
Not true, Annelie Holmstrom said. "Oh my gosh, I don't know where he got that from. He's trying to get out of it."
His first NHL coach, Scotty Bowman, said the Wings "will miss his spirit." His last NHL coach, Mike Babcock, called Holmstrom "a great, great, great teammate, great man. Found a way to win four Stanley Cup championships and represent his country, play I don't know how many games. Pretty impressive."
Current and former players were on hand. Kirk Maltby said, "anyone watching games, you saw what kind of player he is. But this just summed up the kind of person Homer is. He's a very funny guy, even though 15 years, and he still doesn't have the English language down, that's part of his character."
"It's been an incredible career Tomas has put together," general manager Ken Holland said. "He's played the fourth most playoff games in the franchise. Thirteenth most points in a Red Wings uniform. Really, an incredible career. I think he's all heart."
And so he did: Of how it all began in Sweden when he his parents got him a pair of red skates. And then when he was six, and his dad told him, "I have to build a rink for you, because we need to work on your skating." Of how he fought with his brother until he was 16, and "now he's my best friend."
Holmstrom retired the day before his 40th birthday. It's hard, he said, to not be playing hockey, to not have the daily camaraderie with teammates. And still his days are fuller, because now he gets to wake up and put on his custom made "Coach Homer" jacket and coach his sons in hockey.
Arriving in Michigan in 1996, Holmstrom described how defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom "took care of me. I didn't know he was going to Under Armour Curry White
"After 15 seasons, four Stanley Cups, Olympic championships, Swedish championship, and millions of memories, I'm here today to announce my retirement from the Detroit Red Wings," Holmstrom began. "It wasn't an Under Armour Clutchfit Drive 4 easy decision to make, but it's the right one.
Holmstrom posted 530 points in 1,026 games. He scored 243 goals, most of them with his back to the net, many of them tip ins demonstrating his incredible hand to eye coordination. Season after season he showed what incredible willpower can do.
For Annelie, it was another typical day of her husband's sense of humor. He talked during the news conference about how much he enjoyed helping out at home, though, "I'm not allowed to do any vacuum cleaning or laundry."
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