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Red Wings' Holmstrom retires after 15 seasons

The SportsXchange

Forward Tomas Holmstrom announced his retirement Tuesday after 15 seasons with the Detroit Red Wings and one day before his 40th birthday.

Holmstrom confirmed reports of his departure at a news conference in Joe Louis Arena before Detroit's home opener against the Dallas Stars.

"After 15 seasons, four Stanley Cups, Olympic championship and a Swedish league championship, millions of memories, I'm announcing my retirement from the Detroit Red Wings," Holmstrom said. "It wasn't an easy decision to make, but it was the right one."

He spent his entire NHL career with the Red Wings and played on four Stanley Cup championship teams. Holmstrom ranks sixth in franchise history in games played with 1,026.

His 122 power-play goals put him third on the Red Wings' career list. The former 10th-round draft pick finished his career with 243 goals and 530 points during the regular season and 56 goals and 51 assists in the playoffs.

"I maybe had a feeling even playing last year," said Holmstrom, who will turn 40 on Wednesday. "The body was saying. ... You wake up in the morning, you're stumbling to the bathroom, it takes forever to get the body going. You can tell you're taking a beating. After a while that wears on you."

Holmstrom was never known as a great skater, but he was a physical presence whose calling card was camping in front of the crease and hammering in tip shots or rebounds.

"He took it to an art form," Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi told the team's website. "There are guys that can stand in front of the net and screen, but there aren't guys that can actually tip 100 mile per hour slap shots coming from every angle. He just took it to a whole new level."

The writing appeared to be on the wall when Detroit added three forwards this season, and Holmstrom said the years of constant pounding have taken their toll.

"People think I was crazy taking all those cross-checks to my neck, my head, (but) I had the greatest job in the world," he said. "Now it's time to move on."
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