#96 the UFA

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With all this talk about Holmstrom’s jersey going to the rafters and his statue being constructed in front of the men’s room, we’ve forgotten that he isn’t even under contract after this season.  But don’t worry, Kenny is working on it.  Here’s what he told the Detroit News

“Homer and Nick Lidstrom, those guys aren’t going anywhere.  They just want to be treated fairly. So, I’m running a salary cap. I’ve got to find a number that fits; one that they feel good about and that I feel good about.”–Kenny Holland

Notice any panic in that quote?  Of course not…it’s Tick Tock we’re talking about here.  He continued:

“If we were talking about a player who was 28, was an unrestricted free agent and had some opportunities (to sign elsewhere), there would probably be a little more urgency.  But Nick is 39 and Homer is 37. Both have good hockey left in them, both have been playing great and we want both to play for us next year.”

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For Tomas Holmstrom, the feeling is mutual:

“Detroit has been so good to me over the years.  I have been fortunate to be part of four Stanley Cup teams here. I want to stay here and finish my career here.”

Admittedly, I had my doubts about Holmer at the beginning of this year.  He had frustrating season last year with injuries.  I thought his body might actually be starting to break down.  It’s going to happen eventually.  But it’s not happening right now.  Holmer has given me, and others like me a nice healthy dose of “STFU”.  Missing around 15 games this season and reaching the 20 goal mark again?  Oh yeah, Holmer’s doing just fine.

One of the great things about what Holmstrom is so good at, standing out in front of the net, taking a beating, and deflecting pucks, is that it’s not necessarily a young man’s game.  Sure his body isn’t going to be able to take quite the amount of abuse and rebound as quickly, but he could be doing it into his 40′s barring any catastrophic injuries.

Both Holmer and Nick will end their careers wearing no other NHL sweater than the Winged Wheel.  Let’s just hope that both those careers go a little further than just this season.

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