Tomas Holmstrom and Five Other Former Detroit Red Wings Share A Unique Bond
A Unique Bond Shared
With the Detroit Red Wings officially announcing the retirement of winger Tomas Holmstrom Tuesday before the team’s home opener against the Dallas Stars, it was a time for reflecting on the accomplishments of Holmstrom’s career. The Swede won four Stanley Cups in Detroit, reinvented the way players work in the crease on the power play and became one of just six Red Wings to play 1,000 games or more for the team.
While Holmstrom was the most recent to reach the milestone, the names of those who did it before him are among royalty not only in team history but in that of the NHL as well. Gordie Howe, Alex Delvecchio and Steve Yzerman are Hall of Famers, and their retired numbers proudly hang in the rafters at Joe Louis Arena. Nicklas Lidstrom will surely add his name to that list in coming years, and Kris Draper has four Stanley Cup rings from his time with the Wings as well.
Howe, Lidstrom, Delvecchio and Yzerman are among only 14 players who played in 1,500 games or more in their careers. Lidstrom’s retirement leaves Roman Hamrlik of the Washington Capitals as the current active leader in games played with 1,380. Lidstrom, Yzerman and Delvecchio are 1-2-3 on the all-time list for most games played with one team, with Yzerman fifth.
Playing 1,000 games in the NHL is no easy task for any player, and playing 1,000 or more with one team in the modern era of free agency is a testament to skill and loyalty. With all of the abuse Holmstrom took at the hands of Western Conference goaltenders over the years, his 1,026 games surely felt more like 2,000!
Gordie Howe (far left) played 1,767 games in the NHL - 1,687 of them for the Red Wings. He is the team’s all-time leader in goals scored with 786 and total points with 1,809. He won four Stanley Cups with Detroit, as well as six Hart Trophies and six Art Ross Trophies.
Nicklas Lidstrom played 1,564 games in the NHL, all for the Red Wings. His 264 goals place him ninth all-time in team history and his 1,142 points are the fourth most in team history. He won four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies and a Conn Smythe Trophy while with the Wings as well.
Alex Delvecchio (second from right, No. 10) spent his entire career playing for the Red Wings, appearing in 1,549 games. His 456 goals are third all-time for the team, he is also third in points with 1,281. He won three Stanley Cups with the Wings and was a 13-time All-Star.
Steve Yzerman also spent his entire career with the Red Wings, appearing in 1,514 games. He won four Stanley Cups, the Conn Smythe Trophy, Frank J. Selke Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and Lester Patrick Trophy during his career. He is now the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kris Draper played 1,157 games in the NHL, 1,137 of them with the Red Wings. He won four Stanley Cups as part of the “Grind Line” also featuring Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty (or Joe Kocur). He also won the Frank J. Selke Trophy in 2004.
Tomas Holmstrom reached the 1,000 game milestone during the 2011-12 season, which ended up being his last in the league. He won four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, and a gold medal at the 2006 Olympics as a member of Team Sweden.