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Detroit Red Wings Free Agency: Tomas Holmstrom Deserves Roster Spot This Season

Tomas Holmstrom doing what he does best: making life miserable for the goalie.
Tomas Holmstrom doing what he does best: making life miserable for the goalie.Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
Isaac SmithAnalyst IJuly 6, 2012

The Detroit Red Wings offseason rolls on, and for many Red Wings fans, it hasn't gone as they had hoped or planned.

NHL free agency kicked into high gear on July 4th when the Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year, $98 million deals.

For Red Wings fans, many thought that Detroit could have swung these respective deals to bring the top free-agent forward and defenseman respectively to Detroit, but it was not the case.

Detroit now sits with about $16.8 million in cap space (according to CapGeek.com).

The Red Wings also have 15 forwards and only five defensemen signed (per CapGeek.com) for next season.

Obviously, Detroit needs to sign another defenseman to round out a top-six, but if the Wings signs their sixth defenseman (likely Kyle Quincey, as he is a restricted free agent this offseason), they won't have room for another player on their 23-man roster this season (15 forwards, six defensemen, two goalies).

So how does Tomas Holmstrom work his way onto the roster?

Well, simply speaking, the circumstances (and injuries to teammates) have lent themselves to Holmstrom potentially receiving a roster spot.

Question marks remain over Red Wings forwards, Jan Mursak and Cory Emmerton. Their inexperience makes Holmstrom a favorite, especially with the Swede's presence in front of the net.

Detroit's Dan Cleary will have offseason knee surgery to repair some torn cartilage.

According to Red Wings GM Ken Holland, Patrick Eaves will be "100 percent" by the time September's preseason training starts. But Eaves has not played since November 26th when he broke his jaw after blocking a Roman Josi shot. He suffered post-concussion symptoms and missed the remainder of the season and the playoffs.

To say that he would be "100 percent" after not playing since last November would be a stretch to say the least.

Needless to say, Holmstrom's skating abilities are severely diminished. His offensive numbers have gone down as well, but he still put up 10 of Detroit's power play goals as well as 24 points in 74 games.

Holmstrom has played his heart out for Detroit for his entire career, and the fact that he hasn't retired yet, even after his best friend Nick Lidstrom did, shows that he still wants to play.

He still has some gas left in the tank, even if he has become a liability both defensively and with his speed.

Tomas Holmstrom deserves a spot to prove that he not only wants to, but can play another season.

 

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