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Winging it no more: Holmstrom retires

Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom made it official, announcing his retirement after a 15-year NHL career during a Tuesday press conference.

The native of Sweden, who will turn 40 on Wednesday, recorded just 11 goals and 24 points in 74 games a season ago.

"After 15 seasons, four Stanley Cups, and an Olympic championship, it is time for me to retire. It wasn't the easiest decision to make, but it was the right one," Holmstrom said. "I had a great job."

A left-handed shooter and less than strong skater, Holmstrom made his reputation by disrupting goaltenders, often standing atop the crease providing screens. He participated in 1,026 regular-season games -- sixth- most in franchise history behind Gordie Howe (1,687), Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564), Alex Delvecchio (1,549), Steve Yzerman (1,514) and Kris Draper (1,137) -- while recording 243 goals and 530 points, while adding 46 goals and 97 points in 180 postseason appearances.

"Tomas Holmstrom was a fierce competitor who played hard every shift of every game," said Wings general manager Ken Holland. "He provided us with an abrasive style that complemented our skill players so well. He was fearless in going to all of the physical areas of the ice and was willing to take the punishment necessary in order to make life difficult for opposing defensemen and goalies. 'Homer' was a team leader for us both on and off the ice. He's a unique type of player who provided us with the league's best net-front presence for 15 seasons."

Holmstrom made his NHL debut in the 1996-97 season and he was part of back- to-back championships during his first two years with Detroit. He won two more titles (2002, 2008), and was part of his native country's 2006 Winter Olympic gold-medal triumph over rival Finland.

He hangs up the skates as the last remaining player of five who won all four Cups in recent club history, alongside Lidstrom, Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty.