A pair of former Detroit Red Wings forwards are celebrating birthdays today!
Brendan Shanahan and Tomas Holmstrom both celebrate their special days today, and Red Wings fans can’t help but remember what both of them brought to the team during their years wearing the Winged Wheel.
Of course, Shanahan acquisition by the Red Wings from the Hartford Whalers in October of 1996 in exchange for Keith Primeau and Paul Coffey served as the catalyst to Detroit’s first Stanley Cup championship in 42 years. In nine seasons with Detroit, he scored 278 goals and was a major part of Detroit’s title winning teams in 1997, 1998, and 2002. He decided to move on from the Red Wings to sign with the New York Rangers in 2006, saying that he felt he identified more with Detroit’s past rather than the future.
Meanwhile, Tomas Holmstrom was, shall we say, less flashy on the ice. He made his living parked in front of the opposition netminder and made their lives a living hell. He has his name on the Stanley Cup four times (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008). He likes to tell the story of then-Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman asking why he switched his jersey number to “96” after he originally wore jersey #15 when he broke into the NHL with Detroit. Holmstrom replied that it was because of the year he came to North America; Bowman patly responded he should wear #97 because that’s the year he’d be going back.
Thankfully, it was one of the few things Bowman was wrong about in his career.
The Red Wings re-assigned forward Dominic Turgeon and defenseman Joe Hicketts to the Grand Rapids Griffins on Tuesday.