Friday, June 4, 2010

Two players resigned

Holmstrom resigns for 2 years/3.75 million.

Holmstrom is a veteran warrior, winning four Stanley Cups, and appearing in 164 career playoff games. He's definitely in the twilight of his career, but he's still a force in front of the net (13 of his 25 goals in the regular season were on the power play), and his 82 points in 121 games played during the last two seasons makes for a very respectable .677 points per game, after the age of 35 no less. Homer has also been a plus player in every season since 2001-02, when Detroit won the Cup, so his responsible play can not be questioned. Durability is obviously a concern for a 37 year old player, but even more so for a man who makes his living in front of the net. H0lmstrom has had groin and knee problems in recent years, and missed considerable time last year with a broken foot.

All things considered, he's a relative bargain. His cap hit of 1.875 puts him in the same company as guys like Moreau, Avery, Fedotenko, Guerin, and Neil. While Holmstrom can't be expected to continue at this scoring pace much longer, this two year deal symbolizes what may be the end of an era for Detroit.

Shawn Thornton resigns for 2 years/1.625 million.

I know most NHL "fans" hate fighting, but it has its place. Thornton is one of those guys who gives his heart to his team, his city, and his fans. In a city like Boston, which has a reputation of being blue collar and down to Earth, Thornton fits right in. He's certainly paid his dues - 605 AHL games before Burke's Stanley Cup winning Ducks gave him a shot in 06-07. This hard path has given him much needed mental toughness to be the impact player he has become. While he won't do much in the way of scoring (28 points in 211 games with the Bruins), he brings a lot more to the table as a fourth line enforcer. He is well respected throughout the league, doesn't take dumb penalties (141 PIM this year, including 105 from fight majors), and gives a sense of protection to his teammates.

This signing may not look like much, but it's a sign that Boston understands what type of player allowed them to upset Buffalo. Hopefully Boston can add a few guys to compliment Lucic and Thornton - maybe a Shane O'Brien or Garnet Exelby - to round out a tough roster in one of the most physical conferences in the league.

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