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Holmstrom helps Goodfellows

It’s a long time until Christmas but the Wayne Goodfellows are already in action to make sure there is No Child Without a Christmas in Wayne. And they have a little help. Former Detroit Red Wing player Tomas Holmstrom will do an autograph signing at 7 p.m. on March 13 at Avenue Downtown Wayne, 3632 Elizabeth. The cost is $10 and you must bring your own memorabilia. All proceeds will go to support the Wayne Goodfellows. In 2012 the Wayne Goodfellows raised $22,000 and provided 300 Wayne children with a Christmas. They also gave 150 food vouchers to Wayne families and seniors, said Shawn Bell, Goodfellows president. “We have been looking for new ways to fundraise throughout the year and one of those ways is with an autograph signing. We have never done anything like this before but I think it will be cool and it will be fun,” he said. Holmstrom said he is happy to help children in Wayne. “Its always fun to meet the fans, especially the kids and it’s for a good cause,” he said. “It will be fun.” Tomas Holmstrom, played 15 seasons with the Red Wings and retired in January. He played 1,026 career games and won four Stanley Cup Championships in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2008 with teammates Nicklas Lidstrom, Kris Draper, Kirk Maltby and Darren McCarty. His impressive record also includes a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in 2006. Besides lending himself to charitable events, Holmstrom has kept busy since hanging up his skates. He is enjoying other winter sports including snowmobiling in the upper – peninsula and skiing for the first time in 20 years. “I love the outdoor life, jumping on the sled and going for a ride. . . snowmobiling and fishing, “ he said. It’s also nice to not be in pain he said. “My knees were hurting when playing. I haven’t taken any medicine since I stopped playing,” he said. He is now playing tennis 2-3 times a week and doing boot camp. “After the season I couldn’t sleep on my left side for months because of my shoulder,” he said. But he sleeps fine now. He is also staying close to the ice by coaching his kids’ hockey teams. “I am on the ice almost everyday,” he said. While it was an adjustment to watch and not play, he likes coaching his kids. “They are all doing pretty good.” Will he ever pursue professional coaching? “My kids need me right now. I don’t want to coach right now,” he said. He likes having more time with his family whether teaching them skills on the ice or shuttling them between birthday parties and sleepovers. “I couldn’t believe it was that busy!” he said of his kids’ schedules. He has spent a little bit of time at Joe Louis Arena too. “I’ve seen four games at the Joe and been to one practice,” he said. Former teammate Nicklas Lidstrom was in town recently and stayed with Holmstrom and his family. They went to a game together. He also keeps in contact with some other former teammates including Vladimir Konstantinov who was injured in a limousine accident days after the 1997 Stanley Cup Championship. “He is good,” Holmstrom said. Holmstrom has many good memories of his days on the Wings. Rooming with Hockey Hall of Famer Igor Larionov was one. “Growing up (in Sweden) we watched the Russian National Team. We didn’t get NHL teams,” he said. In 2002 Holmstrom was on the same line with Larionov and Luc Robitaille. “Those were some of the best players- Draper, Maltby, lots of good memories together,” he said. Will we see him at any Red Wing alumni events any time soon? “Everything has a time and when I feel it, I will start doing it. I still love the game but I need a break,” he said. Holmstrom predicts the Wings will do well this year. “The league is so tight and if someone gets injured it’s tough to get them going. That’s frustrating for coaches and players,” he said. “It’s uphill right now. Just play your game.”

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