Remember the primary story of last year’s NHL season, when hockey fans as a whole rose up to vote, en masse, for Vancouver Canucks journeyman defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick for the All-Star Game? And how awesome it was? And how Bettman seemed to rig the voting to keep Rory, the fans’ choice out?
Well, the 2008 NHL All-Star ballot has been revealed, and there is one man poised to take the crown from Rory. That man is Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings. Now first, why is Homer worthy? Stats-wise, there is no reason why he should not be on the All-Star ballot at least. Before the NHL decided to put all voting online, each team got six players (the maximum per category). Now, teams have anywhere between 2 and 6 players, with most teams having 3 or 4. However, Homer has better stats this season then many guys on this list. And there are other reasons as well to Vote Homer.
- Homer is having a great year, stats-wise
Right now, Holmstrom has 8 goals, 6 assists, and 14 points. These numbers put him 13th overall in the NHL in goals scored, and 33rd overall in points. That is for the entire NHL, not just the Western Conference. A guy who is 13th in goals can’t be one of the top 30 forwards in his conference? Amongst players on the ballot, Homer has more goals than 25 out of 30 players, and more points then 18 out of 30 players. Obviously, Holmstrom should at least crack the ballot, if it were on who is truly having a great season.
- Homer is the best in the world at what he does
No other player in hockey is as good at screening the goalie and raising pure hell than Tomas Holmstrom. He is world-renowned for it, playing on the 2006 Swedish Olympic Team, winning a gold medal in the process. Numerous articles have been written on his skill, and he has literally made himself a household name in Detroit due to the blue-collar mastery that he shows us day in and day out.
For those of you who don’t watch the Wings much, Homer goes to the front of the net and stays there. In front of the goalie no matter what. No defenseman can move him. When the puck goes back to the point, the goalie can’t see around Homer, ever. If anything, efforts to move him create even more of a screen, since the defenseman assigned to move Homer just causes more havoc in front of the net. Therefore, more shots go through, into the net, or Homer gets a stick on it and redirects the puck for the goal. That is the big secret to the dominant Wings power play, since no other team has a weapon like Holmstrom. This should be something that is honored at the All-Star game, instead of this year’s Token Phoenix Coyote. Homer is the best in the world at his job, and should be honored just as the best in any other brand of hockey are honored.
While it would be nice to honor a guy like Dan Cleary, who deserves any honor given towards him, Homer is legitimately getting overlooked. It’s time to get Holmstrom some praise.
- Homer is a tough, old-school type of hockey player
Last year, part of the good feelings for Rory Fitzpatrick came from how he worked hard to get where he was, jumping around many teams and being a stereotypically overlooked player. Well, Homer is that same mold. Picked 257th in the 1994 draft, Homer has fought his way into the League, and takes punishment for his team on a nightly basis. Homer has additional padding in his back and legs, not just to protect against a Lidstrom slapshot, but to shield against every goalie stick and defenseman crosscheck in the league.
Even Don Cherry has remarked about the toughness of Homer, despite Grapes’ well-known dislike of the Swedes. Homer is a grinder in every sense, playing a physically tough role every shift. Too often, the All-Star berths are given to guys that can barely take a check, let alone stand up for themselves. Tomas Holmstrom has been fighting for his patch of ice for over a decade in Detroit, and has never backed down.
- This year, it seems the NHL has been Anti-Homer
One month into the season, a suspicious number of penalties have been called on Tomas, for non-infractions involving goalie interference. Furthermore, numerous Red Wing goals have been disallowed, due to Homer “interfering” with the goalie, when replays showed no contact even occurred.
It seems that Gary is out to get Homer. Every voute for Homer is a vote against Gary’s NBA-on-skates, no-contact brand of poor hockey. Vote Homer.