Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

July 14, 2013

Holmstrom, Chelios find place behind bench

TRAVERSE CITY — A year or two after calling it quits, hockey players commonly get that itch.

For Tomas Holmstrom and Chris Chelios, it was something that had to be scratched.

Chelios has been back in the hockey business for awhile now, helping out the Red Wings in various capacities. Holmstrom is trying to make the same jump.

"I've been watching lots of hockey lately, because I don't play," Holmstrom said.

Holmstrom, who was an assistant coach on his son Isak's Honeybaked Squirt A team to this year's MAHA state championship, noticed a big difference right away in coaching young men rather than boys.

"It's a big difference," Holmstrom said. "Now you can yell at them."

One thing he hasn't been able to convey to children playing hockey is to replicate his playing style of camping out in front of the net and making life difficult for the opposing goaltender — usually while taking a beating from defensemen, pucks and the occasional goal stick to the back of the legs from a frustratingly-screened netminder.

"You tell kids to stand in front of the net, and they don't stand in front of the net," Holmstrom said. "When the puck comes, they move. The puck retrievals around the net, moving the D around. It's more than just standing still and doing a screen. It's much more than that."

"I never thought twice about it. That's the big difference. I see kids in drills, they don't stand in front of the net. They stay to the side of the net. You can't do that. Even in practice, that's where you learn. You have to stay in front in practice, too."

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