via Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo on 2/10/12,
In March 1998, late in his second season with the Detroit Red Wings, Holmstrom gave up No. 15 to newly acquired veteran Dmitri Mironov. He switched to No. 96 to honor the year he arrived in the NHL, but coach Scotty Bowman suggested something else.
The details have gotten hazy, and they depend on who you talk to. But the conversation went something like this:
“You should wear 98,” Bowman said.
“What do you mean?” Holmstrom said. “Why?”
“Because that’s the year you’ll be going home.”
from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,
Scotty Bowman has coached a thousand players, but no one quite like Tomas Holmstrom. Here was a guy who came over from Sweden with none of the usual skills of a European forward, but something else: Determination so immense it was tangible.
Holmstrom’s willingness to go where no one else would go — the front of the net— earned him a distinguished career with the Red Wings, but