One thousand games is impressive for anybody, but especially so for a guy like #96. I look at it like car mileage. The condition of a car with 80,000 miles on it is going to vary depending on whether those were highway or city miles. I promise you that Homer didn't have 1,000 games of highway miles. He joined a bunch of elite Wings in the 1,000 game club, but I think it's a pretty safe bet to say that he had the most brutal route to that milestone.
Homer's had his struggles over the years, but it's impossible not to admire the effort he puts out every single game. He's fearless, and no defenseman, no matter how big or strong, has ever been able to intimidate him or discourage him from going back to the front of the net. The abuse he takes in his "office" is so bad that he created extra layers of padding to soften some of the blows. He still heads straight to the front of the net. He and the Wings have had a ridiculous amount of goals disallowed because of reputation calls made against him, but that's never stopped him from heading out there to do his job. Despite never being the most talented guy on the roster, he found a way to make himself valuable. He found one thing that he excelled at and gave it his all night in and night out. I think there's something pretty admirable in that.
Here's to you, Homer, and to a thousand sleepless nights that opposing goalies have spent tossing and turning due to nightmares about you and your rear end.