Detroit Red Wings: Ken Holland Plays Waiting Game


Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland is one of the most respected GM’s in all of hockey, however the past few years the Red Wings haven’t been in the position to give away players that might bloom into stars.

Holland called it, “Transition”, and ever so slightly have the Red Wings went from an old team to a young team. Sure the Red Wings have Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but the Red Wings have went young and it hasn’t been an easy process for most fans to understand.

Red Wings fans expect Stanley Cups, they expect to win and they expect to make noise like they did in the early 2000’s.

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Those days are gone, the NHL is a league where you have to draft and develop your own talent and it’s harder now because a lot of times the marquee players don’t make it to free agency.

When the Cap started Detroit prepped for the “Salary Cap Era”, by growing their own talent. Detroit was stuck in the midst, they had a player by the name of Nicklas Lidstrom that drove the boat, and I don’t think it hit Wings fans how important Lidstrom was to the defense.

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Detroit struggled after the retirement of Nicklas Lidstrom slowly getting back to Red Wings hockey most have come accustomed too.

Detroit has a glaring weakness, and that is at the defense spot. The Red Wings defense wasn’t bad last year, and I say this because up until the month of March they ranked in the top 5 of goals allowed.

Detroit’s problem isn’t the defensive side they have proved that they can be good enough, as long as they have the goaltending.

There’s one problem Detroit hasn’t solved since Lidstrom retired, Offense. Detroit has struggled to get opportunities from the point, until the deal for Marek Zidlicky at the deadline, Detroit had shy shooters.

Ericsson for being on the top pair was truly disappointing in eighty-two games, he mustered up eighty-two shots. That’s the problem with Detroit they need to make a move to get that shot from the point.

Detroit was rumored to get Dion Phaneuf at the deadline and it picked up during the Stanley Cup Finals, but reports are saying Detroit is no longer interested. Obviously when you hear Detroit isn’t interested, It likely means Holland didn’t see the benefit in what Toronto was proposing.

However in the mind of some delusional people, “YOU SHOULD DO IT KENNY”, no he shouldn’t.

Not always when a player is hitting the trade market, is it smart to overpay. I always bring up the example of Martin Erat and Washington. Washington at the time was looking for a guy who could score and help Ovechkin, but when they traded for Martin Erat they really got the short end of the stick.

Washington traded Flip Foresberg to Nashville for Martin Erat.

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  • That in most cases would cost a GM his job, Holland is magnificent at holding on to players he know can make a difference. A lot of people bring up the trade where Detroit sent Jarnkrok to Nashville for David Legwand, and by retrospect as much as people cried over that particular trade it had to be done, at that time Detroit had no center icemen. The need was truly there, I watched a lot of the Nashville games,  and do I think Jarnkrok will be one Wings fans never forget? No I don’t.

    However the time has come, Detroit can’t possibly go into the new season with a new coach and the same roster. I don’t believe that will be the case either.

    When you look at the rumors out there, there’s not a defenseman I go “I HAVE TO HAVE”, I think the only case that could be made is for Dion Phaneuf after hearing the proposed offer early at the deadline was, Anthony Mantha, Stephen Weiss and 1st round pick for Dion Phaneuf.

    If that’s the offer I can’t fault Holland on not making the deal, with a lot of the players rumored to be traded there’s so much uncertainty. Holland has said, he won’t risk the future for the present. Looking at the names of players ‘rumored’ to be on the trading block I can’t see how Holland makes a deal that benefits the Wings.

    Around this time, is a season of lies. A lot of times people do have sources, but those sources lie to cover up the truth. No one really knows what’s going on behind the closed doors where Holland is, but 10-1 come draft day a player will be traded no one thought would.

    Detroit it’s an unusual position where they could be on the cusp of being a Stanley Cup contender by adding one player, but at what price? Holland knows what he’s doing and his plan is working at this point in time, but is that piece that puts them over the top going to come from Grand Rapids, Free Agency or trade?

    No one really knows what Holland has planned, but whatever it is, it most likely benefits the Wings long-term.

    Next: Guess who is coming back to Detroit?

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