Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Absolute Failure

Anibal Sanchez and Victor Martinez had no problem with it. Neither did Torii Hunter or Joe Nathan. Golden Tate came here within hours of free agency opening. Those guys came from renowned land fills in Anaheim, Seattle, Miami and Dallas.

They don't mind the "blight", the rundown downtown, the decaying suburbs. Somehow, and money cures all those ills--I know, somehow they've been able to overlook the easy answer: that Detroit isn't a geographical or financial location of choice.

The Lions get 'em. The Tigers do. I have no idea if the Pistons do, or not.

Something is downright rotten in the Wings organization and the stench is keeping quality hockey players away.

And yesterday? Yesterday may have sealed the fate of two guys.  In our minds, one fate is and has already been cast.  Ken Holland needs to go. More in a minute.

But Mike Babcock? He needs to stay. Unfortunately the former's failures may be the Uber car Uncle Mike has hitched his skateboard to with the intent of flying out of town to a place where the hurdles aren't so high.

The best players aren't coming here anymore. Sorry, but they're not.  Alfredsson and Weiss? Second tier. Don't make a mistake about that. If Daniel Alfredsson had to do it over again, he'd be having a Cuppy summer as a Bruin--because they very well could have won it with him, had he signed there. Weiss was injured, overrated and perfect for Kenny Holland because he specializes in signing the infirm and also ran.

Marian Hossa was the last impact move Ken Holland made. We've said it again and again.

Model organization, my ass.

Model organizations do not have the likes of Tom Fuching Gilbert saying no. Model organizations have guys like Christian Ehrhoff signing long-term deals because signing a long-term deal with a "Model Organization" is what every kid wants so that he can score goals and score chicks.

The last Wing (not named Zetterberg) to score chicks because he scored goals was Jiri Hudler and those were back-biting hookers.

Nothing wrong with back biting hookers but facts are facts.

Everyone passed on our Wings yesterday. They didn't pass on Novi or Grosse Pointe.  They didn't pass on a decrepit JLA.

They passed on the organization and we don't know why.

And that's got to piss off one Michael Babcock.  He will be the most marketable man on the hockey planet if he puts himself out there. He's won everything.  Patrick Roy may be the Adams winner but nobody on this beautiful planet (covered by 70 percent water) is a better coach than our Uncle Mike.  But, his talents are wasted by a GM who can't bring in the players.

And that's what we've got: a GM who simply can not do the job any longer.

The Wings scouted close to 100 games played by Ryan Suter. He was theirs for the taking and so was his BFF.  Fail. Dan Boyle was earmarked for Detroit. Fail. Christian Ehrhoff fell off a frigging burrito truck right into Holland's lap. Not only did he fail, but he failed in the most humiliating fashion. The guy signed a ONE YEAR DEAL FOR LESS THAN THE WINGS WERE OFFERING.

Disgusting. Boston and LA did nothing because they didn't need to. Almost every other team in the NHL improved yesterday.

We signed Kevin Porter.

We re-signed Kyle Fuching Quincey.

I'm telling you nothing new. I'm venting, as you all have been.

But it's reached a point of extremis.  He literally said, "kicked some tires" again yesterday. He said that. Again.

Oh, well. Oh, bother. Woe is us, but only kinda.  We'll be fine. We like our team.

The GM of this team should be Jim Nill or it should be Steve Yzerman. We let them both go. They were aggressive yesterday.

They were aggressive while the Wings kicked the same deflating tires.

Hossa signed in 2008. Actually, Babcock probably had him sold in the handshake line that June.  Holland got the famous call from Hossa's agent while at the famous gas station. It was a gift. Holland didn't seek him out. He fell in our laps.

But only for a year, boy. Just one year before letting him go. To Chicago of all places. Jesus.

Since then? Stand by. Stand by, I tell you, for excellence.

February 27, 2004? Ring a bell. It should. It's the last time the Wings made an impact trade.  Ten years since The Enigma strolled into town. Bobby Lang.

Jamie Rivers, Kyle Calder, Cory Cross, a Serial Killer, Andy Delmore, KYLE QUINCEY, Legwand.  Deadline deals that shook the world.

Free agency? We know the history, or lack thereof.  Danny DeKeyser, and that was another gift. Even Holland couldn't have screwed that up.

Got it. The drafts have been good. The kids, oh the kids. They've been good, but we are not Edmonton. Building through the draft year after year.

Oh, speaking of Edmonton, they had a better day than us yesterday too.  Along with 26 other teams.

I know.  We should be happy with our 11 and our 23, our 13 and our 40.

But 13 and 40 are almost done. 11's looking like 12 is too far away and 23 has become the goal.

Ken Holland's legacy is beyond tarnish. It's in the shitter and the next casualty is probably going to be the best coach in hockey who is joining the best players in hockey: he's going to decide Detroit isn't the place for him.

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Comments

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Hank1974's avatar

That’s exactly how I’ve been feeling.
It’s not the locale. Some may make a case for the arena, but I don’t think that’s a big enough deal.

There’s something going on inside the organization that is keeping players away.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/02/14 at 01:03 PM ET

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I’m glad we didn’t do anything yesterday. Yeah it’s disappointing that we were passed over for other destinations but that happens every year, sometimes people just want to play for particular teams for whatever reason. Try and search for answers all you want, but now we get to see the kids which is what we have all wanted for a long time. It’s happening. We’ll be fine. Signing Quincey was a dissapointment, but something tells me he was getting offers in that range from other teams and Kenny signed him to package in a trade.

When Paul Stastny and Dan Boyle are your top guys in free agency maybe it’s best when you just stand on the sidelines.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:05 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

weswolverine, I’m also glad we didn’t overspend yesterday.
But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

What’s troubling is that the Wings threw more money at these FA’s than other teams and yet they were still turned down.

Something smells inside the offices of the Red Wings.
A smell pungent enough to keep A-list free agents away.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/02/14 at 01:07 PM ET

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Posted by Hank1974 on 07/02/14 at 01:07 PM ET

I just don’t see it, i’m not going to go in panic mode because a few guys signed elsewhere for reasons nobody knows but them. People are going to make shit up because they don’t like the coach\gm\whatever but I’m just not going to be one of them. Bring on the kids, let’s see what they can do.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:12 PM ET

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I understand being upset and disappointed, I am too, but some of this is just fan dribble. Everyone should want to play for my team! If they sign somewhere else it’s the GM’s fault not the player just doing what he thinks is best for him. Screw that idea huh? My team is option 1 and that’s it.

So to start, Tom Gilbert didn’t say no. He had a deal with Montreal and the Wings were waiting to hear on others ahead of him on their list. Would you wait? Only to have the Wings sign someone, and then when you go back to Montreal they signed someone else? Heck no. That’s Gilbert being smart and doing what’s best for him. Players can go where they want. Wings made plenty of good offers to those guys and they said no. You really think if the Wings are in the same exact position yesterday, but with Nill or Yzerman that somehow Ehrhoff, Boyle or Niskanen say yes? I’d love to know how.

I love all the stuff that we KNOW but we don’t. We don’t know what was said between the front office staff, Babcock included. We don’t know what was said to the players and their agents. We don’t know why those players chose to go somewhere else. But we KNOW they should have come here because we say so. We KNOW Babcock is pissed (their is an assumption if I’ve ever seen one). We KNOW he’s gonna leave. We know Yzerman or Nill would have done better because Nill got Spezza (a guy the Wings didn’t want or need) and Stevie got Stralman (a guy the Wings didn’t want to get 5 years too) We know he should have run out and done a reactionary trade for Yandle or someone, even though we have no idea what they are asking for. If we really knew as much as we think we do, we wouldn’t be sitting in front of our computers writing about it in the middle of the day. Being disappointed is understandable, but all we know is what we see on paper. There is a lot more going on behind the scenes than we ever see.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 07/02/14 at 01:13 PM ET

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I’m not exactly in a furor over yesterday’s activities as everyone else appears to be. This is mainly because I just don’t think any of those guys are all that great. True, several of those guys could’ve made the team better, but the cost would’ve been beyond their value.

That said, I have two main concerns. First, the team is doing nothing to improve itself to actually get into a Cup-contending position. That’s a huge problem. Secondly, as others have stated, there seems to be something wrong when guys won’t even come to your team for more money and/or term. That’s got to be a huge red flag.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/02/14 at 01:20 PM ET

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weswolverine, I’m also glad we didn’t overspend yesterday.
But it wasn’t for a lack of trying.

What’s troubling is that the Wings threw more money at these FA’s than other teams and yet they were still turned down.

Something smells inside the offices of the Red Wings.
A smell pungent enough to keep A-list free agents away.

Posted by Hank1974 on 07/02/14 at 01:07 PM ET

They did over-spend on KFQ

Posted by George0211 on 07/02/14 at 01:20 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by tmoore4075 on 07/02/14 at 01:13 PM ET

We know most other GMs were able to make moves to improve their team and Holland got Kevin Porter. And Kyle Quincey. Basically 3 years in a row.

That’s all I need to know.

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:22 PM ET

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Posted by George0211 on 07/02/14 at 01:20 PM ET

Sadly, after seeing the amount of money being tossed around yesterday I don’t think they did overspend for KFQ.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:23 PM ET

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Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:22 PM ET

When you start at the bottom, it’s easy to “improve” with what was available in this year’s free agency.

The way we need to improve is by a top 2 d-man and you can’t tell me anybody yesterday other than Ehrhoff would have been that guy for us. Summer isn’t over though, a trade will be made.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by George0211 on 07/02/14 at 01:20 PM ET

Sadly, after seeing the amount of money being tossed around yesterday I don’t think they did overspend for KFQ.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:23 PM ET

They gave him 2 years. That’s an overspend.

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

The luster is gone, for sure. Part of this is the way the league’s economy works now—max contracts are smaller now and the cap is still looking like it is being artificially dragged down a bit.

To be clear, that’s not an excuse for Holland. It’s an indictment. He is not adapting and adjusting to the hard truth that due to the economic structure of the league, you have to be more aggressive and less risk-averse than before, especially when your team is younger and less overall skilled than it has been in a long time.

The times are passing Holland by, it seems. We truly do like the kids, no doubt about it. But there are only two sensible plans for this team today—either double-down on the Pav/Z era and sign quality veterans that fill the team’s main holes so you can compete for a Cup the next two or three years; or do a true, full rebuild and commit to the kids and only the kids. That would’ve meant shopping Franzen, but saving your last compliance buyout for him just in case. It would’ve meant shipping out Quincey at last season’s deadline, and probably shopping Jakub Kindl for a bag of pucks and a late round pick. And I want to forgive myself here, but as crazy as this sounds, it would’ve meant at least seriously entertaining offers for the likes of Datsyuk and Zetterberg (in spite of Pav’s NMC). And Helm, much as we love him? Tell me in a real rebuild you don’t take a 2nd round pick for him, especially given his bumps and bruises.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:22 PM ET

When you start at the bottom, it’s easy to “improve” with what was available in this year’s free agency.

The way we need to improve is by a top 2 d-man and you can’t tell me anybody yesterday other than Ehrhoff would have been that guy for us. Summer isn’t over though, a trade will be made.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

Like Colorado and St. Louis and Chicago and Pittsburgh, you mean?

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:26 PM ET

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Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:26 PM ET

They all had different needs than us. I don’t understand where you are coming from.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:27 PM ET

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Summer isn’t over though, a trade will be made.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

This is why I’m not losing my mind. I do believe a trade will be made. I think Holland knows he has to do something, particularly in order to keep Babcock around.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/02/14 at 01:28 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/02/14 at 01:25 PM ET

I agree with that. Sh*t or get off the pot. Holland is threading the needle of a full rebuild and a reload, and it’s leading to mediocrity. At the current rate, Datsyuk will spend his last 3 years eeking into the playoffs for a 1st round exit and then he’ll leave a Datsyuk-shaped hole on the team that will complement the Lidstrom-shaped hold that is already there. Then no more playoffs.

Make it happen now, or start selling off the fine china for a rainy day.

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:29 PM ET

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Along with 26 other teams.

29, actually, because that’s how many teams didn’t even look in Kyle Quincey’s direction while ken holland (he doesn’t deserve to have his name capitalized) fell over himself to overpay for Kyle’s service.

They did over-spend on KFQ

Exactly.  And of all the overspending that happened yesterday, this was the worst because ken holland of all people knows that Kyle Quincey should not have been re-signed if he took a paycut, much less given a raise on a mult-year deal.

Everyone should want to play for my team!

How about anyone should want to play for my team?

i’m not going to go in panic mode because a few guys signed elsewhere for reasons nobody knows but them.

And here’s the problem.  You and ken holland look at it as “a few guys” when it has been “all but one player they’ve targeted over the past five years”, and the one they did land signed with us because nobody, but nobody, was going to give him the contract the Wings gave him.

We don’t know why those players chose to go somewhere else.

We do know that the Wings two biggest targets took fewer years and less money per year to sign elsewhere.

Why?  Who cares why?

Niskanen may have chosen to play with his friend (and how many times are going to have to hear that?  Are no Red Wings friends with any good players on other teams?), but Boyle chose to play for a good team that lost a bunch of guys who were responsible for their Finals run and Ehrhoff chose a team that is slightly better than Detroit but everyone was laughing at because of their organizational turmoil.

Posted by Garth on 07/02/14 at 01:33 PM ET

awould's avatar

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:26 PM ET

They all had different needs than us. I don’t understand where you are coming from.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:27 PM ET

Where I’m coming from is, they all have their needs, we have our needs. Our needs have been the same for 3+ seasons now. So, why do all these other teams fill their needs while Holland does nothing, and somehow gets excused for the same failure every summer? Has he tried? Yes. Has he succeeded? Sure, if you count marginal players who don’t actually address the need, or really close misses on quality players. In baseball, if you swing and miss too many times, they start to fire you. In the Red Wings front office, you get to keep your job.

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:33 PM ET

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Make it happen now, or start selling off the fine china for a rainy day.

Posted by awould on 07/02/14 at 01:29 PM ET

That’s really the crux of my position. Go one way or the other. Just drifting does absolutely nothing for now or the future.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/02/14 at 01:34 PM ET

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The only one I felt would have had a significant impact was Dan Boyle, with honourable mention going to Tom Gilbert. The others were too much of a long term risk in terms of the young D-men waiting in GR.

I am disappointed, like most, but would hope it gives these kids a chance to make it sooner rather than later. What it will do is create a mediocre season, in terms of points, and the uneven efforts of these kids will produce losses on more nights than we care t imagine.

However, the over-ripe mentality has to change, or be modified, and they need to get these young guys up to get some needed NHL experience so that they can potentially become full-time players as early as the 2015-16 season. If that means missing the playoffs this season, so be it, although a lot there will depend on the health of the elder statesmen. In fact, the entire season will be determined by health…an issue that needs to be addressed with respect to groin injuries and other seemingly common ailments on the Wings.

Posted by NewfieWing on 07/02/14 at 01:37 PM ET

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They all had different needs than us. I don’t understand where you are coming from

And each of those teams addressed their needs.  Detroit did not because of the failure of a GM we have

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 01:40 PM ET

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Our needs have been the same for 3+ seasons now.

Yeah and there has been SHIT for free agents as d-men go. The biggest name ended up playing with his buddy in Minnesota. We’ll be just fine. Let’s see what our young guys turn into.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:41 PM ET

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We know most other GMs were able to make moves to improve their team and Holland got Kevin Porter. And Kyle Quincey. Basically 3 years in a row.

That’s all I need to know.

I agree the Wings didn’t improve, and it’s disappointing, but looking at other teams and what they did is stupid. Washington Capitals improved when they signed Brook Orpik for $27mil, but hey, the Caps improved though right? All other 29 teams have different needs, budgets and what they feel is a good amount to spend on. OMG look what Jim Nill did! Yeah he had a crap ton of cap space and needed to overhaul that team. Wings didn’t need to do that. They needed some help on D but so did most other teams. It is a level playing field now with the cap. Every team is on the table and somehow Wings fans think all players should want to come here and don’t understand why they’d go somewhere else when they have basically 30 options. Holland did say something very smart that fans don’t seem to get. Sometimes you get your guys, and sometimes you don’t. LeBrun said 15 teams were intersted in Stastny at one point, so that’s 14 teams that swung and missed on him.

Also people, stop bringing up Kevin Porter. It was a minor league deal and you know it. If you don’t know that, then you are an idiot. So the team shouldn’t sign guys to help out the rest of the organization because Boyle and Ehrhoff chose to sign elsewhere? Oh ok. Go sit in the corner and pout.

Again, yes it’s disappointing, but Wings made good offers and players chose elsewhere. The second tier guys weren’t gonna wait around while the Wings waited on their first choices. This is the risk you take. Sorry if you think the world should revolve around the Wings.

Posted by tmoore4075 on 07/02/14 at 01:43 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

Two things, one small, one large, are gonna make or break whether or not I reluctantly cast a vote of no confidence on Ken Holland.  One is gonna have to do with the deal he gave KFQ.  If the deal was, one year contract, less money with ntc/nmc, or two year deal, more money no ntc/nmc; ok.  But if he got that kind of term and coin, and a no trade clause, then Jesus *#$%@& Christ.  Strike One.

Second, if the Wings ice the same roster in October that they had on contract as of yesterday, i.e. KH has made no improvements via trade, then I’m done with him.  Strike two.  There is no strike three.

I’ve stuck by the guy and played the patience game, but I’m about over it.  I’m not saying Holland should bet the farm, but as George said plugging holes isn’t keeping the ship seaworthy anymore.

Of couse, I say this all notwithstanding a situation in which Dan Cleary gets another NHL level contract from us.  If that happens I’m grabbing my pitch fork no matter what else happens.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/02/14 at 01:43 PM ET

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I agree the Wings didn’t improve, and it’s disappointing, but looking at other teams and what they did is stupid. Washington Capitals improved when they signed Brook Orpik for $27mil, but hey, the Caps improved though right? All other 29 teams have different needs, budgets and what they feel is a good amount to spend on. OMG look what Jim Nill did! Yeah he had a crap ton of cap space and needed to overhaul that team. Wings didn’t need to do that. They needed some help on D but so did most other teams. It is a level playing field now with the cap. Every team is on the table and somehow Wings fans think all players should want to come here and don’t understand why they’d go somewhere else when they have basically 30 options. Holland did say something very smart that fans don’t seem to get. Sometimes you get your guys, and sometimes you don’t. LeBrun said 15 teams were intersted in Stastny at one point, so that’s 14 teams that swung and missed on him.

Also people, stop bringing up Kevin Porter. It was a minor league deal and you know it. If you don’t know that, then you are an idiot. So the team shouldn’t sign guys to help out the rest of the organization because Boyle and Ehrhoff chose to sign elsewhere? Oh ok. Go sit in the corner and pout.

Again, yes it’s disappointing, but Wings made good offers and players chose elsewhere. The second tier guys weren’t gonna wait around while the Wings waited on their first choices. This is the risk you take. Sorry if you think the world should revolve around the Wings.

Straw man argument.  The point is that the Wings struck out badly on players they targeted, and in 2 otf the 3 cases they took LESS money, when does that get through people’s heads?  Ken Holland based on the comments he made doesn’t get it at all, he thinks this was a blip and that players want to come here.  He could not be more wrong.  Unless he means Quincey, Samuelsson, Cleary or some over the hill Swede, other than that no one.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 01:50 PM ET

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Ask yourself this, when you’re a high priced free agent who do you want to talk to-Steve Yzerman, HOF player, Team Canada GM?  Or Ken Holland?  At the margin that helps make your case about why you want to play in Detroit.  It’s obvious that Holland’s pitches aren’t working.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 01:51 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

29, actually, because that’s how many teams didn’t even look in Kyle Quincey’s direction while ken holland (he doesn’t deserve to have his name capitalized) fell over himself to overpay for Kyle’s service.

And you know that how, exactly?

(Also, that last bit about Holland’s name? Are you *#$%@& serious? Get over yourself.)

And here’s the problem.  You and ken holland look at it as “a few guys” when it has been “all but one player they’ve targeted over the past five years”, and the one they did land signed with us because nobody, but nobody, was going to give him the contract the Wings gave him.

What?

We do know that the Wings two biggest targets took fewer years and less money per year to sign elsewhere.

Why?  Who cares why?

Everyone here seems to, whether it’s because they think the Red Wings organization is sinking, or they have a personal vendetta, or their friend plays somewhere, or they have a better chance of winning… everyone seems to have a theory. Including yourself.

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 07/02/14 at 01:51 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

George, quit being so short-sighted. The Wings are indeed a model organization, because that label is given to them based on what they’ve accomplished in the past. A model is something you see, and try to emulate. How many NHL teams the past decade have you heard say they are doing things in part because it’s based on how Detroit did them?

Lots.

Even “model” organizations have slumps.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/02/14 at 01:52 PM ET

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Ask yourself this, when you’re a high priced free agent who do you want to talk to-Steve Yzerman, HOF player, Team Canada GM?  Or Ken Holland?  At the margin that helps make your case about why you want to play in Detroit.  It’s obvious that Holland’s pitches aren’t working.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 01:51 PM ET

So now you are asserting that players don’t like to talk to Holland or just don’t like him?
Following your logic then every player will want to play for Tampa, just because of Yzerman.
Pardon me, but I think you’re talking out of your ass.

Posted by George0211 on 07/02/14 at 01:53 PM ET

RedMenace's avatar

Ask yourself this, when you’re a high priced free agent who do you want to talk to-Steve Yzerman, HOF player, Team Canada GM?  Or Ken Holland?  At the margin that helps make your case about why you want to play in Detroit.  It’s obvious that Holland’s pitches aren’t working.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 01:51 PM ET

Or Ken Holland, GM of multiple Stanley Cup winning Red Wings teams, among the Management Group of that same Team Canada, and one of the most highly-regarded GMs in the NHL? You mean THAT guy?

Maybe, just maybe, there are other factors at play here. Like, you know, a player’s PERSONAL PREFERENCE?!

What’s that? Impossible, you say?

Posted by RedMenace from the Church of Jesus Lashoff on 07/02/14 at 02:02 PM ET

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So now you are asserting that players don’t like to talk to Holland or just don’t like him?
Following your logic then every player will want to play for Tampa, just because of Yzerman.
Pardon me, but I think you’re talking out of your ass.

Pardon me but I could care less what you think.  Here is what I am saying, that Holland’s pitch isn’t working, no one wants to come here anymore at least no one worth anything.  It has to do with the franchise and how old and stale it is but also the direction.  Now in pitching a free agent do I think that if you have two calls come in and one is Yzerman and the other is Holland, which one do you think a player would rather speak to?  Which one is more respected?  Yah, me too.  So of course not every player wants to play for Tampa because of Yzerman, but I would guess that he has more respect with players than Holland ever will and that makes the pitch easier.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 02:03 PM ET

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Even “model” organizations have slumps.

I don’t think you can even call this a slump. While we did get our asses handed to us by Boston, we were an overtime goal away from the conference finals last year and lost to the eventual Cup winners. Jesus we have the collective mind of a goldfish.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 02:03 PM ET

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Or Ken Holland, GM of multiple Stanley Cup winning Red Wings teams, among the Management Group of that same Team Canada, and one of the most highly-regarded GMs in the NHL? You mean THAT guy?

Maybe, just maybe, there are other factors at play here. Like, you know, a player’s PERSONAL PREFERENCE?!

What’s that? Impossible, you say?

You’re right, guys are lining up to play for Detroit because of how much they respect Holland.  Guys like Cleary and Quincey, it’s worked out great so far

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 02:04 PM ET

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While we did get our asses handed to us by Boston, we were an overtime goal away from the conference finals last year and lost to the eventual Cup winners. Jesus we have the collective mind of a goldfish.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 02:03 PM ET

And we were also an overtime goal away from bowing out in Game 6 vs. Anaheim. One shot. Would there be anyone yakking about what a success 2012-2013 was if Anaheim scored one more goal in Game 6?

Just some perspective. I’m not raving mad about this but I am concerned about the stagnation of this team and nothing being done to load up for the future or win now.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/02/14 at 02:07 PM ET

EFWolverine's avatar

This is why I’m not losing my mind. I do believe a trade will be made. I think Holland knows he has to do something, particularly in order to keep Babcock around.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 07/02/14 at 01:28 PM ET


Has anyone considered the possibility that maybe Babcock is the problem, and the Wings know it?

I understand that sounds like heresy, but think about it. The Red Wings are not panicking about Babcock not signing an extension. They are not pressing the issue with him to get a new deal done. What they ARE doing is bending head over heels to protect Jeff Blashill and keep him away from any NHL team looking to possibly poach him.

I understand the agitation toward Holland - and I share it, for the most part. But this isn’t college football or college basketball. It’s not up to Ken Holland to win these free agents over with salesmanship and personality. He’s not supposed to “recruit” them. He’s supposed to offer them the kind of deal that makes them want to be here - and he’s done that five times over the last 24 months to Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Matt Niskanen, Dan Boyle, and Christian Ehrhoff. And he’s been turned down every time for a team that offered less money and/or fewer years.

I think it’s time to acknowledge the possiblity that the meme that Babcock is a dick that free agents don’t want to play for has some truth to it, and that the Red Wings, unable to fire him because of how absurd it would be to fire someone with his resume, are acknowledging this by letting his contract expire and have him walk away while designating Blashill as his successor.

Posted by EFWolverine from Dearborn on 07/02/14 at 02:08 PM ET

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I don’t think you can even call this a slump. While we did get our asses handed to us by Boston, we were an overtime goal away from the conference finals last year and lost to the eventual Cup winners. Jesus we have the collective mind of a goldfish.

You think this team is on an upward trajectory or downward spiral?  Do you think they addressed their weaknesses or not?  Do you think that over the last 5 years Holland has made good moves or not?  His record is abysmal to say the least.  Without Zetterberg and Datsyuk this team is essentially the Grand Rapids Griffins.  And for the record, and as I have stated so often I didn’t really care for this years ufa class.  But that doesn’t mean there are not players to be had via trade, each team was up against the cap and each team but 5 made moves, of those 5 Detroit had the most cap room and still failed.  Tampa identified players they needed and made moves to make it happen, Dallas identified needs as well, Ken Holland?  Not so much.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 02:09 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Yeah and there has been SHIT for free agents as d-men go. The biggest name ended up playing with his buddy in Minnesota. We’ll be just fine. Let’s see what our young guys turn into.

Posted by weswolverine on 07/02/14 at 01:41 PM ET

And I will put this out there again.  Holland targeted multiple players that he felt would help the team, and was incapable of signing any one of them.  Your opinion of the quality of those players means absolutely nothing.  My opinion of them means absolutely nothing.  Who those players are has no bearing on the problem, which Holland’s inability to land FA’s.

And to add insult to injury, instead of allowing the rookies a chance to help right the ship, Holland panics yet again and signs Quincey.  Holland gotta go.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/02/14 at 02:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Maybe, just maybe, there are other factors at play here. Like, you know, a player’s PERSONAL PREFERENCE?!

ok.

And you know that how, exactly?

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/02/14 at 02:09 PM ET

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Now in pitching a free agent do I think that if you have two calls come in and one is Yzerman and the other is Holland, which one do you think a player would rather speak to?  Which one is more respected?  Yah, me too.  So of course not every player wants to play for Tampa because of Yzerman, but I would guess that he has more respect with players than Holland ever will and that makes the pitch easier.

Posted by bababooey on 07/02/14 at 02:03 PM ET

How exactly do you know what level of respect Holland commands around the league? How do you know that Yzerman is a more respected GM than Holland? Point is you don’t know. Is Yzerman respected as a former player, absolutely.
But how many Cups does Yzerman have as a GM?
Top 3 guys on the Wings list, didn’t come here:

Boyle - wanted to play for a team that just went to Cup finals. His agent told everyone, if Rangers make an offer, he is taking, regardless of the actual offer.

Niskanen went to Caps because of the coach and Orpik

Earhoff - wanted to play specifically for Penguins, hence a tiny contract.

This had nothing to do with Holland or his pitch.

Posted by George0211 on 07/02/14 at 02:12 PM ET

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I Agree with a lot of you on this forum. I think we will be okay come training camp etc… However I am of the same notion that Holland just fuching sucks. I am so tired of his, “we made a hard offer to Niskanen BS”. Dude you offered 38,5 and 7 years. Try submitting an offer that tells your fan base, “I went hard and he chose them over money”. Try 7 years and 42 million. Holland says he makes these offers hard but I mean Try going out with that instead of doing what seems like the bare minimum to sign an agent. I don’t get it. I hope Holland is fired and we get a new GM next year.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 07/02/14 at 02:12 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com