Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

It’s Monday and Ken Holland Still Has a Job

It doesn't appear that George pointed you to this over the weekend, so I will (sorry, George, if you posted and I missed it).

Wojo wrote a column Friday that points out the various reasons (Ken Holland) that the Red Wings seem to be stuck between gears.  The article discusses the Wings and Pistons and shows the disgusting similarity between the two poorly-managed franchises.

How's it feel missing the playoffs?

It’s an empty feeling, a strange feeling, and you never want to experience it again.

Piston fans will definitely experience it again. 

Unfortunately, we probably will too. Why?

Because Ken Holland is still the general manager. I had a fantasy yesterday that he would be fired today. Did I say "yesterday"? I meant every day. 

A few snippets from Wojo and my reaction...

The issues for both are similar and not easily fixed. Young players regressed for various reasons...

Ken Holland hired Nice Mike Babcock just like he hired Nice Scotty Bowman and the results speak for themselves. Fire Ken Holland ASAP.

Holland overvalued his own players, believed his core would improve with experience, and was slow to react when it didn’t happen. Because of that, he feels the heat entering the final year of his contract.

True. I have a solution: Fire Ken Holland. ASAP.

Wings owner Chris Ilitch expressed “100 percent confidence” in Holland, who in turn pledged support for coach Jeff Blashill.

He sure did. In his first real move since his dad passed, Christopher guaranteed that he, on the surface of things, has no idea what the hell he's doing.  If he wants to change my opinion on that, he should fire Ken Holland as soon as possible and then Steve Yzerman should fire Jeff Blashill.

Cumbersome contracts and underperforming players hamper their flexibility. Do the Wings need a shakeup, now that their 25-year playoff streak is over?

Cumbersome contracts that are directly the fault of Ken Holland, not his team of advisors. Not Ryan Martin, not Kris Draper. Not a posse. Holland's fault. Yes, the Wings need a shake-up.  It should start with Ken Holland, who needs to be fired ASAP.

Holland must get bolder, more creative. With so many players on bloated contracts — due to Holland’s miscalculations — it’ll be difficult to make trades. That means he might have to take a risk and deal one of the promising youngsters — Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou — for a much-needed defenseman in a value-for-value blockbuster.

That's cute.  Tell me one time Ken Holland has been "bold" or "creative." One time.  We are now in a position where a pretty smart guy is pointing out that in order to get a quality defenseman, we'd have to trade one or a few of our only truly quality, young players.  Not Nyquist or Tatar, or any of the golden children some claim are "ripening", but Mantha, Larkin or Double A.

“Would I like to shuffle the deck? Would I like to make some changes? Yeah, I would,” Holland said. “In order to shuffle the deck, you gotta have a partner."

I've given this a lot of thought. Trades are hard for Ken Holland. Trading people is part of a GM's job.  Any GM who finds trading players to be too hard should be fired immediately.

...the Pistons and Wings have arrived at the same spot, soon to be in the same arena. The atmosphere will change, but if they want to be back in the spotlight next April, the thinking at the top has to change too.

The mere fact that the Red Wings and Pistons are mentioned in the same article, much less on the same day, is reason enough to fire someone really soon.  Somebody needs to be fired. Excused. Relieved. Shitcanned. Promoted to a harmless job with lots of money and time and zero responsibility.

Ken Holland has ruined this organization. 

It's time for Chris Illitch to be "bold" and "creative" and "logical" and "not a dumbass".

Fire Ken Holland ASAP.

Filed in: | Abel to Yzerman | Permalink
 

Comments

George Malik's avatar

Paul posted the article while I was laid up with bad gas cramps (yoy, that was fun).

Kenny was at the Griffins game last night with the vast majority of the Wings’ braintrust, including assistant GM Ryan Martin, player development coordinators Jiri Fischer and Shawn Horcoff, and the Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner told me that he got a glimpse of Jeff Blashill ducking out of the locker room, so I wasn’t the only one scooping some intel on the kids…

Everything I’ve heard about Chris Ilitch, which almost all lie in the room of rumors and innuendo, suggest that he is in fact very cold and calculating in his work and that he’s methodical and deliberate.

The implication?—> Ilitch gave some initial, “All is well, we shall continue with the franchises under the current regimes” reinforcements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve been given a lifetime pass to the GM Party.

Kenny is going to be around for at least another year, and I don’t believe that Yzerman is coming until or unless the Bolts win the Cup, but Kenny’s Posse is quite capable should the Wings’ ownership choose to change course.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/24/17 at 11:05 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

After reading this I just cannot tell if The Chief wants Ken Holland fired or not.

Ambiguity stinks.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/24/17 at 11:27 AM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

After reading this I just cannot tell if The Chief wants Ken Holland fired or not.

Ambiguity stinks.

Posted by Red Winger

I know, right?  He should just get off the fence and tell us what he really thinks.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 04/24/17 at 11:32 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I know, right?  He should just get off the fence and tell us what he really thinks.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 04/24/17 at 11:32 AM ET

Well, what can you expect? The Master Chief has always been sort of a wishy-washy guy, never clearly stating where he stands on any issue.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/24/17 at 11:51 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Everything I’ve heard about Chris Ilitch, which almost all lie in the room of rumors and innuendo, suggest that he is in fact very cold and calculating in his work and that he’s methodical and deliberate.

The implication?—> Ilitch gave some initial, “All is well, we shall continue with the franchises under the current regimes” reinforcements, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ve been given a lifetime pass to the GM Party.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/24/17 at 11:05 AM ET

All I’ve gotten from Chris is the air of indifference.  He does not seem to possess his father’s passion and drive, and to be perfectly blunt he seems to be viewing the Tigers and Red Wings both more as business.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe Chris is just laying low for a while and not trying to stir the pot too much so soon after his father’s death, and take stock of things.  This is all possible

But the problem for me with that idea is…. he’s known this was all coming (soon even), so if he actually was invested and engaged as an owner, he would have already been sitting there analyzing things and not NEED to still be taking any stock.  And if he’s invested, he wouldn’t want to waste any time in fixing things.

Posted by Primis on 04/24/17 at 11:53 AM ET

stonehands-78's avatar

... tanx, Chief

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 04/24/17 at 11:05 AM ET

FYI: here’s PK’s POST for GJM on TMR.

... L.G.R.W.

Posted by stonehands-78 from the beginning ... a WingsFan, on 04/24/17 at 11:56 AM ET

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I’m looking forward the the first round of the 2018 playoffs, because this year is the first time in a while that I’ve enjoyed them, since I don’t have to be angry and frustrated with the Wings’ series, and since Holland isn’t going to be fired any time soon (and truthfully, I have no reason to expect hat he won’t be extended), there’s almost no way that the Wings make the playoffs next season.

All I’ve gotten from Chris is the air of indifference.

This is a guy who inherited a team from his dad, a team that his dad didn’t even care that much about once he bought the Tigers.

For everyone who ever complained about the way the teachers ran the Maple Leafs, welcome to Chris Illitch’s Red Wings: as long as they make money, why should change anything?

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/24/17 at 12:01 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

  After reading this I just cannot tell if The Chief wants Ken Holland fired or not.

  Ambiguity stinks.

  Posted by Red Winger

I know, right?  He should just get off the fence and tell us what he really thinks.

I try to be subtle.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/24/17 at 12:03 PM ET

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but Kenny’s Posse is quite capable should the Wings’ ownership choose to change course.

Yeah, sure they are.  That’s why the Wings have been on a steady decline for half a decade, because Kenny’s Posse is capable.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/24/17 at 12:05 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/24/17 at 12:01 PM ET

I don’t know if Mike Illitch was every apathetic to the Wings. I do believe he focused on the Tigers because after getting a Cup he wanted a World Series in the worst way. But his laser-like focus on the Tigers doesn’t necessarily equate to a general apathetic attitude to the Wings.

But one can see how it might come off that way.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 04/24/17 at 12:12 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Like in the movie Apollo 13, the crew members argue amongst themselves, and then Tom Hanks character says something like arguing doesn’t change the fact that they still had to get their ship home.

Maybe my analogy is weak, but even if we boot KH today…It doesn’t change the “bad” contracts and salary cap this team is stuck with….

Scotty Bowman & Toe Blake together couldn’t fix this problem. We got several years of pain to endure.

Not a vote if support for KH, but just a bit of reality.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/24/17 at 12:16 PM ET

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I don’t know if Mike Illitch was every apathetic to the Wings.

You’re completely right, apathetic is too strong a word,  The Wings definitely took a back seat to the Tigers.

However, I don’t think Chris Illitch has the same attachment to the Wings that Mr I had.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/24/17 at 12:25 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Scotty Bowman & Toe Blake together couldn’t fix this problem. We got several years of pain to endure.

Not a vote if support for KH, but just a bit of reality.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/24/17 at 12:16 PM ET

Amen.

Bowman’s gotta pile of problems on his own, 2 1st round exits, and sitting on a salary cap timebomb. Talking to my buddy, their fans want blood, want the coach fired! Their fans hate the long term no movement deals Bowman handed out to Hossa Seabrook and others. hahahaha. It all comes around, its what the cap is designed to do.

You hear that Mr. Hockey Fan… That is the sound of inevitability

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 04/24/17 at 12:35 PM ET

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Scotty Bowman & Toe Blake together couldn’t fix this problem.

This is what I don’t get.  How anyone can look at the mess that Shanny and Lou inherited in Toronto and say “nobody could fix Detroit” is ridiculous.  And I’m not talking about Matthews, I’m talking about dumping shitty contracts.

I mean, were there any two contracts in the league that were more untradeable than Kessel and Phaneuf?  Yet neither one of those guys is in Toronto now.

There is no such thing as untradeable contracts, only GMs who can’t trade their contracts.

If you bring in a GM who isn’t wearing red-tinted glasses and who doesn’t wildly overvalue his own players, Detroit could start the clean up in earnest any time.  Ken Holland thinks that Abdelkader and Helm are top-six forwards, so if he’s going to trade them he wants the return to be what a top-six forward is worth, but if you bring in a GM who simply wants those contracts off the books, he can make it happen.

And the fact that Holland hasn’t been able to trade Jimmy Howard (or Mrazek) is absolutely ridiculous.

Make no mistake, given the reins and complete control, Scotty Bowman could easily, easily clean house in no time.

This is a team with some very good young talent, some very shitty contracts and a coach and GM who have no idea what they’re doing.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/24/17 at 12:38 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

This is a guy who inherited a team from his dad, a team that his dad didn’t even care that much about once he bought the Tigers.

Didn’t the Tigers purchase happened in 1992?

I never understood that sentiment the Red Wings were playing 2nd fiddle to the Tigers, it just happened that one has a salary cap (which we always spent to the top, even over it) and the other does not.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/24/17 at 12:39 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/24/17 at 12:39 PM ET

Guilherme please stop talking in fact and reality, this is fandom where your only allowed to spew hate that just skirts some morphed reality, doesn’t live in it, thanks.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 04/24/17 at 12:44 PM ET

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I try to be subtle.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/24/17 at 12:03 PM ET

Subtle inference?  smile

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 04/24/17 at 12:47 PM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

I try to be subtle.

Posted by IwoCPO

You’re very good at it

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 04/24/17 at 12:49 PM ET

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laid up with bad gas cramps

why do you need to constantly share this shit?

jesus h.

Posted by incompetent GM on 04/24/17 at 12:54 PM ET

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COULDN’T AGREE MORE!

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/24/17 at 01:16 PM ET

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I’m talking about dumping shitty contracts.

Not just that, burying guys in the minors who don’t perform or aren’t in the team’s long-term plans (/cough Ericsson), retained salary transactions, etc… Toronto’s not been afraid to make those moves while Holland apparently is.

Posted by AZWinger on 04/24/17 at 02:04 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Loyalty is nice and cute and, in ceratin instances, can actually help an organization. Being TOO loyal can"t help any organization. The longer Holland is in power, the more terrible contracts he hands out and the longer it takes this team to dig themselves out of the deep arse hole.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/24/17 at 03:42 PM ET

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I really wish the fantasy of seeing Yzerman takeover as the GM would die already. It’s clear that Holland will be around for at least one more season. It’s clear that Yzerman isn’t leaving Tampa any time soon.

Plus, is Yzerman really what would cure the franchise. It could really use some fresh blood, not necessarily set in the Wings mentality, to come in with a new approach.

Illitch is really the key here. It sure looks like he is letting Holland call all the shots which isn’t that great when it’s Holland that is creating/maintaining the mess.

Posted by evileye on 04/24/17 at 03:45 PM ET

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Kessel and Phaneuf?  Right…. trading a 30 goal scorer (regardless of issues) and a 2nd pairing D is so hard in this league.  Now, Toronto moving that Clarkson contract was genius…. but they took a player back that can’t play anymore to do so.  Toronto wasn’t that bad, I don’t know what you’re thinking on that one.  Holland has to WANT to move the contracts… I wouldn’t criticize him for not having done it, its more of why he thinks he shouldn’t, is what the question should be?
Again with the Holland destroying this franchise… Im not sure what you’re “alternate reality” vision is that wouldn’t have resulted in us being here?  Now, has he made it more difficult going forward… then sure, I’ll jump on that train.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 04/24/17 at 04:32 PM ET

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Honestly, not sure what everyone’s problems with the contracts are… if you all want to rebuild, they help because we are likely going to suck and will for a while, which is how long it’s going to take, so the only thing we lose out on is cap space to absorb someone elses bloated contracts for an additional pick or prospect.

Posted by DieByTheWing on 04/24/17 at 04:34 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by evileye on 04/24/17 at 03:45 PM ET

I’m sick of the Yzerman talk too. The guy left this town a hero, I want him to remain a hero, and get rounds of applause each time he appears in public because we love him. 

Even if he came back, (he’s not) and had had success (he wouldn’t), at some point, he won’t, that’s the way the system is built, and he will turn into Holland, and HHHT will bash him relentlessly until he’s no longer a hero. Just like Joe Dumars for the Pistons, a hero, turned GM, won a championship, and now the guy won’t even show up to ceremonies because he was relentlessly dogged out.

That aside, does HHHT even realize that to date, Yzerman has accomplished NOTHING. He was handed a team with three superstars, 2 of which can or have been considered top 3 at their respective position, and that doesn’t include Nakita Kucherov who might be the best player on the team. And with that Yzerman has missed the post season 3 times, has never advanced to the finals, and is golfing this year along with Ken Holland.

I’m sure Tampa will succeed, but man if it doesn’t, Yzerman will have failed worse than Ken Holland

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Hey Hey Hockeyfart on 04/24/17 at 05:37 PM ET

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has never advanced to the finals

wat

Posted by incompetent GM on 04/24/17 at 06:03 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Amen, Chief.

Just one little thing:

Ken Holland hired Nice Mike Babcock just like he hired Nice Scotty Bowman and the results speak for themselves.

KH did not hire Scotty. Scotty was hired before the 93-94 season when Mike Ilitch demoted Bryan Murray from GM/Head Coach to just GM. KH might have been a scout with the team then.

I think KH gets way more credit than he deserves for the Wings success. The 97-98 Cups? Jimmy D. Drafting TPH and Ozzie? Jimmy D. With an open checkbook and no salary cap, he assembled the 2002 dream team. He bungled the Franzen/Hossa decision by overpaying loyalty over talent, starting a trend that exists to this day.

 

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/24/17 at 07:55 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Captain D, I was referring to Lewis when I said “Nice Scotty Bowman”.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/24/17 at 08:04 PM ET

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I’d say there is a huge difference in moving Phaneuf and Kessell versus Adbdelkader and Helm. But that doesn’t necessarily let Holland off the hook. Until this trade deadline he was almost always focused on the here and now, rarely making the moves that would help the Wings in the long run. It caught up with him.

Posted by evileye on 04/24/17 at 08:27 PM ET

Primis's avatar

This is what I don’t get.  How anyone can look at the mess that Shanny and Lou inherited in Toronto and say “nobody could fix Detroit” is ridiculous.

I don’t get how anyone can look at a Leafs team that just got bounced in the first round and call any kind of “success” or “fixed” there in Toronto yet.

“HOORAY!  YOU BLEW A 2-0 SERIES LEAD!  YOU’RE SO SPECIAL!”

It’ll be fun next year when all the Leafs rookies have a sophomore slump and they’re a lottery team again.

Posted by Primis on 04/24/17 at 08:39 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

How anyone can look at the mess that Shanny and Lou inherited in Toronto and say “nobody could fix Detroit” is ridiculous. 

Not trying to start an argument, but the leafs had multiple top 5-10 picks with Mitch Mariner, William Nylander, Morgan Reilly, all taken either before Shanny took over, or in his first year. Of course #1 overall​ when a generational player is available..

Also, moving a 25-30 goal scorer like Kessel ain’t exactly hard…He may not fit in the leafs organization, but he’s a consistent goal scorer. Unlike some if the dead weight under bad contracts in Detroit (Abby, Helm, Dekyser ...Etc)

Not saying that things can’t be fixed, but Toronto’s “overnight turnaround” was like 8-9 years of sucking…. Intentionally or unintentionally.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/24/17 at 08:43 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

Captain D, I was referring to Lewis when I said “Nice Scotty Bowman”.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/24/17 at 08:04 PM ET

Sorry, Chief. My head met a tree in the middle of the night last night while looking for a lost cat. I knew I should have stayed off the internet today.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 04/25/17 at 01:39 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

He bungled the Franzen/Hossa decision by overpaying loyalty over talent, starting a trend that exists to this day.

Franzén was overpaid? For 1,3M less per season?

Since Hossa went to Chicago, he has a 0.77 PPG average (0.42 gpg), with Franzén at 0.73 ppg (and 0.39 gpg).

Franzén got injured, not bad.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/25/17 at 09:58 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Just for fun, in the playoffs since Hossa went to Chicago:

Hossa 21g, 73p in 107 games. 0.19 gpg, 0.68 ppg

Franzén 13g, 30p in 44 ganes. 0.29 gpg, 0.68 ppg.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 04/25/17 at 10:34 AM ET

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The whole Franzen/Hossa debate is REALLY old. It’s revisionist history.

Ask yourself this about the NOW. Would you rather have Franzen on LTIR for the next 3 seasons at $4M NOT counting against the cap or Hossa for the next 4 seasons at $5.275M counting against the cap. Hossa will be 42 his last year of that contract.

I would have preferred they signed Hossa over Franzen but I understood why they chose Franzen. Hossa was a player very similar to Zetterberg while Franzen was different/complimentary piece.

Posted by evileye on 04/25/17 at 10:52 AM ET

Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit's avatar

Hey! It’s Monday, May 15, 2017, and Ken Holland STILL has a job. wink  shut eye

Lets Go Red Wings!!!!!

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 05/15/17 at 05:36 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