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Abel to Yzerman

What Direction Are The Wings Headed?

from Gregg Krupa of the Detroit News,

Standing amid the tatters of a misused season and asked to consider the Red Wings’ final game, which included yet another multiple-goal lead blown in yet another one-goal loss, Henrik Zetterberg said, “Well, we’ve seen this before.”

Then, Zetterberg apologized for the performance of the team this season. An owner, Christopher Ilitch, pleaded for patience Saturday, and extended GM Ken Holland’s contract two years. Holland announced Tuesday coach Jeff Blashill will be back for the fourth year of his contract.

And the defensemen are likely, still, to have trouble next season getting the puck out of the Wings’ zone. It is a problem daunting them since the start of the “rebuild on the fly” after Nicklas Lidstrom retired in 2012.

The Red Wings are stuck, mired in inconsistency between a successful past and whatever the future holds.

continued

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Comments

WingedRider's avatar

“You’re wondering if I should have started sooner or started later, and I’m saying to you, what difference does it make?” Holland said,

Enough, Holland doesn’t get it.  7 or 8 yrs pissed away, no big deal, what a Klown..

Maybe SOONER would have reduced the time to REBUILD, unbelievable!!

He is still thinking like and talking like he did to create this MESS! Rebuilding on the Fly, nice try!

Same old rhetoric repeated many times, only different.

Go Away KH, Id rather have the post Howe or Dead Wings eras.

I for one will not believe anything he says

Posted by WingedRider from Saskatoon, SK on 04/11/18 at 01:04 AM ET

d ca's avatar

Quick answer follow the trend line downward:
https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/02/2300-19.jpg

https://img.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2017/02/2300-28.jpg
Holland may want to re-write the history books in his favor, but real Wings fans will remember names like Hatcher, Krupp, Kyle Quincey (for Andrei Vasilevskiy), David Legwand, Datsyuk contract (for Chychrun while not even getting a returned call from Stamkos), Erik Cole

The whole airline captain that’s done it before analogy is better explained as, “Holland was great prop plane pilot, but hasn’t ever flown the new jumbo jet engine plane with success.” It’s a whole new league and one he has yet to master. I am sick of this he’s done it before non-sense. Holland unfairly gets credit for building a salary cap era champion team.

To me if anything giving him credit for hiring Babcock (after trying to promote the previous assistant coaches) and trading for Stuart. That was about his accomplishments to that team.

The ‘08 cup team was pretty much a left over from a previous era.
Forwards
Z was drafted in ‘99. Dats in ‘98. Same idea for: Holmstrom, Hudler, Franzen, Filppula, Kopecky. Maltby and Draper were previous trade leftovers. Samuelsson was a hakan anderson special pickup post lockout. But give Holland credit for bringing on Dan Cleary, Aaron Downey, and Dallas Drake.
Defense
The core defense were Lidstrom a ‘90 draft pick. Chelios was a ‘99 trade (he became the 2nd oldest NHL player ever at that point and had 0 points in the playoffs). Kronwall a ‘00 draft pick. Brett Lebda was an ‘04 undrafted signing assigned to the AHL. Meech was an ‘02 draft pick. You can give him credit for signing Andreas Lilja—but he was a post-lockout bargain pickup—getting Stuart in a trade, and Rafalski who was picked up for 12% of the team’s cap that year (cap was available because Z’s contract was only 5% of the cap while still on his bridge deal) because he wanted to play for his home town team.
Goalies
Hasek was a ‘01 trade
Ozzie was a ‘91 draft pick ( (for those that don’t remember it was Osgood that rescued the team in the playoffs going 14–4 and down the stretch)

Unless Holland went against other pro North American skater recommendations you really shouldn’t count listening to the scouts that were picking from the far reaches of Europe to get 2 superstars as his accomplishments to win the cup.

How does this guy not get moved to a new capacity with the team? It’s insulting to the fans and shows where the wings are headed the next two years.

The only topics that should matter the next two years are what kind of free agents contracts the teams is signing, who is getting traded and for what, draft topics, and Z’s recapture penalty.

Posted by d ca on 04/11/18 at 05:40 AM ET

w2j2's avatar

A good NHL team is built around defense, and the Wings’ defense is terrible.

The Wings have never been the same since they lost Lidstrom.

So much depends on how well they draft.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/11/18 at 06:10 AM ET

Primis's avatar

Nobody seems to want to hear it, but…. the WIngs are kinda’ headed in the direction they need to be at the moment.

We need to see what the draft brings this season, and what happens out of camp next.  I mean, if DET seems to draft well enough this draft, and then camp happens and guys like Rasmussen, Choll, and Hronek look real good, and if Holland backs his words up with actions and rewards one or more of those guys with spots on the Red Wings… the fact is he’s doing what he should and needs to do, and the WIngs are on the right path.

I really dislike Blash but him getting another year (that is already a lost one) is not a big deal I guess.  I do want to see signs that Blash is going to take the reins off the kids and let them play their games though, and that’s my big concern.  I don’t forsee Blashill getting an extension unless more progress is made with youngsters next season.

They have the picks though, they have youngsters with promise, and they have assets to move more at next year’s deadline and pile up picks again, which is a good thing for them.

The Wings have never been the same since they lost Lidstrom.

So much depends on how well they draft.

Posted by w2j2 on 04/11/18 at 06:10 AM ET

They lost Lidstrom, Rafalski, and Stuart all 3 in a *very* short period of time.  Rafalski was odd because his game and ability just completely disappeared.  Remember he tried to later come back in the ECHL and couldn’t do it.  And you can’t pin Stuart on Holland because he genuinely had no idea Brad was going to do that, nobody did.

Holland deserves all the criticism for trying to re-acquire Quincey of course.

But yes, so much depends on this draft, plus how Cholo, Rasmussen, and Hronek start to turn out.  Rasmussen’s eye-popping stats line in the WHL playoffs (7GP, 10G and 13A for 23 PTS, with 0 PIM) really make you wonder.  I understand he’s been playing wing in the playoffs now and maybe that’s where he should be in DET?  That does mean DET still needs another top center then, but… I mean they need top wingers too.

Posted by Primis on 04/11/18 at 07:51 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

“You’re wondering if I should have started sooner or started later, and I’m saying to you, what difference does it make?” Holland said,

If one of my employees had that kind of sentiment they’d be let go. Un-feckin-believable. Holland may be a very smart man but he sounds like a complete dolt when he speaks.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/11/18 at 08:37 AM ET

Avatar

Enough, Holland doesn’t get it.

ding ding ding

Nobody seems to want to hear it, but…. the WIngs are kinda’ headed in the direction they need to be at the moment.

A holding pattern is where they need to be right now?

OK.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/11/18 at 08:41 AM ET

Primis's avatar

If one of my employees had that kind of sentiment they’d be let go. Un-feckin-believable. Holland may be a very smart man but he sounds like a complete dolt when he speaks.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/11/18 at 08:37 AM ET

How much of that is Holland maybe taking the heat for Mr. I (directly or indirectly) though?

I mean, it has not escaped my own attention that the actual commitment to rebuild started and coincided with right after Mike Illitch passed away.

It’s still not the right call IMHO, but… it also maybe wasn’t entirely Holland’s call to make.  Whether it was directly something from Mike, or it was that the management felt obligated/loyal to push while Mike was still alive…  it’s really easy as fans to have that disconnect, but very few people in the Detroit org seemed to have not adored Mike Illitch.

Posted by Primis on 04/11/18 at 08:58 AM ET

Avatar

How much of that is Holland maybe taking the heat for Mr. I (directly or indirectly) though?

Yeah, let’s give Holland all the passes we can, because he’s been so amazing managing this team for the past decade that he has to be above reproach and it must be the old dead owner’s fault that Holland hasn’t done a single thing in ten years to improve the team.

Yeah, f*ck you Mike Illitch!

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/11/18 at 09:18 AM ET

Avatar

Does pleading for patience mean lower ticket prices?

Posted by bababooey on 04/11/18 at 09:37 AM ET

Avatar

How much of that is Holland maybe taking the heat for Mr. I (directly or indirectly) though?

The issue I take with this reasoning, even if it is 100% true, is that Holland was supposed to be the hockey expert and run the team for Illitch. And if he really saw the need for change after Lidstrom retired he needed to step up and tell Mr. I continuing the path of just making the playoffs and selling off futures was not sustainable anymore.
So we either have Holland just taking too long to catch up to the modern NHL, or too willing to capitulate to Illitch’s “win-at-all-costs” mantra.

Posted by Manthanasiou87 on 04/11/18 at 10:18 AM ET

Avatar

Yeah, let’s give Holland all the passes we can, because he’s been so amazing managing this team for the past decade that he has to be above reproach and it must be the old dead owner’s fault that Holland hasn’t done a single thing in ten years to improve the team.

Yeah, f*ck you Mike Illitch!

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/11/18 at 09:18 AM ET

Not a single thing to improve the team in 10 years huh? Your irrational psychotic rage towards Holland seems to be growing by the day.

Posted by Snowy Shaw on 04/11/18 at 10:38 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Please be patient while we do nothing to clean up our mess—

Thanks,
Management

Posted by Hootinani from the parade following Babs out of town on 04/11/18 at 11:04 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

...I’m saying to you, what difference does it make?” Holland said

Hillary? Is that you?

How much of that is Holland maybe taking the heat for Mr. I (directly or indirectly) though?

Sorry, Primis, but Manthanasiou spelled out pretty cleary where that logic fails. Even if Mr. I told Holland to make a push to stay in the playoffs and encouraged him to trade assets for verterans, it doesn’t excuse the fact that he did a really, really poor job of it.

The trades for Quincey and Legwand along with the Weiss signing are the biggest mistakes, but they aren’t the only ones by a long shot. The bottom line for me is that Holland was lousy at doing his job as the team’s GM. And his record should have led to his firing (or “promotion upstairs”), not to a new two-year contract.

And as for Blashill finishing out his contract, I’m fine with that – as long as he’s forbidden to ever use the word “process” again.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/18 at 11:15 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/18 at 11:15 AM ET

Okay, so fire him. Who do you replace him with this season?

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/11/18 at 01:01 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Okay, so fire him. Who do you replace him with this season?

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence”

You’ve had that discussion in another thread and I don’t have anything of value to add to that because I have no idea who is or isn’t available. That’s not my “job.” That’s Chris I’s job.

My “job” is to complain and point out Ken Holland’s weaknesses/failures until someone in the organ-i-zation does something. We all have to stick with our strengths, Colin. grin

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/18 at 02:32 PM ET

Colin's avatar

You’ve had that discussion in another thread and I don’t have anything of value to add to that because I have no idea who is or isn’t available. That’s not my “job.” That’s Chris I’s job.

My “job” is to complain and point out Ken Holland’s weaknesses/failures until someone in the organ-i-zation does something. We all have to stick with our strengths, Colin.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/11/18 at 02:32 PM ET

But that’s the problem, OTC. How can you assess ownership’s doing something when you can’t even begin to assess what that something is?

This goes back to the whole we-don’t-know-everything-that-does-and-doesn’t-happen thing. For all we know, Ilitch could have looked around the league, realized (as I did) that the pickings are extremely thin for quality GM candidates. None of the Yzerman/Cheveldayoff-caliber GMs are anywhere close to leaving their teams and guys like Fenton and Dubas are not showing much interest in going anywhere with either better opportunities with their current, winning teams (rumored Dubas promotion) or a Stanley Cup to win (Fenton, who has already turned down a few GM offers).

Despite his failures, of which I’m sure we agree on many of them, Holland has also had numerous successes over the last few years. All 5 of our first round draft picks have impact potential since Nill left. The trade down for Cholo yielded us two players who might well reach Chychrun’s level in exchange for the one player and the ability to sign an experienced and versatile middle center which, if you want to be as good as Winnipeg, is sorta important to help foster and shelter the young, developing players who will eventually be your core. He also reached for the nephew of Todd Bertuzzi, who appears to have some potential on top of his already being a good NHL player. He absolutely FLEECED the Rangers on Smith, got king’s ransoms for Jurco and Tatar, and made what turned out to be a quality FA signing for Daley this year with a team and trade-friendly contract. Like Hicketts? He’s another FA signing of Holland.

The thing is that having looked into it, as much as I wanted to lead the pitchfork and torch parade for Holland out of town the last few years, I can’t really say that now. This is why I go back to the term of Holland’s contract as a sign that ownership knows what’s going on and what’s at stake. I would be livid if they gave him a long extension in the 3-5 year range. But they didn’t. They gave him a 2-year extension, which in coaching and GM circles is as close to a “show-me” contract as you will get. Had Ilitch truly trusted Holland to fully rebuild this team, he would have given him a 5-year deal.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/12/18 at 09:46 AM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland’s new yacht, “Incompetence” on 04/12/18 at 09:46 AM ET

Well, if you’re going to resort to rational arguments and common sense, Colin, the best counter-argument that I can come up with is this: I don’t care. grin

I just want the son of a bitch (and his little Babcock clone) gone. They both suck the life and the fun out of being a Wings fan. Maybe that will change – if they do something meaningful at the draft and then actually give the kids a chance next fall. Otherwise, I’m stuck with a boatload of hate for both of them.

In the meantime, please stop being so intelligent and reasonable. You’re getting me all confused.  LOL

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/12/18 at 11:27 AM ET

Colin's avatar

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 04/12/18 at 11:27 AM ET

And that’s totally fine OTC, I’m not telling you how to fan and your anger towards Holland is well-founded.

I’m just trying to balance out and ground the conversation a bit while providing a little hope that it just may be alright. I’m 26 years old, so draft lotteries and GM searches for this team are new to me.

Hell, if we bomb this draft or make yet more bad moves, I’ll light your torch and polish your pitchfork.

Posted by Colin from Ken Holland's new yacht, "Incompetence" on 04/12/18 at 11:57 AM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

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