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And The Analysts Say

from Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News,

The Detroit News surveyed several longtime NHL analysts around North America to get their opinion on the Red Wings....

Here are their thoughts:

Where do you think the Red Wings are in their rebuild? They’ve missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons and most of the roster will likely remain the same heading into next season. Is there noticeable progress?

- Barry Melrose, ESPN analyst: They have to get better on defense but their forwards are good. They’re fast. For the most part, in today’s NHL, if you can get a big, fast guy it’s better than a small, fast guy, and Detroit has a lot of bigger guys. You don’t have to go further than Colorado. They used a lot of draft picks on fast guys and they’re a contender. It just goes to show you have to skate in today’s NHL and Kenny had the framework for that and I’m sure Stevie will continue.

-Kevin Weekes, NHL Network analyst: This current cast of young players is improving. Kenny leaves Steve in a good spot and a good place based on some of those players, be it Andreas Athanasiou, Larkin, Mantha, who has a big ceiling, and on the back end Cholowski and Zadina are on the way on the roster. They’re in a good place. They’ve stocked the pond.

-Mike Zeisberger, NHL.com national correspondent: I like where they are going. Zadina, (Joe) Veleno, guys like that, they haven’t had really high picks even during this rebuild, but I really like some of their young people. To me, up front, this is the most promising foundation of young forwards than I’ve seen in Detroit since they started this rebuild in a while.

more analysts and more questions...

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Video- Jeff Blashill And Dylan Larkin Talk About Their Pre-Tournament Win

Yes, it is a slow news day at this point.

via USA Hockey's YouTube page,

U.S. Men's National Team head coach Jeff Blashill, alternate captain Dylan Larkin and forward Clayton Keller recap Team USA's pre-tournament win over Germany and look ahead to the opening game of the 2019 IIHF Men's World Championship against tournament host Slovakia.



added 1:47pm, Below, watch a short look at Ken Holland with the Wings.

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Still The GM, This Time In Edmonton

from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,

He could’ve chosen the easy path and stayed, accepted the money without the pressure, taken the executive title without the power. And for a week or so, Ken Holland thought about the ring to it — Red Wing for Life, a ceremonial bow on a great career.

That’s what he could’ve done, but at his competitive core, that’s not who he is. Holland has more to do. And in his mind, he has more to prove. I say, good for him, for refusing to be defined by timelines, for wanting to show what he has left, and in some ways, validate what he’s done....

Holland took the brunt of the criticism here, and it stung him. Some of it was overblown revisionism. He was surrounded by so many stars on the ice and in the coach’s office, from Scotty Bowman to Mike Babcock, he was never going to get ample credit.

Some of the criticism was justified. Holland handed out too many bad contracts to marginal veterans, from Justin Abdelkader to Frans Nielsen to Darren Helm to Jonathan Ericsson. You can’t fully judge the moves without acknowledging the motives, and the motive from the Ilitches was to keep making the playoffs, especially as the team moved into Little Caesars Arena. That doesn’t excuse Holland’s mistakes, but it underscores the strategy.


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Did The Game Pass By Ken Holland?

I am about to end the Ken Holland era in Detroit at A2Y, I may post a few more items  but the majority of the Edmonton talk will be posted in the KK Hockey section.

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The knock on Holland, coming almost exclusively from people who haven’t been lucky enough to get to know the man, is that his last few seasons in Detroit are proof that the game has passed him by. So let’s take that on.

Mistake No. 1: There was a lot of loyalty in Detroit to those who helped win four Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2008. In 2013-14 — the last year Johan Franzen was an NHL force; with Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom having retired — the Red Wings should have begun their rebuild.

They did not, because as long as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were there, Holland felt a responsibility to compete for the playoffs. He shouldn’t have, but that loyalty is what gives the Red Wings one of the top cultures among NHL franchises.

“He treats people right, treats people with respect,” said a Red Wings employee of more than 20 years. “Those players he had signed, he wasn’t just going to move on from them.”

In a perfect world Holland trades Datsyuk and Zetterberg for youth and draft picks. In a perfect world the Blackhawks trade Brent Seabrook, and Boston moves on from Zdeno Chara. The NHL is not a perfect world.

Mistake No. 2: In September of 2014 they broke ground on Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit. At that time, again, Holland should have gone to his owners, the Illitch family, and told them it was time to rebuild.


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Replay- Ken Holland Announced As President Of Hockey Operations & GM Of The Edmonton Oilers

Watch the raw replay of the press conference which was held at noon ET today.


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Statements From Christopher Ilitch And Steve Yzerman On Ken Holland

via the Detroit Red Wings,


“I would like to congratulate Ken Holland on his new position with the Edmonton Oilers and thank him for more than three decades of hard work, loyalty and passion for the Detroit Red Wings,” said Red Wings Governor, President and CEO Christopher Ilitch. “When Ken decided it was in the best long-term interest of the Red Wings for Steve Yzerman to serve in the role of General Manager, we knew there was a strong possibility other franchises would inquire about him. It is a testament to how well-respected and admired Ken is around the National Hockey League. Ken is a first-class person and a top-notch hockey man. We’re ecstatic about the future of the Red Wings with Steve in charge, and on behalf of Marian Ilitch and the entire Red Wings family, we would like to thank Ken for 36 wonderful seasons and wish him, his wife Cindi, and the rest of the Holland family all the best going forward."


“Ken Holland has been a friend of mine since I was drafted in 1983,” said Red Wings Executive Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman. “We were teammates, he held various executive roles during my playing career and he served as a mentor to me as I transitioned into management. There are very few General Managers in the history of the National Hockey League who have accomplished what he has, and I consider it a privilege to have been able to learn from him both in Detroit and during our time together with Hockey Canada. I was hopeful that Ken would stay with the Red Wings and was excited to once again work alongside him, but I understand that Ken is a true competitor who loves being a General Manager, and that he still has a burning desire to contend for Stanley Cup championships as the person in charge. I look forward to competing against him and, as a close friend, sincerely wish him the best of luck in his new role with the Oilers.”

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The Good And Bad Moves By Ken Holland Plus He Cared About His Players

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The best moves

Trade for Dominik Hasek

Coming off a first-round playoff exit against the Los Angeles Kings, the Red Wings appeared to be fading in 2001. That changed on July 1, when they acquired goaltender Dominik Hasek from the Buffalo Sabres for winger Slava Kozlov and a first-round pick.

The move helped lure free agents Luc Robitaille and Brett Hull as the Red Wings created a super team with nine future Hall-of-Fame players. The Dominator helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup before retiring for one season....

Trade for Brad Stuart

A somewhat under-the-radar move at the 2008 trade deadline, this former third overall pick was acquired from Los Angeles for a second- and a fourth-round selection.

He formed a solid second defense pairing with Niklas Kronwall on the 2008 Cup-winning team and spent parts of five seasons with the Red Wings.

The worst moves

Signing Uwe Krupp

The Red Wings signed the oft-injured 6-6, 235-pound defenseman to a four-year, $16 million deal in 1998, after beating his Colorado Avalanche in the playoffs.

Krupp appeared in only 22 games his first season due to a back injury. The club learned he was participating in dog-sled racing while injured and at one point suspended him. Krupp returned to play eight games in 2001-02. He and the club eventually became embroiled in a legal battle over his contact.

more good and bad...

from Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press,

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Wings Are In The Hunt For Finnish Defenseman Oliwer Kaski

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

The Detroit Red Wings are in the mix for a skilled Finnish defenseman and have a good chance of landing him, according to his agent.

Oliwer Kaski, a mobile, offensive-minded defenseman with good size (6-3, 187), will decide on his team shortly.

His agent, Todd Diamond, told MLive on Monday that the Red Wings “are under strong consideration and one of the finalists. Obviously, they have a very good chance. But we’ll finalize it in the next couple of days.”


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Pat Verbeek Named Assistant GM For The Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT - Detroit Red Wings executive vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today that the team has hired Pat Verbeek as assistant general manager. Verbeek will serve alongside current assistant general manager Ryan Martin in the Red Wings' front office and will focus on player personnel decisions. Martin will continue to serve as general manager of the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins.

"I'm very excited to return to the Red Wings," said Verbeek. "I want to thank the Ilitch family, Jimmy Devellano, Ken Holland and Steve Yzerman for giving me a start in scouting after my playing career and providing a strong foundation for my managerial career. I'd also like to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for nine tremendous years. I believe there is an exciting young core here in Detroit, and I'm looking forward to working with the rest of the hockey operations staff to get this team back into contention."

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What Will You Remember About Ken Holland?

I went to YouTube to help me out with the question, but then found Ken Holland giving the commencement speech at Cleary University in 2017.

So here it is (22 minutes) but the question still remains, your memories of Ken Holland.


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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


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