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Abel to Yzerman

Ken Holland Reflects On His Trade Deadline Philosophy In Detroit

Daniel Nugent-Bowman of The Athletic with a Q & A with Ken Holland,

I’m sure you wish you had the flexibility you had in Detroit before the lockout when there was a little more breathing room without the salary cap.

When I was in Detroit, we were the last team to miss the playoffs in the cap era. We went the first 10 years without missing the playoffs. So we did it with the cap, and we did it without the cap.

What you’re trying to do is not only go as far as we can in the playoffs this year and hopefully win the Stanley Cup; you’re trying to have that opportunity every year. That’s what teams are trying to build. You’re trying to build something that is sustainable, and it’s just not a one-off. That’s what we did for 25 years in a row in Detroit. All that experience and all those disappointments and tweaking with the roster eventually led to successes. So, I don’t look at this as a one-off. We’re trying to build something better.more ($$$) questions and answers...

more ($$$) Q & A...

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Comments

WingDingy's avatar

With the resources provided by Mr. Illich, an idiot could have made the Wings successful.  It was only after the cap was implemented that Holland showed his true colors.  Inarguably, he made some of the worst player personnel decisions in the NHL’s modern era.

Posted by WingDingy on 04/06/21 at 09:20 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by WingDingy on 04/06/21 at 09:20 AM ET

In the 4 years directly after the salary cap was implemented, the Wings:

Lost in the first round
Lost in the conference finals
Won the Cup
Lost in the Cup finals

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 09:36 AM ET

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an idiot could have made the Wings successful.

Yes, pretty much any person can draft Fedorov, Konstantinov, Lidstrom, Zetterberg, Datsyuk where they were drafted. Pretty much anybody can trade for Shanahan, Hasek, Larionov. Pretty much anybody can resist the temptation to trade Yzerman when things were not going well. Anybody can just hire Bowman as a coach. Yeah, pretty much any idiot can win 4 cups in 10 years as long as they get resources to do it.
You probably know that Rangers and some other teams had unlimited resources during those years too.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/06/21 at 11:15 AM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 09:36 AM ET

Now do the next 10 years.

 

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/06/21 at 11:20 AM ET

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He had an absolutely ridiculous run and should be celebrated for the cups he brought to the city. You can use the excuse that he was just carrying out the late Mr. I’s orders the last few years, but he made decisions that are still hurting this team to this day.

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/06/21 at 11:27 AM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Now do the next 10 years.

No need to.

The assertion is that the cap exposed Holland as a guy who could only spend to win. I have demonstrated that as false.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 12:04 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Look, Holland really screwed the org, no doubt.

But let’s at least be fair to him if we’re gonna criticize him.

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 12:11 PM ET

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You probably know that Rangers and some other teams had unlimited resources during those years too.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/06/21 at 11:15 AM ET

Exactly.  I live in the NY area and I watched the Rangers lose like there was no tomorrow despite spending as much or more than any other team in the league.  Does anyone remember when they gave Bobby Holik, a checking center, $9m per year?

Posted by MikeO on 04/06/21 at 12:28 PM ET

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Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 12:04 PM ET

He had twice as many bad years as he had good years with the wings after the salary cap was implemented and was absolutely atrocious the last 5 when it came to draft capital and acquisitions. When the playing field got leveled by the salary cap and everyone else figured out how to scout Europeans he was unable to adapt and got lapped by the field. He sold future draft picks for spoiled goods and left with the cupboards bare.

Again, I’ll be forever grateful for the parades. As has already been pointed out, everyone else had the option to spend to the moon and try to do the same but he’s the one that pulled off three cups in 6 years. I think it’s very fair to be harsh on the last few years (in the salary cap era) because it just wasn’t good.

Posted by MZ2215 on 04/06/21 at 01:19 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Devallano built the team.
Bowman tweaked the team to be a cup winning team.
Holland rode the coat tails of those two men and spent lots of money. Once Bowman left it was a snowball effect to the bottom. Holland has been insanely over rated, IMO.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/21 at 01:32 PM ET

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He sold future draft picks for spoiled goods and left with the cupboards bare

KH made a number of wrong decisions, but let’s not forget the pressure he had from the owners to win now (when he was trading futures for the likes of Q, Cole, Zidlicky, Legwand, etc)  and the pressure to just make the playoffs which also resulted in too much reliance on the veterans instead of trading them. As soon as KH missed the playoffs , his hands got untied and he actually started selling including a great Tatar trade.
Where KH definitely failed in my opinion is drafting in the last 10 years or so.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/06/21 at 01:37 PM ET

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Ol vlad poppin his head out.  Good to see you bud, miss your posts.

Posted by ThatGuy on 04/06/21 at 02:07 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Yes, pretty much any person can draft Fedorov, Konstantinov, Lidstrom, where they were drafted. Pretty much anybody can trade for Shanahan, Larionov. Pretty much anybody can resist the temptation to trade Yzerman when things were not going well. Anybody can just hire Bowman as a coach.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/06/21 at 11:15 AM ET

I think you are a little confused. All items you mentioned besides the ones I omitted were accomplished by Jimmy D or Bryan Murray.
Holland kept a good thing going with one of the most incredible cores assembled

 

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/06/21 at 02:19 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/21 at 01:32 PM ET

This!

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/06/21 at 02:39 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

So from 2002-2009, is the assertion that Bowman managed the club as a consultant?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 02:48 PM ET

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

Devallano built the team.
Bowman tweaked the team to be a cup winning team.
Holland rode the coat tails of those two men and spent lots of money. Once Bowman left it was a snowball effect to the bottom. Holland has been insanely over rated, IMO.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 04/06/21 at 01:32 PM ET

Thank you. 1989 draft includes Lidstrom, Fedorov, Konstantinov. Jimmy D, GM, Neil Smith. 93-94 Bowman was hired by aforementioned Jimmy D. KH was named GM in 1997 after the first Cup. He did bring in some good players, but, he didn’t build it.

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/06/21 at 02:53 PM ET

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

So from 2002-2009, is the assertion that Bowman managed the club as a consultant?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/06/21 at 02:48 PM ET

Sorta the man behind the curtain. I would say he held a great amount of sway, but, that’s just one opinion.

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/06/21 at 02:57 PM ET

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

Have to also mention 1983 Jimmy D drafted Yzerman after losing out on Pat LaFontaine who went to the Islanders.

Posted by Kate from PA now in SC-made in Detroit on 04/06/21 at 03:08 PM ET

damndog revenge   From the bowels of Detroit's avatar

Tell"em Kate!

Posted by damndog revenge From the bowels of Detroit on 04/06/21 at 07:17 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

When the Wings won the Cup in 2008 they had the #16 payroll in the NHL, so that was some pretty good maneuvering.

Posted by RWBill on 04/06/21 at 07:37 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