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Hard To Criticize Holland

from Jeff Kuehn of The Oakland Press,

Holland has taken somewhat of a beating this week on social media for failing to deliver on the league’s two big-name free agents.

Hard to be too tough on a GM who has helped bring four Stanley Cups to Detroit. Hard to imagine someone else out there who could have done any better than that.

Parise and Suter both got $98 million dollars for the next 13 years. One has to wonder if Parise and Suter are worth that much? Last time I checked, hockey is a team game.
To date, Holland has upgraded Detroit’s roster by signing free agents Jordan Tootoo (Nashville), forward Mikael Samuelsson (Florida) and netminder Jonas Gustavsson (Toronto). Tootoo brings much-needed grit and energy, Samuelsson should provide help on the power play and Gustavsson will push Jimmy Howard to be better.

There are still free agents available who can fill the missing parts. Shane Doan (Phoenix) would look great in a Red Wings uniform. So would Alexander Semin (Washington).

As Holland has said, many of the solutions for Detroit’s first round exit from the playoffs this past year are already here.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

Just what we need from the local msm in detroit. “how dare anyone criticize kenny h! He brought four cups home!”

Please. Yes, they won four cups, but just o e since 2003. And, they do not have any perceived up and coming topmline guys…at least not for another two or three years. Now, consider the crevace they now have at d. And it is not like anyone with a brain knew this wasn’t gonna happen. Everyone knew that Stuart was gone and he did nothing. Everyone knew lids was done either last year or the year before. He did nothing to prepare for it. Nothing. Didnt bring up Smith for the full year to learn, which is the worst offense if you ask me.

Wait, Quincey is back so there is that.

The handwringing has to stop. Wings fans are allowed to criticize a guy with the same amount of rings in the salary cap era as a half dozen other GMs. I am sorry, msm that u do not agree.

Posted by ElCapitan on 07/07/12 at 10:31 PM ET

John W.'s avatar

I am a bit puzzled on why Kenny hasn’t signed Semin yet.  Boatloads of cap space still, and he is about the only high salary guy left.  He’s a must at this point in my opinion, unless of course this whole Rick Nash thing is really something that might happen.  Beyond that, there really needs to be some kind of trade in the works for a D-man (Yandle).  I gotta think that’s why we’re stock piling so many players, for a potential trade on some front.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/07/12 at 10:55 PM ET

Avatar

It could be worse… You could have a GM who only drafts defensemen.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/07/12 at 11:01 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

I’m a little surprised moves haven’t yet been made.  Tick tock…

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/07/12 at 11:11 PM ET

Paul's avatar

John W, plain and simple with Semin, he wants more money than anyone is wiling to pay at this point.

Wtih options still avaiable to teams, Doan, Bobby Ryan and possibly others we have not heard about, Semin may have to come down on his demands or wait it out.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/07/12 at 11:14 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Sooo….hows about we trade Holland for Howson or Poile? How’s about them apples?

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 07/07/12 at 11:14 PM ET

Bosephus's avatar

Holland has prepared for the loss on D. Not the most exciting moves, but realistic ones in Ericsson and Quincey for starters.  I’m hoping no additional moves on offense are due to Holland waiting to see what Doan wants to do.  I’d take him over Semin in a heartbeat.  But in saying that he will need to make some kind of trade with all the forwards we have.  No way we were signing both Suter and Parise as they apparently wanted to be a dual signing and I don’t think A) we were ever really in the hunt for Parise, and B) we couldn’t match the financial insanity others were prepared to commit.  Sure I’m disappointed, but after a week to mellow, not as pessimistic.  I do wonder if Flip will end up in some kind of trade though.  Who else do we have w/value that we don’t consider untouchable?

Posted by Bosephus from Behind enemy lines, Denver, CO on 07/07/12 at 11:26 PM ET

John's avatar

As Holland has said, many of the solutions for Detroit’s first round exit from the playoffs this past year are already here. Superstars like Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have to combine for more than 41 goals, Jonathan Ericsson needs to step up and play to his size, Brendan Smith has to blossom on defense and Howard needs to win some games on his own here and there.

This is a point that bear repeating.  Zetterbeg and Pav are both 40 goal scorers who actually need to score 40 goals if the team is going to succeed.  I keep coming back the idea that our top two lines are largely the same top two lines that won the cup in ‘08.  Our defense isn’t as good, without a doubt, but is it on par with other cup winners in recent years?  I think so.  And Howie is a stud goalie—as good as Chris Osgood at his best, but much better at his worst.

What the Wings need is a culture change, a jolt to get them going again.  For some reason, the competitiveness isn’t there.  Holland has always solved that problem by reloading with hungry, talented guns who can re-energize the top two lines. But maybe missing out on the Suter/Parise sweepstakes is what this team needs.  Maybe all the Wings needed is a real signal that there are no reinforcements coming and if they want to win the cup again they have to dig deep and be cup caliber players again.

Posted by John from Pittsburgh, PA (Wings fan for life!) on 07/07/12 at 11:46 PM ET

Bosephus's avatar

What the Wings need is a culture change, a jolt to get them going again.  For some reason, the competitiveness isn’t there.  Holland has always solved that problem by reloading with hungry, talented guns who can re-energize the top two lines.

Posted by John from Pittsburgh, PA (Wings fan for life!)

Which is one big reason I want Doaner in DET. That and despite his brainfart PIM’s in the playoffs, we don’t have that physical presence.  Dallas Drake with more leadership and way more offense.

Posted by Bosephus from Behind enemy lines, Denver, CO on 07/07/12 at 11:52 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I think a lot of us are too hard on Holland, without question.  We don’t know or see everything that he does.

That said; I’m reminded of an Anthony Jeselnik joke:  “People say “Anthony, you can’t make fun of retarded people. You just can’t make fun of retarded people.” And I always say “No, YOU can’t make fun of retarded people…I’m awesome at it.”

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/07/12 at 11:58 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Zetterbeg and Pav are both 40 goal scorers who actually need to score 40 goals if the team is going to succeed.

No they aren’t. They never were.

Zetterberg is a 30 goal scorer at best. Zetterberg approached 40 twice, passing it once.

Pav is maybe a 25 goal scorer at best, even with all his moves.

You can’t make them into something they aren’t. They, at their best, are playmakers. Sure, I bet Z ‘could’ approach 40 again if he were on Pav’s wing…and even if we moan and groan about Uncle Mike always splitting them up (I have bitched about this from time to time like most)...they are where they need to be…pivoting separate lines. Yes I know the Wings won in ‘08 with Filppula centering the second line…but we’ve now seen him on the wing…and I’d think we’d all agree he’s…a much different player…on the wing…and a better one at that.

We need defense, that much is for sure, but adding another 30-goal scorer (Lord help Sammy, but he’s not a 30-goal scorer), with $15 million and change in cap space…when there is one available (pending on how much he wants)...is a good idea. Even Holland thinks so.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/08/12 at 12:00 AM ET

Avatar

Look, if Holland builds a team that wins a Cup every 4 years people will probably lay off him.  If he doesn’t, Wings fans will nitpick his every move and non-move to death.

That is, sadly, the reality in these parts.  It’s the unfortunate result of being in the playoffs every year since 1990.

‘Just’ making the postseason and ‘just’ winning a round or two doesn’t cut it anymore… and God help him if he actually has a team go out in the first round.  The horror.

As a collective, Wings fans have lost most of their ability to calibrate expectations with reality, and our (again collective) slowness in comprehending how significantly the implementation of a hard cap has shifted the competitive structure of the NHL certainly hasn’t helped matters.

IMO if a team is well run and spends close to or to the cap, it is a fair expectation to hold that team to making the playoffs 80-90% of the time, winning a playoff round 40% of the time, two 20% of the time, and any deeper than that 10%.  If you apply that standard to pretty much every other franchise in the NHL you get maybe 5 or 6 that meet it, barely.

In Detroit, however, the make the playoffs every year.  They go at least past round 1 66% of the time.  They go past round 2 33% of the time.  They’ve gotten deeper than that 1 time in 4.

They’ve been wildly successful.  A huge portion of that is due to the way Holland runs the team.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/08/12 at 12:07 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

Holland must know something we all dont obviously in the way the CBA preliminary talks are going. He’s just biding his time. Perhaps he is waiting for fallout from overpriced signings and will reap the rewards. I can only hope.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/08/12 at 12:08 AM ET

John W.'s avatar

John W, plain and simple with Semin, he wants more money than anyone is wiling to pay at this point.

Wtih options still avaiable to teams, Doan, Bobby Ryan and possibly others we have not heard about, Semin may have to come down on his demands or wait it out.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/07/12 at 09:14 PM ET

Thanks, Paul, I just got back from vacation and was only able to follow along here and there with very limited internet access and by actually reading newspapers (really, newspapers!) and was unaware of Semin’s contract demands.  Still trying to catch up, and I appreciate the info.

Posted by John W. from a bubble wrap cocoon on 07/08/12 at 12:33 AM ET

snafu's avatar

To date, Holland has upgraded Detroit’s roster by signing free agents Jordan Tootoo (Nashville), forward Mikael Samuelsson (Florida) and netminder Jonas Gustavsson (Toronto). Tootoo brings much-needed grit and energy, Samuelsson should provide help on the power play and Gustavsson will push Jimmy Howard to be better.

These aren’t upgrades.  They’re lateral moves, hopefully.  Samuelsson “may” improve the PP but you need some help on D for that to work too.  Gus “may” turn into a decent goalie, and ostensibly should be an upgrade over Conklin.  Time will tell however.  Tootoo?  I have no idea how he fits into a Wings system.

Posted by snafu from North America on 07/08/12 at 01:23 AM ET

Primis's avatar

These aren’t upgrades.  They’re lateral moves, hopefully.  Samuelsson “may” improve the PP but you need some help on D for that to work too.  Gus “may” turn into a decent goalie, and ostensibly should be an upgrade over Conklin.  Time will tell however.  Tootoo?  I have no idea how he fits into a Wings system.

Posted by snafu from North America on 07/07/12 at 11:23 PM ET

snafu said it before I did.  The fact that these are called “upgrades” shows the writer’s lack of understanding on the topic.

Gustavsson is an upgrade in net for backup I say.  The rest?  Lateral or backwards moves…

Posted by Primis on 07/08/12 at 02:43 AM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Semin may have to come down on his demands or wait it out.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/07/12 at 09:14 PM ET

I have to imagine there’s a strong possibility Semin goes to the KHL.  They’re a real threat.

Pav & Z have transformed themselves into great two-way players, much like Yzerman did later in his career.  This saves goals against in exchange for goals scored.  It’ll be interesting, if we do indeed run and gun a little more, to see how their styles are affected.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/08/12 at 03:59 AM ET

Avatar

The fact that these are called “upgrades” shows the writer’s lack of understanding on the topic.

IMO, Sammy is a more complete player than Hudler who has produced pretty similarly to him in the past three years. 58 goals, 86 assists for Hudler, 62 goals and 72 assists for Sammy.  Hudler’s had more games.

Gustavsson’s an upgrade over MacDonald.

The question is who you compare Tootoo, too.  Assuming he’s going to be a fourth line depth forward at ES, you’re most likely comparing him to Homer at ES.  He’s way more effective at ES than Homer is.  Other than that, I’m not sure who exactly Tootoo is replacing so it’s hard to judge what kind of upgrade he might or might not be.

None of these individual upgrades are awesome, and obviously the Lidstrom-hole hasn’t been filled, but within the context of what the author is trying to say he’s fairly accurate.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/08/12 at 07:19 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Our defense isn’t as good, without a doubt, but is it on par with other cup winners in recent years?  I think so.

LAK
Doughty-Scuderi
Martinez-Greene
Voynov-Mitchell

BOS
Chara-Seidenberg
Kaberle-Ference
Boychuk-McQuaid

CHI
Keith-Seabrook
Campbell-Hjlmarsson
Byuflgien-Boynton/Johnsson

I don’t see how the Wings current defensive personnel comes remotely close to these clubs on paper.  Virtually every projected position on the depth chart is at a level above what the Wings players have been capable of playing through their entire career. 

The cup winners all had pieces built around proven all stars on the first units (and sometimes second and third units) and they could deploy any of the three lines at any time during the game and could interchangeably re-work the pairings without having a a severe drop-off in performance.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/08/12 at 10:45 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Kaberle’s in MTL, Leo.

Now that Renney’s running the special teams, I’m cautiously accepting that the current crop of Wings defensemen are in Renney’s capable hands.

Posted by SYF from Zata's Epic Viking Beard on 07/08/12 at 02:29 PM ET

Avatar

Kaberle’s in MTL, Leo.

Yeah, but he was in Boston when they won.

Posted by Garth on 07/08/12 at 02:42 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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