The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/29/12 at 02:48 PM ET
Paul already posted Red Wings GM Ken Holland’s take on collective bargaining agreement negotiations in a conversation Holland had with the Vernon Morning Star’s Kevin Mitchell , and here’s his take on helping the Wings navigate a difficult transition period (sorry for the sloppy cutting and pasting of text—I’m writing this from my phone):
“People said that we were old, but that was by design,” said Holland, 56. “We felt we had great players who happened to be old, but we thought they were still good players and they provided a lot of intangibles off the ice.“As those players have retired, they’re hard players to replace. You don’t replace them that quick so we’re trying to evolve, we’re trying to compete with the other teams in the West. We’re trying a transition from the Yzermans and the Lidstroms and the Drapers and the Maltbys and the Osgoods with a different group of players.”
The Wings are high on free-agent signing Jordin Tootoo, who “gives a dimension of grit to our bottom-six (forwards).”
They also believe Mikael Samuelsson can produce in his second tour of duty in the Motor City, and they are happy with a “one-two punch” in net after inking former Maple Leaf Jonas (The Monster) Gustafsson.
Holland says Damien Brunner, 26, a high-scoring forward from the Swiss League, has speed and skill which could see him succeed in the show. D-man Brendan Smith, a first-round pick, and American League sniper Gustav Nyquist, both 22, will be given fair shakes with the Red Wings.
Holland didn’t bother chasing Shea Weber of the Preds, thinking Nashville would have to sign the all-star franchise player after losing Ryan Suter to Minnesota.
Holland did have jerseys with the names Suter and Zach Parise stitched on them, and his offer of $88 million for Suter was higher than the Wild’s offer at one point, but that plan went south when both players chose the Wild. That Chelios had played with Gary Suter, Ryan’s uncle, did help the Wings stay in the sweepstakes.
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