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A Deadspin article that raises intriguing concerns—if you believe the ‘anonymous source’

I would describe Deadspin's reporting style as "unique," and things get really unique in Deadspin's Bill Bradley's article about "The Dynasty that Ate Itself." Mr. Bradley speaks to both Ken Holland and a former Ilitch organization employee who remains nameless for fear of retribution, and the former employee suggests that:

1. Holland doesn't have a rebuilding strategy...

Some who have seen Holland work believe he simply doesn’t have any other strategy besides win now.

“If Holland was competent enough to figure out that the rebuild is going to take more than a year, then maybe they could possibly trust him with all of his years of experience and all of his connections,” said one person who used to work for the Ilitches and requested anonymity for fear of retribution. “Maybe he could do a good job of having a turnaround in three to five years. But he is absolutely against it. He wants, like, a one-year turnaround. Which means he’s probably going to go and blow money on old veteran players and his usual crap. So I just, I think it’s one of those things where they know he’s not going to change and he hasn’t really been forced to change in the past.”

2. And Bradley suggests that hiring Steve Yzerman as GM could be the Wings' only hope going forward with an "incompetent" GM, but...

Detroit’s no longer as appealing a place to work as it was in the glory days. Rumors swirled—as the elder Ilitch’s health ebbed and Chris stepped into the day-to-day work—that the heir apparent wasn’t as easy to work for as his father. “Chris is extremely tight with money and he’s very hands-on,” the former Ilitch employee says. “I think he’s very impatient.”

“Steve Yzerman will not come back,” the former employee continued. “Chris has full control. The rest of the family is either too screwed up or just completely uninvolved, and are basically just collecting their checks. So Chris is it for the family and I don’t think you can be in that position and not work directly with Chris because Chris is very hands-on. And Steve Yzerman won’t work for Chris Ilitch.”

It’s Ken Holland or bust, for now. Or maybe it’s both.

I don't know what to make of this as it's an anonymous person making inflammatory remarks, and that makes me incredibly uncomfortable reporting any of this.

All I can say is that it's out there, and you're going to have to read the rest of Bradley's article and decide for yourself whether this is a situation in which a reputable person is making an accurate assessment of the organization, or whether it's Deadspin being Deadspin.

Bradley seems to mean well, and I agree with his assessment that the Legwand-for-Jarnkrok and Cole-for-Janmark trades are really where I began to feel that Holland "lost his touch," but you've got to take an anonymous source casting the organization in a disparaging light with a 50-pound bag of rock salt.

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And Steve Yzerman won’t work for Chris Ilitch

Any particular reason why?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 02:43 PM ET

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Why wouldn’t you believe the anonymous source? Everything the source says is exactly the way Holland has gone and continues to go about his business.

Posted by jb61973 on 04/18/17 at 03:04 PM ET

PDXWing's avatar

George, you should feel uncomfortable. It’s totally beneath you and KK to post this bullshit. Exercise your editor rights for once. FFS.

Posted by PDXWing on 04/18/17 at 03:12 PM ET

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What is bullshit about this column?

Posted by jb61973 on 04/18/17 at 03:15 PM ET

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It’s totally beneath you and KK to post this bullshit

Any particular parts of the articles that do not seem true?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 03:15 PM ET

Paul's avatar

FYI, I did review this before George posted it.

IMO, it is up to members to decide how they want to view it.  Both sides have weighed-in.

George gave his opinion and you are too.  Carry on.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/17 at 03:20 PM ET

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The article is up at http://archive.is/QvFI9 if you don’t want to give clicks to clickbait trash.

Posted by 5hole on 04/18/17 at 03:33 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Deadspin is tough as a source.

There are a few WELL-connected guys there, that genuinely do hear and find out things, and that sources would respect.  Bill Bradley is not one of those guys though, whose names immediately would pop to mind where I’d go “Well, crap”..

There are also a few guys there that like to pretend they’re connected and just stir sh** up, and troll fanbases and readers.  Bradley is not one of THOSE names that jumps to mind for that either I guess.

Don’t discount it all though, because what you probably read there is most likely some sort of middling truth, though it may be being exaggerated for effect at the moment.  I would rank Deadspin as a source equal to Yahoo, which for some reason people just always accept everything from even though they’ve had a TERRIBLE time with credibility.

Posted by Primis on 04/18/17 at 03:36 PM ET

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I have no problem with GM posting this, but I do have to agree that anything quoting “anonymous source” has to be taken with a grain of salt.

That being said, the analysis of KH’s moves are spot on, but that wasn’t really anything we didn’t already know.
And Stevie wasn’t coming back regardless of who was in charge, Chris or if Mr. I was still alive.

All we can do is hope that KH can adapt and adjust after this season.

Posted by George0211 on 04/18/17 at 03:36 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I think the anonymous source is either captain electric or VPalmer and their extent of working for the Illich organization came from serving hotdogs as a volunteer vendor for their kids soccer league.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 03:36 PM ET

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Kudos for publishing this article, it’s dead on.

Posted by bababooey on 04/18/17 at 03:43 PM ET

hockeyfreak13's avatar

This article really doesn’t provide any new insight. The former employee probably had the same amount of access that you or I do.

The fact is the streak is over. KH had a great trade deadline. Can we at least take a wait and see approach here? Keeping the streak alive seemed to be the main motivating factor behind a a lot of his bad decisions.

Posted by hockeyfreak13 from Grand Rapids on 04/18/17 at 03:46 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Guys, just my honest opinion, but I am somewhat surprised KK or TMR would post this in anything more part of a larger entry that says for those who want gossip that may or may not be true, here’s a link. Instead giving it its own entry, and saying “raises intriguing concerns” understanding you filled it with the appropriate caveats, I’ve seen better plays made. 

I mean, I would not go so far as to say TMR or KK just posted click bait, but it took a lengthy review, and even then, I only determined the Paul’s call on the ice would stand, not that it was confirmed, and this comes from someone who would admits team bias, as I enjoy the site.


As others have said, the content is fair enough, but what is new that raises concerns? Oh a Legwand reset, gee didn’t realize that was a bad trade.  Bigger issue though, and why I find it questionable to devote space to is that the big scooping source is one person who used to work for the Ilitches does anyone realize how many people in Michigan that might be?  Is that the men’s room mopper, Ilitches secretary, the guy who cleans the rugs at Ceasars franchises? Be different if they said an exec within the Wings said… 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 03:54 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Why are people criticizing GM or PK for posting this?

Posted by ilovehomers on 04/18/17 at 04:12 PM ET

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Be different if they said an exec within the Wings said…

If the article posted was positive about KH, you would have approved it.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:13 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:13 PM ET

I’ve never been a Ken Holland fan.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 04:18 PM ET

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Some who have seen Holland work believe he simply doesn’t have any other strategy besides win now.

And anyone who doesn’t believe that hasn’t been paying attention.

There’s not going to be any actual rebuild until the 20-year placeholder GM is gone and a real GM takes his place.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/18/17 at 04:18 PM ET

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I’ve never been a Ken Holland fan.

Unless someone criticizes him.

You may think you’re an enigma, but it’s not hard to see that you take the opposite stance to whatever is being discussed in the comments.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/18/17 at 04:21 PM ET

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I’ve never been a Ken Holland fan.

Fan or no fan, you are defending KH every step of the way (obviously it’s your right to do so). The only negative about KH I’ve ever heard from you is that he did not trade Z, Dats and Kron 3 years ago.
Everything else he does in the last 7 years is good, no change is necessary. I was also defending KH every step of the way till about 3-4 years ago when it became evident (at least to me) that KH is the symbol of stagnation and his is too attached to the players he drafted.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:29 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 04/18/17 at 04:21 PM ET

I just call out those who over dramatically, incorrectly, or falsely bash the wings, and those in the organization, this forum, and many others now a days are just consistent gripe and whine sessions.

I take the stance of correct.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 04:30 PM ET

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but it’s not hard to see that you take the opposite stance to whatever is being discussed in the comments.

Imo that would be howeandhowe or whatever his new name is now (an-o-shucks-kind of guy?). Murray imo has his own view on things that he presents in his usual condescending manner, but he is without a doubt a very knowledgeable poster.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:35 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:29 PM ET

Every step? I think you have some selective memory, because I blasted him for the Helm contract, not only for money and term but for the roster spot, and have also repeatedly said he overpaid Abby and DDK, though I don’t think those 2 are as huge of a national disaster as some make those out to be.  I also said the Legwand trade was terrible, and many other examples. I’ve also expressed how much I dislike Martin and Draper being moved into his brain trust circle

I was also one of the only people who said we should not be so quick to just hire Blashill and that maybe he should at least interview veteran coaches like Dan Bylsma, but overall didn’t object to Blashill being hired.

But I never criticize him ever, me and Kenny hand in hand.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 04:37 PM ET

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I think you have some selective memory, because I blasted him for the Helm contract, not only for money and term but for the roster spot, and have also repeatedly said he overpaid Abby and DDK

OK, then. Did KH do anything great in the last 5 years to trust him with the rebuild? Anything that makes you think that he is the best for the job? Anything that should give us a pause when we think KH lost all the mojo he ever had?

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:46 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Can most/all of us agree we all have our own opinions of Holland, Wings, etc.

We should be able to respect those opinions and keep it civil, which so far has been fine.

Let’s not get to the point of calling someone out and turning this into something it wasn’t meant to be.

The article was posted for you to judge, agree, disagree, we all have our own thoughts.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/17 at 04:50 PM ET

Down River Dan's avatar

Have not read this article yet.

I will say that only after missing the playoffs is this sort of scrutiny of Holland taking place.

And, I mean supposed “insider” scrutiny…Not us here on KK bitching about Holland.

I’m not going to support Holland on many of his signings, and trades the last 3-4 years, but man it’s pile on time now.

I mean, seriously, how high a profile person could the unnamed sources be?......Larry Murphy?

Maybe Al Sobotka’s assistant??

Chris Illitch is tight with money? That’s insightful…As the Tigers had one of the highest payrolls and the wings can’t spend any more money under the cap.

Is he tight with money because he didn’t sign Babs for $50 million????

I guess I’ll read the article now and be enlightened.

Posted by Down River Dan on 04/18/17 at 05:03 PM ET

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Imo that would be howeandhowe or whatever his new name is now

wow. how shallow of you to think that there could only be one person who could ever disagree with you. don’t even to drag me into your putrid conversation because you are upset and don’t know how to properly dispose of your anger.

disagree, that’s fine. back it up, that’s better. singling someone out who isn’t, part of this conversation just because you don’t have an enjoyable history is just plain spiteful. get over our disagreements. I have.

sorry Paul, but I agree with you, these blatant personal attacks need to end.

but I do not agree with,

so far has been fine.

It’s not been fine. There are a few people around here who are taking this whole decline of the wings way too personally and seeing the situation differently becomes this huge personal issue to them. I suggest that they take a little time away from the forum to find some other joys in life. Spring is here fellahs and there’s no Red Wing hockey. go outside and have a breath of fresh air.

sorry if that sounds preachy or whatever y’all hate about the way I write.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/18/17 at 05:20 PM ET

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I mean, seriously, how high a profile person could the unnamed sources be?

look for whom ever has recently be let go.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/18/17 at 05:22 PM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

Posted by VPalmer on 04/18/17 at 04:46 PM ET

You would first need to think he had “mojo” and I don’t think he had much, the GM position is give way too much credit in the cap world.  He had a roster that players wanted to play for, an open check book before.  Much like what Yzerman inherited in Tampa, its not that hard to compliment a team around Stammer, Hedman, & Kucherov with $30Mln of capsapce, or Bowman the Younger in Chicago with Toews Kane Keith Seabrook, and Penguins around Crosby and Malkin etc. etc.

Is he best? Doesn’t matter.  I see why Illitch would retain Holland, and don’t knock him for doing so. Ken deserves the right to try and fix this, as much and you and others don’t believe he does, the owner and most people in the league do.  Personally, I would rather have Dave Tallon, he drafts high end players, but there’s a reasons he’s available too right? 

What did he do well?  Well, despite the dire straights every feels he put us in, he did sign two free agents that I thought were great additions in Ott and Vanek for 1 year UFA deals, and unloaded both for draft picks, and got impressive value for smith.

He has a stockpile of picks this year, and some next. Instead of trading top picks of late, he’s drafted Larkin Mantha, Evegeni, Bertuizzi, AA, players that could make a difference in 5 years, and did hastily trade them or their pick, for a player like Phenouf that would have made little difference in the last 5.

 

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/18/17 at 05:29 PM ET

Paul's avatar

H&H, just to clarify, I did not come close to using “blatant personal attacks”.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/17 at 05:42 PM ET

Royal Grand Exalted PooBah's avatar

I do think now that the streak is over that the Wings management might switch their focus to a longer term stratagy.

They pretty much have to do that seeing as the kids they have finally called up from GR have been performing better than a lot of the vets.

Posted by Royal Grand Exalted PooBah from the basement of the Alamo on 04/18/17 at 07:45 PM ET

bigfrog's avatar

That being said, the analysis of KH’s moves are spot on, but that wasn’t really anything we didn’t already know.
And Stevie wasn’t coming back regardless of who was in charge, Chris or if Mr. I was still alive.

All we can do is hope that KH can adapt and adjust after this season.

True. Most of it is obvious, but either way Ken Holland is now forced to make changes. smirk

Posted by bigfrog on 04/18/17 at 08:41 PM ET

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Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 04/18/17 at 05:42 PM ET

Paul, I can see how you thought I was speaking about you. I wasn’t. Sorry. I was pointing on VPalmer’s singling me out for no reason other than for disagreeing with him.

It’s pretty sad that some people around here take their position on the Wing’s so absolutely that they are unwilling to take a little resistance of it. today’s lashing out is symptomatic of that. It’s only going to get worse if some people aren’t asked to refrain from commenting for a while.

Not too long ago you approached me because you thought I was antagonizing people. I feel I have backed off and certainly lessened my pressing of certain people. But, I have now pointed to 2-3 times in the past month were someone has clearly made non-hockey statements regarding me. For as much as I am aggressive with my points, I never make it personal. This is the kind of behavior that needs to end. I can’t end it for obvious reasons. If people respect you, as I have, then they should abide to your space (Kuklas Korner) and your hard work making it. any other behavior is disrespectful to your creation.

I know I am pretty much speaking to silence around here, knowing that several people have already blocked me for not sharing their point of view while asking them to put more effort into explaining theirs. All I expect is that you, as an admin, do a little better at treating everyone in the same manner. VPalmer’s comment, Imo that would be howeandhowe or whatever his new name is now, was not at all hockey talk. It is intended to personally insult. It’s not the first time either. These kinds of comments need to be directly addressed by you.

I have made my opinion on the matter public to allow VPalmer and others to present their case about their comments so that we are better aware of why they were made and if there is any substance to how I am portraying the issue. I’m happy to acknowledge that I might be taking these things the wrong way, but, we won’t know unless they take responsibility for what they say. Only you can create the space for this to happen.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 04/18/17 at 11:01 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I can’t even fathom how George, Paul or Pete Best could possibly be criticized for posting this article. Hell, I wish I’d found it first. I wish I’d written it. Maybe I did and just don’t remember.  Everything about it is accurate, although I found the concrete assertion that Yzerman will never return to be disconcerting.

It’s an opinion article on hockey and if this isn’t the place for it, what is?  To question its rightful place here is ridiculous.  George said he was uncomfortable because of the anonymous source.  That’s George and he has a conscience about that stuff.

Me? Hell. I’d have posted it if the source was listed as a convicted, perhaps intoxicated, definitely not credible anonymous source. 

As for the personal attacks? Wow. Some of you elves are angry…and thin skinned.  Those “attacks” aren’t even on the level of some we’ve seen over the last ten years, many levied by and at local pharmacists.

The underbelly of politics is showing. It’s affected our ability to accept opposing views.  That is a fact and it’s seeping into something as comparatively trivial as hockey discussion.

A few of you need to lighten up.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/19/17 at 06:31 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 04/19/17 at 06:31 AM ET

+19
Amen. Preach it brother!

Posted by Tripwire32 from the binary digisphere on 04/19/17 at 09:08 AM ET

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And as the Wings’ star has faded, they’ve struggled at the trade deadline too. Always in the hopes of preserving The Streak. The best example came in 2014, when Detroit traded Patrick Eaves (31 goals this year, and acquired by Pacific champs Anaheim at the deadline), Calle Jarnkrok (15 goals this year), and a second-round pick to Nashville for 33-year-old David Legwand, who scored four goals in 26 games in Detroit. - Deadspin.

Like.. wow.. I mean.. enough said. I read the rest of the article and honestly, I don’t care if his source isn’t credible, he’s SPOT FUCHING ON with everything he’s said. KH NEEDS TO GO! Someone earlier posted,, “can we just play the wait and see game?”... NO I’m tired of waiting. There’s nothing to see, KH has been bad for the last 6 years. He needs to be fired immediately.

Posted by Pasha1277 on 04/19/17 at 09:15 AM ET

MurrayChadwick's avatar

I shocked that you guys are just learning that the Legwand trade was bad, you should really catch up on the goings on of the wings. 

I should pen an article about how HHHT needs to give Murray Chadwick $100 bucks, because water is wet, and the sky is blue, since water is wet and the sky is blue, you would need to Murray some money too right?


BTW, the Patrick Eaves inclusion in that statement to me says the author is just piling on a known statement. Eaves wasn’t wanted by anyone at that time, he was like Miller or Anderson a guy that had also passed through waivers, he was a toss in that was moved as a favor to Eaves himself, and most of the HHHT faithful hated the guy.  Going back in the time machine Eaves was like a Drew Miller, a vet that was taking a spot of a younger guy.

Posted by MurrayChadwick from Holland Hate Hyperbole Town (HHHT) on 04/19/17 at 09:41 AM ET

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You would first need to think he had “mojo” and I don’t think he had much

Yeah, but I did not want to even go there, that’s like the whole different topic

great additions in Ott and Vanek for 1 year UFA deals

Yes, those were good, I agree although getting a 3rd and a 6th will not make us a better team in the next 5 years. In general though, trading deadline was decent.
I guess I want to see some bold moves from our GM, some passion to turn things around and I just do not see it. I know some people think this summer KH has no choice, but to make changes. But again, I do not see anything will change and for that reason the article is spot on.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/19/17 at 09:46 AM ET

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I know I am pretty much speaking to silence around here, knowing that several people have already blocked me

That should tell you something.

Posted by VPalmer on 04/19/17 at 09:47 AM ET

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And therein lies the problem…. you agree with it, hence it should be posted.  This is where alternative truths come from and other stuff…. when just because it’s something you agree with, factual or not, we should publish it as journalism.  It’s not really portrayed as an opinion piece, it’s portrayed as a journalistic article…and THAT I have a problem with.  It literally sounds like someone here wrote it, someone with a Hapless Holland mentality that won’t even listen to other points or benefit of the doubt….but whatever.  Don’t mind reading it, just don’t like how it’s portrayed.  No “source” close to Holland or the executive braintrust would talk the way the quotes in that article are written. 

IS it even new?  Holland has said his goal is to try and make the playoffs while restocking younger players…. I don’t get how people still don’t get that.  If you disagree, great. I think I probably do, but the man has done what he said.  To say the strategy was bad, sure.  To say he’s made questionable decisions/contracts… definitely debatable and definitely true in some cases.  But to say he destroyed the redwings???? Come on.  Age/time killed the redwings.  Other teams getting better killed the redwings.  Holland just wasn’t able to stop it, as like 80% of other GM’s wouldn’t have been able to.  If he doesn’t make a few trades so highly criticized (as if we traded away a number one pick or something), and a few of the contracts weren’t given….would we better?  Hell no.  Would things be slightly different?  Possibly, but not in any discernible manner.  The ONLY, as I’ve said many times, in my opinion, difference was if he had decided to tank a few years ago…. and gotten HIGH end picks..  We would have had 2 or more crappy seasons like this one instead of an almost upset of tampa and well, the other one wasn’t great. 

Seriously, give the guy a chance.  He’s made no disastrous trades/moves… bad or questionable decisions…sure…but realy? Do you see some of other teams and GM’s in this league?

Posted by DieByTheWing on 04/19/17 at 09:54 AM ET

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Honestly, my largest criticism of the wings and management… is that they have missed big time on first round picks, though that seems to have been somewhat corrected the last few years potentially.  Other teams, like the Sharks, and Caps for example… despite being good, have had several players contribute that were mid-late round picks.  That being said, their cores were younger to some degree so they could ease them in a bit more….but our 1rst and 2nd round picks over the last 5-10 years have left something to be desired…and that has hurt us WAY more than Hollands signings or trades.
If you want to lay that on Holland, whatever, maybe in the sense he should have replaced those people….

Posted by DieByTheWing on 04/19/17 at 10:00 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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