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The Malik Report

Audio- Ken Holland on the Red Wings, free agency, Daniel Cleary, etc.

Updated at 4:08 PM: Ken Holland was just on Detroit Sports 105.1 with Matt Dery.

George is out but was able to tweet about the topics Holland discussed, so check out his recent Twitter timeline.

And/or, listen to it.

Update from George: Among the Twitter play-by-play, from Detroit Sports 105.1 FM's Denny Kapp...

Winging it in Motown...

And myself:

I didn't catch all of the interview as I was waiting at my mom's six-month skin cancer screening, so JJ fills us in on the early parts of the interview on Winging It in Motown:

On the coaching staff

This was the very first topic covered and didn't really get much of an answer other than they're looking for another assistant to go along with the hiring of Tony Granato and that now they're looking for a new video review coach after the news about Keith McKittrick leaving the organization hit yesterday. Holland had nothing but nice things to say about the guys leaving and about their reasons for doing so.

On missing out on targeted players on July 1st

Holland starts out with quite a bit of info about this and touches on the concepts multiple times, but he goes a couple different routes in at least partially explaining  why it happened, defending against speculation, and explaining what it means for the team going forward. First, he points out that the team was looking for a very specific set of abilities in a player and that's a fairly popular one. He explained that he could have gone and gotten a right-shooting defenseman, but they were specifically targeting one that he'd feel comfortable playing in the top four, on the power play and the penalty kill.

He doesn't really name any names, but Holland boils down the "miss" in free agency to a very small group of targeted players: 3-4, he said. Based on what we've learned, Niskanen and Robidas fit the bill of the top-four all-around right-shooters while Boyle probably makes enough of a difference at ES and PP that the PK issue wasn't a big enough deal to knock him out of contention.

JJ continues...

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Comments

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I found it very interesting that Holland emphasized twice that “Cleary can talk”. He almost made it sound like the fact that Cleary is fairly outspoken is now practically his greatest asset (made it sound like the rest of the team—and especially the veteran leadership group is so comparatively quiet that it leaves a vacuum). Of course if Cleary is too hurt to play and actually be in the room, you’d think that would minimize his influence—we’ll see.

At least he didn’t get into again making the argument that signings like Cleary, this year and last, and Samuelsson, Bertuzzi, Tootoo, both Eaves and Miller etc, etc. actually show how committed he is to the kids, because it was all part of a plan to insulate them and bring them up at the exact right moment of seasoning (not at all because the vets broke down from injuries or proved over half a season + that they could no longer contribute.)

He also said there were basically only 3-4 guys (right D) who were worth signing and the rest were all 6-7 D, no better than the four kids in Grand Rapids (who can fill that role). Not sure how they were going to fill that role, a) post-Quincey signing and b) more to the point, when Holland had already said he really preferred them all playing in GR for another year anyway.

I guess that means Tom Gilbert is a #4 D in Montreal, but only a # 6/7 in Detroit. And I’m still not clear on whether Stralman simply didn’t want to come to Detroit at all, or if it was also a matter of Detroit not offering the 5th year and not matching Ryan Callahan et al’s recruitment of Stralman?

Posted by Lefty30 on 07/29/14 at 10:07 PM 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.