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Audio- Not The Best Day For Ken Holland

Instead of me giving you the highlights of the Ken Holland interview on Detroit Sports 105.1, just listen, it is not your normal Ken Holland interview.

Thanks to Tom Mazawey and Matt Dery of 105.1 for the audio.

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Jc_1978's avatar

It was a REAL interview, no softballs. Matt did a great job of asking what every fan wants to know! Where’s Nyquist and other “kids”? Holland says he needs men but those “boyz” are the guys that can help while the old and slow ride the pine. Nyquist can play on any of the top 3 lines and add instant speed and scoring ability. Above and beyond what Cleary, Samuelsson, Franzen, Bertuzzi can. He’s also good on shootouts, which is an area the Wings have lacked so far this season. (I hate shootouts but if you can get the extra point take it!)

Posted by Jc_1978 on 11/20/13 at 02:18 PM ET

Primis's avatar

OK I had to stop listening at the 6:00-ish mark.

Holland said “This is a men’s league…  Kids are not the answer”.

And to be honest it makes it very hard for me to give much weight to anything else he says.

Jurco yes he’s a kid I guess… but that Nyquist and Tatar are still “kids” in Holland’s eyes kinda’ highlights the entire problem going on here.  I don’t think Holland resides in the same reality as the rest of us sometimes.

Nice to know that the “men” like Cleary and Samuelsson are preferred, even though there’s not a single metric that shows they’re being successful or productive.

I’m just mad after listening to that.

Posted by Primis on 11/20/13 at 02:25 PM ET

Colquhoun's avatar

Personally I am tired of the “other teams have the same problem” and “one player will not make a difference” mantras.  Neither is an excuse for doing nothing.

Perhaps wheels are in motion.  One would think, though that if it were so there would be some type of subtle indication.  The fan base certainly needs it.  The poor folks who plunk down their cash to go to these games certainly deserve it.

Posted by Colquhoun on 11/20/13 at 02:27 PM ET


His answers are a joke.  It’s not about a savior for the team it’s about playing guys who deserve to play over veterans.  Too many veterans on this team don’t feel any pressure or heat because they know they have a contract for life and will never be held accountable.  Signing and playing guys like Samuelsson and Cleary while guys more deserving like Nyquist are stuck in Grand Rapids is only because of poor cap management and too much loyalty to veterans

Posted by bababooey on 11/20/13 at 02:29 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Where is this “Nyquist is the answer” BS coming from? That answer to a question is just a political spin type of answer. We all know that Nyquist isn’t the answer. It’s about putting the best team on the ice with the best chance to win every game. Not having Nyquist on the roster and playing while the likes of Samuelsson are on the roster and playing is not giving your team the best chance to win. KH knows it too, he’s just going to spin it so as to bide time until the contract expires on his poor-ass signing.

Then he tries to spin it with (paraphrase) “last time I looked, if the playoffs started today, we would be in” BS. Not that long ago it was about winning the cup; having a team with the quality to win a cup; playing the way cup winning teams play; not just making the playoffs. The way this team is playing right now, they only get 4 extra games: swept right out of the playoffs. Playoffs. Like that is a real accomplishment or something.

Posted by SnLO from the binary digisphere on 11/20/13 at 02:39 PM ET

Jc_1978's avatar

Holland made an argument that Nyquist to “score the # of goals he’s scoring has to be on the power play” I looked it up.. Nyquist has 1 PP goal.. 6 even strength goals. I’m not saying he’s the next coming of Gretzky but he has to be better than Samuelsson, Tootoo, Cleary, and yes BERTUZZI! Frazen is fine when he decides to play but he’s like Randy Moss all the talent in the world but takes plays/games off.

Posted by Jc_1978 on 11/20/13 at 02:39 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Is adding one more similar player to the roster in the form of Nyquist, and benching a Samuelsson or Cleary, going to transform the Wings into a new team?

Posted by some kid on 11/20/13 at 01:33 PM ET

And yet while “kids” aren’t the answer, out of the other side of his mouth Holland has DeKeyser, Kindl, Smith, and Lashoff playing on defense?

Which is it, Kenny?  Do you play the kids or not?  You couldn’t dare go get a vet d-man in trade so the kids could play on defense, yet you claim kids can’t play at forward because it’s a “mens’ ” league?

Posted by Primis on 11/20/13 at 02:40 PM ET

MoreShoot's avatar

Nice to know that the “men” like Cleary and Samuelsson are preferred, even though there’s not a single metric that shows they’re being successful or productive.

He also said at the end of the interview, essentially, some folks have not performed (i.e., Buckets / Sammy) and that’s on me.  He knows they suck, and maybe regrets the signings, but the cap guarantees they aren’t going anywhere.  If Gus comes up, it’s for less than 2 games.

Posted by MoreShoot on 11/20/13 at 02:40 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Even more telling, KH starts with talking about needing to score more goals, then he transitions to needing to play better defensively. What he’s really saying is either or both that he’s assembled a team that can’t score and can’t stop opponents from scoring and / or he’s got a coach that isn’t coaching winning hockey.

Posted by SnLO from the binary digisphere on 11/20/13 at 02:42 PM ET

Jc_1978's avatar

From Helene St James via twitter #RedWings calling up Trevor Parkes today to create cap space, will flip him with Gustav Nyquist Thursday for Carolina game.

Posted by Jc_1978 on 11/20/13 at 02:44 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

yet you claim kids can’t play at forward because it’s a “mens’ ” league?

on a team with no secondary scoring…. who was that 3rd line last year again…

Posted by SnLO from the binary digisphere on 11/20/13 at 02:46 PM ET


He didn’t rag on Nyquist and said he’d be someone to call up, but that Nyquist and Tatar will provide similar contributions to the Wings at the beginning of their pro career.

Well, wouldn’t it be horrible to have another guy like Tatar on the roster?

Datsyuk and Zetterberg provide similar contributions to one another, why does he have both of them on the roster?

Looking at Tatar’s stats—http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8475193
Is adding one more similar player to the roster in the form of Nyquist

Looking at Tatar’s stats, he has as many points as Cleary and Samuelsson together.  So yes.

Watching Tatar play, yes.  Sweet baby Jesus, yes!

and benching a Samuelsson or Cleary, going to transform the Wings into a new team?

Maybe.  Who knows?  But why not give it a go, since not benching Cleary and Samuelsson hasn’t worked.

Kids are not the answer

See you in 2021, Anthony Mantha…

If the playoffs started, we’re in the playoffs

And there’s your answer.

Posted by Garth on 11/20/13 at 02:48 PM ET


I felt he was downplaying Nyquist to protect him. If Gus comes up and doesn’t score for a few games he doesn’t want the “savior” lablel placed on him. And he is right that he needs the whole to to step up to change things, not one 24 year od rookie. But I still want Gus up.

I also think he was never going t throw Cleary or Sammy under the bus in any interview. He can’t afford to be a GM who doesn’t stand behind his players when they are sucking. You can never be a GM who does that stuff. So it was BS but what do you expect.

His “mens league” thing bothered me a little. He could have stated that a bit differently. I get challenging the kids in the AHL to work hard and not to expect the NHL to be easy just because you were good in the minors. But he just sounded like and ass talking about that stuff. He should also be challenging the vets to produce or they will give the kids a shot. It should go both ways. I think a few players (Franzen, Quincey) could benefiot from knowing their spots might e given up to someone wiling to work harder for them.

Posted by lancer on 11/20/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Jc_1978's avatar

Do I need to make a list of “kids” under 24 in the NHL with more goals/points than Samuelsson, Cleary, and the alike? The list would make you sick! Brandon Saad, prime example.. 6 goals 8 assist and he just turned 21 years old!

Posted by Jc_1978 on 11/20/13 at 02:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

The real question is, once Nyquist does get called up and nothing changes. What do we hate on next?

Posted by some kid on 11/20/13 at 01:45 PM ET

I think you’re not understanding why some people want Nyquist up.

It’s not to save the team.  It’s to continue to develop him, properly… because it’s not like it’s tinkering with success or anything at this point.  If you’re going to lose a bunch, can’t you at least do it developing some young guys instead of wasting games on old, broken guys who have no upside and yet still don’t contribute.

I’m sure some nutbags out think think Nyquist CAN save the team but… I’m sure Kyle Quincey has fans as well.

Posted by Primis on 11/20/13 at 02:52 PM ET

Jc_1978's avatar

Don’t get me started on Quincey… I don’t even think he should be in the NHL let alone on the Wings. He’s a liability on D every time he takes a shift. AWFUL! I’d rather see a 18 yr old zit faced rookie than him skate and let up scoring opportunities he lets by him on a nightly basis.

Posted by Jc_1978 on 11/20/13 at 02:53 PM ET


We’re not talking about bringing Jurco up for the entire season, we’re talking about giving him a cup of coffee (1-2 games until Weiss is ready) for the tremendous growth he has shown on both sides of the puck in the past 11 months.  Or Ferraro, who needs a cup of coffee since he’s out of options next year.

Posted by jkm2011 on 11/20/13 at 02:53 PM ET


Where is this “Nyquist is the answer” BS coming from?

Posted by SnLO from the sub great-white north on 11/20/13 at 01:39 PM ET

I agree. It is totally oversimplified. Like the fans expect that bringing one player is going to take the team from winning to losing. NO! Nobody expects that. But it is a convenient excuse or line of reasoning for Holland to spew.

I repeat: No one expects Nyquist to be the sole reason the team starts winning. BUT what we as fans are asking for is for Kenny to put the best roster on the ice! Nyquist is an upgrade over several of our current bottom-six guys.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 11/20/13 at 02:57 PM ET


The real question is, once Nyquist does get called up and nothing changes. What do we hate on next?

Another “straw man” argument.  No one has said that Nyquist is the difference between a Stanley Cup and being an also ran, what people are saying is that the ONLY reason Nyquist is in Grand Rapids is because the GM and coach have a fondness for old decaying veterans and put their sentimental feelings ahead of the team’s short term and long term success.  Nyquist is an NHL player, he deserves to play in the NHL.  Both the GM and coach espouse the idea that the veterans have to be outplayed by the younger players, they have.  So again even the casual fan can observe that Nyquist being stuck in Grand Rapids is so that Kenny Holland and Mike Babcock don’t have to make the difficult decisions needed to ice the best hockey team.

Posted by bababooey on 11/20/13 at 03:01 PM ET


So you must have been equally baffled when they gave Sheahan a game last year to show him he wasn’t ready and needed to work harder.

So you must have been equally baffled when they gave Dekeyser a game last year to show him he wasn’t ready ... oops.

We are talking about 1 freaking game here.  The east is so bad they can afford one game in the middle of November. 

Getting pushed around and beaten to the puck would be a good learning experience.  That is how you develop players.  Show them how much work they STILL have to do to be successful at the next level, not let them dominate other “kids” for years, ala Brendan Smith.

Posted by jkm2011 on 11/20/13 at 03:24 PM ET


When people talk about Nyquist I get it and he’s being screwed right now by being stuck in the AHL. But when I hear Jurco and Jarnkrok’s names thrown around I’m honestly baffled.

I agree on that.  I don’t think Jurco is the answer on offense or Sproul is the answer on defense.  I do think that there are people who are exasperated with the Nyquist situation and are grasping at other possibilities.  Like, if they’re not going to bring Nyquist up until they can keep him up because of his waiver status, then why not bring up another offensive player.  And I totally get it too.  It does baffle me that, when a top-six forward (ie. Weiss, Alfredsson) gets hurt and they bring up a grinder to replace him (ie. Glendening) rather than someone who has (or is developing) a similar skill set.

I understand why they love Glendening, particularly when Helm was still hurt, but on a team that already has enough bottom six forwards and not enough top six forwards it doesn’t make sense to call up another bottom sixer when a top sixer gets hurt, unless it is strictly for cap reasons (ie. the emergency call-up)

We all probably want Nyquist up for the whole season, but if you’re bringing up guys for a couple games, why not Jurco or Jarnkrok.  They didn’t have any issues bring up “kids” on defense (Ouellet being 20 years old and Almqvist being 22), even though defensemen supposedly mature slower than forwards.

Posted by Garth on 11/20/13 at 04:21 PM ET


Garth - well spoken. You crystallized my thoughts precisely. I brought up the prospect of bringing up Jarnkrok instead of Glendening and got blasted by one person like it was so unrealistic. I wasn’t able to communicate my thoughts as well as you.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 11/20/13 at 04:26 PM ET


Right on, Garth.  I think getting pushed around showed Almquist that he still has a lot of work to do if he wants to be the 7th d-man on the Wings next year.  They don’t need Jarnkrok now, because they don’t need a center. 

1-2 games for Jurco (or Ferraro if you want more defensively responsible speed who at 22 years old instead of 20 is closer to the “man” KH seeks and has conveniently been lost in the discussion) wouldn’t hurt.

Posted by jkm2011 on 11/20/13 at 04:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I agree that Jarnkrok and Jurco and some others aren’t necessarily ready.

However, I think that also speaks to where Wings fans are at.  If your fanbase is crying for unproven kids over underwhelming vets amid a bad losing streak, it means you really have screwed up.  And Ken Holland has screwed up.

While for cap and competitive reasons I can see not wanting a Jarnkrok or Jurco up… the concept that they can’t be any worse than say Cleary and Samuelsson isn’t exactly WRONG either.

Posted by Primis on 11/20/13 at 05:20 PM ET


Someone better tell the Bowman family in Chicago what idiots they are for playing boys in a “man’s” league like the NHL.  Maybe if they follow Holland’s advice and re-sign more washed up veterans they may have a chance at a Stanley Cup finally…..

Posted by bababooey on 11/20/13 at 05:52 PM ET


No offense, Vito, but the problem was you said bring up Jarnkrok with no context or explanation as to how he would actually fit into the Wings roster right now without stunting his development.

Posted by some kid on 11/20/13 at 03:46 PM ET

The point I was trying to make before is that I’d rather see a guy like Jarnkrok get the 4th line minutes rather than Glendening is that Jarnkrok has a lot more talent and is responsible on both ends. Gives potentially the most bang for the buck and adds a scoring element to the fourth line where Glendening doesn’t. That was my point. I don’t think there is a big slant toward risk in the risk-reward of turning him loose on the fourth line against the other team’s bottom six. I’d like to see him get that chance over Glendening who is basically a guy who is here to not make mistakes. We have too many bottom-six guys already. Garth’s point about replacing guys who are scorers with guys who are scorers is along the lines of what I was thinking.

Anyways, your points are well articulated and I think you are spot on with the statement about Cleary knowing where to be and how to play the system and understanding where the play is going to go yet not having the wheels/talent anymore to do anything about it vs. a young guy having the converse of that. I also agree that the young guys get good experience at training camp in that regard.

What I disagree on is this: giving Jarnkrok 8-10 minutes a game for a few games on the 4th line (especially if he can be paired with another guy with some talent - a la Nyquist or Tatar and let’s say Abdelkader) isn’t going to hinder his development. I would argue that it would serve more to help it, for the reason of him getting a chance to play in a real game against real opponents (rather than a training camp roster that includes guys playing in the QMJHL, AHL, ECHL, and some NHLers who are playing exhibition games). Real game experience will serve as a lesson of how the game is played in the big leagues. At the same time, those minutes boost the Wings’ scoring potential and lastly, the risk is limited as long as Babcock can limit the time against the top-six.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 11/20/13 at 06:04 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

Too many veterans on this team don’t feel any pressure or heat because they know they have a contract for life and will never be held accountable.

Why would any veteran think this… we’ve already waived two veterans… and the front office has made it clear they will bring up Nyquist for good this year, so a third veteran still has to go.

Drew Miller is certainly feeling plenty of “pressure” and “heat,” and so are the rest.


Posted by alwaysaurie on 11/20/13 at 07:01 PM ET


Why would any veteran think this…

Because of two things:

1) there are only so many spots in Grand Rapids and if you have too many vets eating up minutes then you’re going to *#$%@& up the development of your prospects
2) if you just waive veteran after veteran, all willy nilly, then you’re going to get a bad reputation among the players and it’s going to bad harder and harder to attract free agents.

And how exactly are Cleary and Samuelsson feeling pressure?  Cleary keeps failing upwards in the lineup and Sammy is getting into the lineup regularly too.

Posted by Garth on 11/20/13 at 09:18 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.


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