The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/20/13 at 03:42 PM ET
SI's Stu Hackel suggests that Red Wings GM Ken Holland's purposefully low-set expectations for his team's 2013 season serve as nothing less than a sterling example of how every team's management and ownership should realistically address their team's personnel issues, using the "Cuppy Cuppy Cuppy" turned every-spring "Woe is us!" phenomenon that is Ted Leonsis as a counter-example...
[O]n January 16, a few days before this short season began, Holland told a gathering of the Detroit Sportscasters Association, "There's the possibility that we might not make the playoffs this year."
His words seemed shocking because Detroit's last failure to reach the postseason occurred in 1990, but they weren't mean to be subterfuge. The fact was that the Red Wings had lost a pair of stalwarts -- the great defenseman, captain, and future Hall of Famer Nick Lidstrom, and one of their heart and soul guys in big winger Tomas Holmstrom -- to retirement. Veteran blueliner Brad Stuart had departed via free agency. A group of young players and new faces was coming in. How was this going to work?
There was much uncertainty and Holland spoke wisely. No sense in creating heightened expectations for a club that had such big holes to fill. Had he promised the fans that his offseason moves and promotions of youngsters from AHL Grand Rapids were guaranteed to get the Wings into the postseason and the team stumbled, the boos filling Joe Louis Arena would have been audible throughout the NHL -- hardly creating a great environment for the players, especially the new ones.
And I'll grant you that most Wings fans would now suggest that the team has indeed exceeded expectations by making the playoffs and beating the Ducks, but after you read the rest of Hackel's article, I'd really like to know whether you think that Hackel's right, or whether Holland's sometimes brutal honesty regarding his take on (usually) standing pat and seeing what his team can do is the right way to go about addressing his management style over the long haul, or whether it just annoys the hell out of you on short-term bases.
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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.