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Ken Holland talks about his in-progress rebuilding of the Red Wings

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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Dammnit George go put a pole in the water. I don’t want to see my rss feed update from you until next weekend.  grin
enjoy your vacay.

Posted by Rci on 07/29/12 at 03:26 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Will be interesting to see the Wings’ impression of Brunner after he has a camp with NHL’ers, or plays some games in the regular season.  Can he find space on the smaller rink to use his speed, or will it conjure up another Babcock revisit of his playoff quote,

“If you want to play in space go play in a different league, or make your own space.”

Posted by RWBill on 07/29/12 at 05:53 PM ET


The following was posted in comments on MLive yesterday:

Also can’t wait for the following press conference…

-we like our team
-we’ve upgraded in net
-we like what Tootoo brings to the bottom 6
-Sammy helps our PP
-a healthy Cleary is like adding Doan or Semin
-the kids need to play (behing Bert and Sammy, and probably some scrub like Kubina)
-we explored a lot of things, we were involved in a lot of discussions, we made helluva offers to everyone
-our cap space gives us flexibility to explore other things at the deadline, or next years UFA class, or next year’s deadline

It’s a joke. I’ve been trying to warn people for 4 years. We need a new GM.


Posted by Alex on 07/29/12 at 08:05 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Keep MLive at MLive. Kthxbye.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/29/12 at 08:25 PM ET

calquake's avatar

We need a new GM.

We need mature fans.

Posted by calquake from a.k.a. Uniquake, workin' on my manifesto on 07/29/12 at 08:40 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Keep MLive at MLive. Kthxbye.

Posted by mrfluffy from Long Beach on 07/29/12 at 06:25 PM ET


Posted by RWBill on 07/29/12 at 08:41 PM ET


We need mature fans.

That’s the price of success: frontrunning dopes.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 07/29/12 at 09:58 PM ET


‘You don’t replace them that quick so we’re trying to evolve”, really, no kidding.  That’s why Holland should have started three years ago.  I am sorry.  I have yet to read an interview with Holland that attempts to address why Holland waited so / too long to begin reshaping the team.  All the writers rely on access to the organization to earn a living, so they will not be direct.  News is dead.

Posted by Pondrocket from Howell, MI on 07/30/12 at 12:43 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.