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Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells NHL.com’s Hedger that he’ll move cautiously at the trade deadline

Updated w/ Datsyuk/Howard talk at 1:10 PM: NHL.com's Brian Hedger told the Twitter world that he engaged in an expansive interview with Red Wings GM Ken Holland last night, and it involves Holland's take on possibly making trades given that the team's enduring what truly is a "rebuilding year." Sometimes you have to start at the end, so here's the end, and I highly suggest that you go back and read the rest of Hedger's article:

"We've got a younger team and we're trying to rebuild it," Holland said. "We have to decide if now's the time … are we a playoff team, and not only that but is now the time to do something or should we continue letting the kids go? We've probably got better depth than we thought we did when the season started, and the [young players] are going to get better. So we're going to continue to evaluate."

If the right deal materializes, look for Holland to pull the trigger. If not, he can be content standing pat.

"Trades, to me, can't be forced," Holland said. "Trades happen because two sides each get something they want. Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit. Somebody else has to have a need. It's a responsibility to work the phone and see what's available, but part of our deadline moves will be internal. We hope to get some of our injured people back."

Continued

Update: Make it a two-parter. Hedger also spoke to Holland about the futures of Pavel Datsyuk and Jimmy Howard:

Some believe the 34-year old Datsyuk might want to return to Russia and finish his career playing in the Kontinental Hockey League after his contract with the Red Wings runs out following the 2013-14 season. Datsyuk, who makes $6.7 million a year and will turn 35 on July 20, played in the KHL for CSKA Moscow during the lockout. He appeared to enjoy the experience greatly, which helped spark some of the speculation about where he'll play on his next contract. Holland, however, said he will likely wait until the end of this season to address the situation.

"Obviously, I've heard the rumors," Holland told NHL.com. "I have not had any real conversation with [Datsyuk] or his agent, Gary Greenstein. Gary lives in California and I just saw him the other day. Basically we're going to sit down at the conclusion of this season, before Pav goes home. I don't know what will come out of it."

Red Wings fans are hoping a new contract is generated, and Holland also hopes that's the case. He just doesn't know if it's likely to happen at the moment.

"We'll talk before he goes home sometime in June, but anything beyond that is speculation and rumors," Holland said. "Nobody's told me anything. They haven't told me they're staying or going. I haven't asked either. We hope he wants to stay, but I'm certainly aware there's a professional league in Russia and they pay their players well. Beyond that, I don't know."

...

"It's going to take a while until we know anything [about Datsyuk's future]," Holland said. "And with the new [Collective Bargaining Agreement], we can't sign an extension until after [July 5]. We can talk, but can't do anything anyway."

It's a different situation with Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5 if he and Holland can't reach an agreement on a contract extension before June 25 -- the date that pending UFAs can begin meeting with potential new teams. Holland said he plans to reach a deal to keep the 29-year-old Howard in the Motor City.

"Hopefully between now and June 25 we'll get Jimmy Howard signed to a contract," Holland said. "Jimmy Howard is the No. 1 guy we want to build around and he now has three years of playoff experience."

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Comments

IwoCPO's avatar

“Trades, to me, can’t be forced,” Holland said. “Trades happen because two sides each get something they want. Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit. Somebody else has to have a need. It’s a responsibility to work the phone and see what’s available, but part of our deadline moves will be internal. We hope to get some of our injured people back.”

Shocking.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/29/13 at 12:55 PM ET

DrewBehr's avatar

Has he ever said anything different at any trade deadline ever?

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 03/29/13 at 12:55 PM ET

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The problem with waiting for people to come back is that the only one coming back is Sammy. And hopefully there isn’t a while lot of interest in having him.

Posted by teldar on 03/29/13 at 01:00 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

He’s the George McClellan of the NHL

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/29/13 at 01:01 PM ET

LivinLaVidaLockout's avatar

I like our team.

Posted by LivinLaVidaLockout on 03/29/13 at 01:08 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Red Wings GM Ken Holland tells NHL.com’s Hedger that he’ll move cautiously at the trade deadline

And the Internet will explode in 10,9,8,7, ...

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 03/29/13 at 01:12 PM ET

DrD's avatar

Dear Kenny,

Please make this trade: the guys on that other team that I ilke, for the guys I don’t like on The Red Wings and if that other GM doesn’t like the deal, please force him to take it anyway, because that’s the way making trades in The NHL works in my mind, so that’s the way it should work in reality too.

Signed, hlaf the guys who post stuff here.

Posted by DrD on 03/29/13 at 01:17 PM ET

Avatar

Dear Kenny,

Please make this trade: the guys on that other team that I ilke, for the guys I don’t like on The Red Wings and if that other GM doesn’t like the deal, please force him to take it anyway, because that’s the way making trades in The NHL works in my mind, so that’s the way it should work in reality too.

Signed, hlaf the guys who post stuff here.

Posted by One Of The A$$holes Who Doesn’t Pay Attention Before He Decides To Condescend on 03/29/13 at 01:17 PM ET

Posted by Garth on 03/29/13 at 01:24 PM ET

Avatar

There’s so much about that interview that makes me uncomfortable.

Even if you think you have a need and want to do it, there has to be a fit.

I’m wondering if Holland’s really sure these days what constitutes being a “fit” for this team.  The moves the past few years seem less about winning the Cup and more about making the playoffs.  It’s nice that if you get in the playoffs “anything can happen” but I don’t see that as a realistic way to design your team to win the whole thing.

So many people like to point to what the Kings did last year as a reason why just getting in the playoffs gives you a chance.  What they seem to forget is that the Kings were a preseason pick by several people to do well last year, and even win the Cup by a few.  They just got off to a rough start, and dragged through the regular season.  Almost no one picked the Wings to do anything this year, even if they made the playoffs.  They are not this years Kings.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 03/29/13 at 01:24 PM ET

Avatar

Dear Kenny,

Please make this trade: the guys on that other team that I ilke, for the guys I don’t like on The Red Wings and if that other GM doesn’t like the deal, please force him to take it anyway, because that’s the way making trades in The NHL works in my mind, so that’s the way it should work in reality too.

Signed, hlaf the guys who post stuff here.

Nice strawman argument,  tell me, what time does the Ken Holland circle jerk start?  This is about a GM who for the last 4 years has sat on his hands and not made any moves to make his team better.  He has allowed his top 3 defensemen move on or out for nothing, not gotten a top 6 forward to play with Datsyuk, and when he does make a move it’s to overpay for an ex-Wing.  Even this youth movement is an accident, he had every intention of allowing guys to “over ripen” in Grand Rapids if not for all the injuries.  He has not shown an ability to be proactive and is much too conservative.  Unless you’re an ex-Red Wing, you are not on the radar.  Fans are getting frustrated, they’re the ones that pay their bills, time for Holland to earn his paycheck.

Posted by bababooey on 03/29/13 at 01:46 PM ET

SYF's avatar

“We’ll talk before he goes home sometime in June, but anything beyond that is speculation and rumors,” Holland said.

Wait, what?

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 03/29/13 at 01:48 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

what time does the Ken Holland circle jerk start?  This is about a GM who for the last 4 years has sat on his hands and not made any moves to make his team better.  He has allowed his top 3 defensemen move on or out for nothing, not gotten a top 6 forward to play with Datsyuk, and when he does make a move it’s to overpay for an ex-Wing.  Even this youth movement is an accident, he had every intention of allowing guys to “over ripen” in Grand Rapids if not for all the injuries.  He has not shown an ability to be proactive and is much too conservative.  Unless you’re an ex-Red Wing, you are not on the radar.  Fans are getting frustrated, they’re the ones that pay their bills, time for Holland to earn his paycheck.

Nobody can argue with a single word of that. Not a word.  Lidstrom’s final years were wasted.  Datsyuk’s are being wasted.  Zetterberg, an “old 32”? His years are being wasted.  They’re playing with Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller.  Crosby’s playing with Kunitz.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 03/29/13 at 01:49 PM ET

CaptainDennisPolonich's avatar

There’s so much about that interview that makes me uncomfortable.

Posted by Valek on 03/29/13 at 01:24 PM ET

It’s like Kenny has a picture of Uwe Krupp dog sledding hanging on the wall across from his desk.

Posted by bababooey on 03/29/13 at 01:46 PM ET

Please don’t feed the trolls.

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from The Land of Fake Boobs and Real Nuts on 03/29/13 at 01:49 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Anyone else have a growing sense of dread?  Wings or elsewhere, I’m ready for a Dekeyser Soze update…

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/29/13 at 02:16 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

...but part of our deadline moves will be internal. We hope to get some of our injured people back.”

NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/29/13 at 02:16 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

I really hope we don’t miss out on Dekeyser on the very day Verlander signs a new deal.  That would really hurt my belief that the Wings are not being ignored in favor of the tiggers.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/29/13 at 02:17 PM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Nice strawman argument,  tell me, what time does the Ken Holland circle jerk start?  This is about a GM who for the last 4 years has sat on his hands and not made any moves to make his team better.  He has allowed his top 3 defensemen move on or out for nothing, not gotten a top 6 forward to play with Datsyuk, and when he does make a move it’s to overpay for an ex-Wing.  Even this youth movement is an accident, he had every intention of allowing guys to “over ripen” in Grand Rapids if not for all the injuries.  He has not shown an ability to be proactive and is much too conservative.  Unless you’re an ex-Red Wing, you are not on the radar.  Fans are getting frustrated, they’re the ones that pay their bills, time for Holland to earn his paycheck.
Posted by bababooey on 03/29/13 at 01:46 PM ET

That is by far the best post I’ve read about Tick Tock. I used to really think Holland lived up to his reputation…. not anymore.

Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 03/29/13 at 02:21 PM ET

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Ken Holland can easily get a No. 1 draft pick for Fil, so don’t make excuses that “there’s no trading partner.”  There will be about 12 teams lining up for Fil. 

Hate on Fil all you want, but he has been an excellent No. 2 center come playoff time every season he’s been allowed to play center.  He’s the reason Pavel and Hank played all those years together.  Fil was very, very good in that role after Lang left.  They won a Cup with him centering Franzen and Sammy/Cleary/Hudler.

Posted by jkm2011 on 03/29/13 at 02:23 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Nobody can argue with a single word of that. Not a word.

Dammit, Chief.  Don’t challenge me like that.  You know I have to take you up on that, even though I’m in the position of once again reiterating that I’m agreeing with the idea that Holland deserves criticism.

He has allowed his top 3 defensemen move on or out for nothing

I know a 7th round pick isn’t very much, but it’s not nothing. Also, you can’t get value from a retiring guy. Unless you’re saying they should have traded Lidstrom, in which case I’m saying you should punch yourself in the balls until you cough blood.

Sure, he didn’t plan for that transition well enough, but complaining that he got nothing out of two guys retiring doesn’t make sense.

when he does make a move it’s to overpay for an ex-Wing

Or to re-sign a current Wing.

To my knowledge, Jonas Gustavsson and Jordin Tootoo have never been Red Wings before.

See? He’s perfectly capable of overpaying for guys who aren’t ex-Wings!

 

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/29/13 at 02:34 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

.  He’s the George McClellan of the NHL

Posted by CaptainDennisPolonich from Warm and sunny SoCal on 03/29/13 at 01:01 PM ET

So totally right on. Holland “has a case of the slows.”

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 03/29/13 at 03:52 PM ET

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No he should NOT have traded Lidstrom, but how long has Lidstrom been threatening to retire?  No back up plan?  And the only reason we received a 7th round pick for Stuart was because the Wings were kind enough to allow the Sharks to negotiate ahead of time.

Posted by bababooey on 03/29/13 at 03:53 PM ET

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Craig Patrick was another once-legendary GM who built more than one cup winner and drafted pretty well with off-the-board late picks from Europe.

Last 6 or 7 years in Pittsburgh, seemed like contentment set in for him. Wasn’t dotting the Is, crossing the Ts. Wasn’t aggressive or proactive when he needed to be.

As an outsider, Holland’s sort of reminding me of late era Patrick in the last year or so. Maybe it’s time to shuffle him elsewhere in the org and get some new blood in the GM seat.

Posted by larry on 03/29/13 at 04:07 PM ET

gt500x's avatar

Why hasn’t he talked to Datsyuk about his intentions yet? Why wait? Holland has got to be lying his ass off there.

Posted by gt500x on 03/29/13 at 04:10 PM ET

Avatar

Why hasn’t he talked to Datsyuk about his intentions yet? Why wait? Holland has got to be lying his ass off there.

Posted by gt500x on 03/29/13 at 04:10 PM ET

Holland only has 2 feet.  He can only “kick the tires” on so many things at once.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 03/29/13 at 04:13 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I really hope we don’t miss out on Dekeyser on the very day Verlander signs a new deal.  That would really hurt my belief that the Wings are not being ignored in favor of the tiggers.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 03/29/13 at 02:17 PM ET

I know what you mean even though I’m pretty sure you also know there’s no relation between the two.  Since his $$ amount is fixed it’s up to him to decide based on what’s going through the mind of a 22 year old with the world standing in line at his door.

Reading every coach’s praises of his abilities it sounds like he’ll be a solid NHL defensive oriented defenseman very quickly and worth trying hard to sign.

Posted by RWBill from the open bar on The Hasek. on 03/29/13 at 04:30 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

And the only reason we received a 7th round pick for Stuart was because the Wings were kind enough to allow the Sharks to negotiate ahead of time.

It’s not being nice when you actually get something in return for this.  The Wings could have been kind enough to let the Sharks talk to Stuart before he became a free agent without trading his rights.

how long has Lidstrom been threatening to retire?  No back up plan?

1. I don’t really like to say that Lidstrom was “threatening” to retire, but whatever.

2. Holland had a bad back-up plan to his back-up plan. Not enough levels of planning, but when you say it like he had no backup plan, it erases the fact that Holland did pursue Ryan Suter aggressively and failed to land him.

As far as the backup plan to the backup plan, I don’t like that Holland didn’t land Matt Carle immediately after whiffing on Suter.  I’d be a shitload more angry about that if Matt Carle weren’t being paid $5.5M this season to put up Jakub Kindl’s numbers on the scoresheet with more minutes behind a better offense.

That doesn’t mean I’m not still angry about it (because regardless of Carle’s performance so far, I think Detroit’s defense is better with him).

I’m especially mad to see that Detroit didn’t even bother making a pitch at Alex Semin.

See? There are plenty of things to yell about without having to skip over things to make points.  “Ken Holland didn’t have a backup plan!” is not correct. “Ken Holland had a shitty backup plan” is at least something I can get behind.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/29/13 at 04:30 PM ET

Avatar

Holland had no back up plan, c’mon he went out and signed Coilocacadoodle and overpaid for Quincey at the deadline last year, and a had a hope and a prayer that Ericsson would step up to top 3, that was his plan.  There was no plan for Lashoff to play or in letting the kids play and see what they could do.  Emmerton would have been waived for nothing, Nyquist and Tatar would still be rotting in Grand Rapids if Bertuzzi and Samuelsson were healthy, there was no plan he was winging it nd got lucky, fortunately for all of us it worked out.  Now with the Dekeyser Soze signing let’s see what he does with his access assets, top 6 forward, preferably one with size please.

Posted by bababooey on 03/29/13 at 06:12 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Holland had no back up plan, c’mon he went out and signed Coilocacadoodle and overpaid for Quincey at the deadline last year, and a had a hope and a prayer that Ericsson would step up to top 3, that was his plan.

When did he sign Colaiacovo? What happened prior to that? What was happening when the Quincey trade happened?  Did you ever stop to think that maybe with the Ericsson signing that Holland had a pretty decent idea he had locked up a guy who could do what he’s doing this year?

Hey, you know who hadn’t decided on his future by last year’s trade deadline? Danny DeKeyser.

Also Justin Schultz.

Ken Holland went after the single-best free agent defenseman who was available and he didn’t get him. His plan to replace the best defenseman of his generation fell through because Ken Holland couldn’t ALSO give Zach Parise more money than he’s worth. 

That fuching sucks, but cleaving to the concept that there was NO plan is silly.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 03/29/13 at 07:06 PM ET

NIVO's avatar

I refuse to call Dekeyser “Soze”. I’ll just call him Chuck.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 03/29/13 at 10:12 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.