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You can’t land the big fish every time, or something like that

Via RedWingsFeed, Ken Holland mentioned this yesterday during the Doan talk and it was mentioned again during the overnight report, but I suppose it’s owed first billing. Holland was asked whether the Red Wings are no longer at the top of free agents’ lists given that Ryan Suter and Zach Parise signed elsewhere, and he “defended Hockeytown” as follows while speaking to MLive’s Phillip Zaroo:

“I don’t,” Holland said, when asked if he thought perception of the team has changed, “because I field calls. We might not always be No. 1, but we are one of two teams that Ryan Suter met with.”

Even if the Red Wings could have matched the Wild’s offers, it wasn’t something they would’ve necessarily done because such sizable deals handcuff an organization for future moves.

“Once you make those types of decisions you’re out of the game for a decade,” he said. “We’re not going to have major announcements this year, next year and the year after. The league doesn’t work like that. I’m confident that at some point in time, and it might be next year, that the history, the tradition, the commitment of our ownership and the passion of the Red Wing fans is going to all add up to us bringing a player of significance here.”

But it’s not for a lack of trying on the Wings’ part. Hell, even as the Chief pointed out, I can tell you for a fact that when Holland was up here at the summer development camp, he was working his Blackberry on an incredibly regular basis, as were Jim Nill, Ryan Martin and even Mike Babcock. It’s not as if the Wings have just thrown up their hands and bought into the underwhelming, “We like the team that we have” line that Holland is selling the digital sound recorder-wielding types (for this week, that means, “Like me”). No, the Wings didn’t land the big fish, and no, the Wings may not end up adding much more than a veteran defenseman and/or a goal-scoring winger before the season begins, but my goodness, it is not for a lack of trying, and it’s not as if Holland’s phone never rang, either—there was a good 50-50 split when it came to initiating or responding to inquiries.

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Comments

Wings_in_NYC's avatar

I completely agree that a team shouldn’t overpay for players thus putting a monkey wrench in any future plans. That being said, I sure hope Kenny doesn’t just stand pat for the rest of the summer. Losing Lids and Stuart and not one D-man has been signed. He’s gotta do something. It won’t be earth shattering, but there is a big hole there.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 07/12/12 at 04:48 PM ET

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I agree with both you and the Chief, even if I’m not a fan of “Let’s all turn into Kenny apologists” (which by the way is much better than “Kill Kenny with a shovel”, like the Chief mentioned).

You can’t always land the big fish, but we’ve been fishing for goldfish for sometime. Holland was great in ‘08 signing Rafalski right off the bat and then getting Stu at the deadline, but what has he done since then?

Going with the fishing analogy, Hossa was basically a shark who jumped into Kenny’s boat. Then Kenny preferred to keep a tuna over the shark.

I’m sorry, but impact players are going out, and all we’re getting back is retreads and reclamation projects. Bertuzzi back, Jason Williams back, Samuelsson back, Hudler back (different situation, but still), and in comes Commodore to be traded for Quincey along with a 1st pick.

That’s not to say Holland, Nill, Martin and company aren’t working late 375 days a year, just that we’re not seeing results.

Posted by Herm from the office on 07/12/12 at 05:45 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Selanne signs with Ducks again for $4.5M.

No one else was in the running.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/12/12 at 05:53 PM ET

RWBill's avatar


I completely agree that a team shouldn’t overpay for players thus putting a monkey wrench in any future plans. That being said, I sure hope Kenny doesn’t just stand pat for the rest of the summer. He’s gotta do something.

Posted by Wings_in_NYC on 07/12/12 at 03:48 PM ET

Well, there’s the rub.  Gotta do something, but few options.  That means pay above Normal value or hope on developing existing and upcoming talent.  Paying just over $3M to extend out Ericsson in the winged wheel was widely lambasted, but does not look like overpayment this summer.  When he returned late last season the PK became very good.  Quincey will likely be paid higher than Big E.

The Wings are in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation, especially if they don’t, and lose the first game of the season, wow the feeding frenzy for early October will be unprecedented.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with Super Creepy Rob Lowe. on 07/12/12 at 06:02 PM ET

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It’s funny that we all sit and complain that (a) Holland hasn’t brought in enough FAs, which means our youngsters will get more ice time, AND (b) Holland doesn’t give our youngsters enough ice time, which slows their development. At some point, we have to let our prospects get real NHL experience, not just a game or two early or late in the season. We can’t always hope that some FA savior will come along. In a crazy cap-fuched marketplace, we need to develop our own stars.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 07/12/12 at 06:12 PM ET

SYF's avatar

It’s funny that we all sit and complain that (a) Holland hasn’t brought in enough FAs, which means our youngsters will get more ice time, AND (b) Holland doesn’t give our youngsters enough ice time, which slows their development. At some point, we have to let our prospects get real NHL experience, not just a game or two early or late in the season. We can’t always hope that some FA savior will come along. In a crazy cap-fuched marketplace, we need to develop our own stars.

Posted by Seaner from San Jose on 07/12/12 at 05:12 PM ET

+19.

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 07/12/12 at 06:16 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

I agree with both you and the Chief, even if I’m not a fan of “Let’s all turn into Kenny apologists” (which by the way is much better than “Kill Kenny with a shovel”, like the Chief mentioned).

Am I a Kenny apologist or do I want to kill him with a shovel, Herm? I don’t remember.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/12/12 at 07:26 PM ET

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At some point, we have to let our prospects get real NHL experience, not just a game or two early or late in the season.

OK, but right now we have like 15 bottom-six forwards.  Whether we get an actual top-six forward to play in the top six or keep what we have, it doesn’t mean any prospects are going to be getting more time (nevermind that we’re going to have at least two new prospects getting everyday roles on the team this year).

And frankly, it’s hard to take “we don’t want to jeopardize our future by overpaying” seriously considering that Detroit is almost at the roster limit, yet also nearly a million dollars below the floor.

Posted by Garth on 07/12/12 at 08:28 PM ET

Guilherme's avatar

Am I a Kenny apologist or do I want to kill him with a shovel, Herm? I don’t remember.

You were waiting on his porch with a shovel untiel the last few posts. raspberry

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 07/12/12 at 08:48 PM ET

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Rafalski, Modano, and Hatcher were players that came to Detroit for family considerations (can someone tell Drew’s brother about how that works). Stuart left for the same reason. Suter and Parise were similarly influenced. Holland shouldn’t get credit or blame for those types of decisions.

However, you can blame him for putting all your eggs in one basket and missing out while those players decided this year. And you can argue that he is doing it again with Doan (though he very well could be working the phones for Semin, Ryan, Weber, and Ryan—I am not claiming inside knowledge).

People are right to say that next years scheduled UFA’s are better than this year’s (Perry, Weber, and Iginla are better than Parise/Semin, Suter, and Doan respectively). But the Wings should also remember just because they have the cap space doesn’t mean they will get those players. There’s no easy answers—that’s why Holland makes the $$$ he does. I personally would rather have him go after Semin (Detroit’s been good with reclamation projects) and save the trading chips to make a run at Weber (than Yandle if it didn’t pan out). The other reason why is the age of Dats and Z—why wait another year for surrounding pieces.

Posted by dca from Ann Arbor on 07/12/12 at 08:48 PM ET

babymachine's avatar

I don’t think anyone is to blame, really.

Holland and Co. are doing the best they can. I just hope we DO add a high scoring winger and a veteran d-man before camp starts, because i don’t think it’s a given.

Posted by babymachine from Portland, Oregon by way of Macomb, Michigan on 07/12/12 at 08:52 PM ET

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because i don’t think it’s a given.

The only real consolation about the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is the fact that as they stand right now the Red Wings don’t have enough defensemen, have too many forwards and are below the max roster and the cap floor.  So at the very least, we know that something WILL happen.

Now, whether it’s Ryan/Doan/Semin/Nash and Yandle/Bouwmeester or Kyle Wellwood and Brett Lebda is the real question.

Posted by Garth on 07/12/12 at 08:59 PM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

You were waiting on his porch with a shovel untiel the last few posts.

True

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 07/12/12 at 09:12 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.