Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Did The Game Pass By Ken Holland?

05/07/2019 at 1:28pm EDT

I am about to end the Ken Holland era in Detroit at A2Y, I may post a few more items but the majority of the Edmonton talk will be posted in the KK Hockey section.

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

The knock on Holland, coming almost exclusively from people who haven’t been lucky enough to get to know the man, is that his last few seasons in Detroit are proof that the game has passed him by. So let’s take that on.

Mistake No. 1: There was a lot of loyalty in Detroit to those who helped win four Stanley Cups between 1997 and 2008. In 2013-14 — the last year Johan Franzen was an NHL force; with Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom having retired — the Red Wings should have begun their rebuild.

They did not, because as long as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk were there, Holland felt a responsibility to compete for the playoffs. He shouldn’t have, but that loyalty is what gives the Red Wings one of the top cultures among NHL franchises.

“He treats people right, treats people with respect,” said a Red Wings employee of more than 20 years. “Those players he had signed, he wasn’t just going to move on from them.”

In a perfect world Holland trades Datsyuk and Zetterberg for youth and draft picks. In a perfect world the Blackhawks trade Brent Seabrook, and Boston moves on from Zdeno Chara. The NHL is not a perfect world.

Mistake No. 2: In September of 2014 they broke ground on Little Caesar’s Arena in downtown Detroit. At that time, again, Holland should have gone to his owners, the Illitch family, and told them it was time to rebuild.

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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