Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Ken Holland's Influence On The Detroit Red Wings

10/18/2019 at 4:52pm EDT

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,

Ken Holland may have moved on from the Detroit Red Wings when it became clear that Steve Yzerman’s time had come in Motown. His influence still runs deep through the Detroit organization, however.

It starts with Detroit GM Yzerman, who stepped off the ice as a lifetime Red Wing to learn at the feet of the GM who likely knew before anyone that the day would come when he’d be stepping aside for Yzerman.

Today Yzerman presides over a hockey department that has nothing but ties to Holland, with names like Pat Verbeek, Shawn Horcoff, Jiri Fischer, Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, Dan Cleary all working in some capacity for the Red Wings. Each of those former players has a piece of Holland in their front office game, a foundation on which the new, post-Holland Red Wings will be built.

"I’m a big believer in what Ken Holland is," said Kris Draper, the Director of Amateur Scouting for Detroit, a 17-year Red Wings player. "Ken Holland believes in culture, and creating a winning attitude within that culture. Then, when you start getting superstars buying into that culture — the McDavids, the Draisaitls, the Yzermans, the Lidstroms — and you plug third- and fourth-line guys come into a team where there is that culture and work ethic (coming down) from the top…

"That’s where you become a great team."


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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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