from Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News,
He could’ve chosen the easy path and stayed, accepted the money without the pressure, taken the executive title without the power. And for a week or so, Ken Holland thought about the ring to it — Red Wing for Life, a ceremonial bow on a great career.
That’s what he could’ve done, but at his competitive core, that’s not who he is. Holland has more to do. And in his mind, he has more to prove. I say, good for him, for refusing to be defined by timelines, for wanting to show what he has left, and in some ways, validate what he’s done....
Holland took the brunt of the criticism here, and it stung him. Some of it was overblown revisionism. He was surrounded by so many stars on the ice and in the coach’s office, from Scotty Bowman to Mike Babcock, he was never going to get ample credit.
Some of the criticism was justified. Holland handed out too many bad contracts to marginal veterans, from Justin Abdelkader to Frans Nielsen to Darren Helm to Jonathan Ericsson. You can’t fully judge the moves without acknowledging the motives, and the motive from the Ilitches was to keep making the playoffs, especially as the team moved into Little Caesars Arena. That doesn’t excuse Holland’s mistakes, but it underscores the strategy.