Two things: Holland on training camp competition and Caputo on Yzerman

Of Red Wings-related note this afternoon:

1. The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke with Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the top story lines for the team as training camp begins on Friday…

“This is going to be a competitive camp for a variety of reasons,” general manager Ken Holland said. “We want the young kids to push for a spot on the team. I’m holding a spot on the back end and I’m holding a spot or two, maybe three, up front.

“But they have to earn it. I just can’t throw out a Kiddie Corps out there. I’m hoping some of these kids we have to send back, that they’re ready, and they’re going to be up here as the year wears on.”

Holland also sees plenty of competition among returning veterans.

“There’s internal competition,” Holland said. “We’re in rebuild mode and there’s going to be more opportunity. I’m hoping for young people (to claim some jobs) but if they don’t, the veterans who are here will have to.

“Some of these veterans maybe haven’t been doing these jobs (special teams, scoring lines) and maybe they pick up the responsibility because the kids haven’t grabbed it. We’ll see.”

Kulfan continues

2. And the Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo weighed in regarding what he believes is an inevitability in Steve Yzerman returning to the Red Wings to work as their general manager:

The Lightning were floundering when he took over as GM. He did inherit Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman, first and second overall NHL Draft picks, but made the most of it, finding gems such as free agent Tyler Johnson, and landing one of the league’s great players, Nikita Kucherov, in the second round.

Yzerman has been gutsy, letting a solid goalie, Ben Bishop, depart, while being one of the rare GMs in recent years to lead an organization in identifying a first-round goalie with actual different-making talent in Andrei Vasilevskiy.

My favorite Yzerman move was taking advantage of the Canadiens need for splash moves by trading former third overall pick Jonathan Drouin, who has mostly underachieved, for a potential first-pairing defenseman, who contributed immediately at age 19, Mikhail Sergachev.

Honestly, I didn’t think Yzerman would come back. The Red Wings are in a difficult situation when you compare expectations to reality, while the Lightning are set up to contend for The Cup for a decade. But Yzerman, interestingly, really took over the celebration after the final game at Joe Louis Arena in 2017. It was as if he was “The Captain” again. He spoke so eloquently and from the heart, I told people at the time it looked like he wanted to come back.

Maybe he will. Certainly it’s more of a possibility than it had been.

My best and educated guess is he will.

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

3 thoughts on “Two things: Holland on training camp competition and Caputo on Yzerman”

  1. I do think Yzerman will be back with the wings in 2019. First reason why is Jimmy D is pretty much done with the team. He doesn’t live in Detroit any longer, you don’t see at the games as often and he is the Senior Vice President. He spends most of his time (from what I have read) in FL. He divides his time between Detroit, Toronto, and Sarasota, Florida. That’s a lot of travel for 75 year old man. I can see him retiring very soon (2019?) or becoming an advisor.

    What happens with Holland if Stevie does come back in a GM or other significant managerial role? Who knows? Maybe he takes Jimmy D’s spot. Maybe Holland has had enough too and rather pull strings from a different angle. Or he goes to Seattle.

    Someone will spill the beans about all this before the end of this season. I think most people like Jimmy D are following the NHL rules not to bring any IRIE down on the team. I think Tampa knows what’s up and I think the Wings knows what is up. God, I hope I am right. Not that Stevie will be the savior, who knows. I think Kenny has done decently in the last two drafts, but time will tell. We still need defensemen. But Stevie has a good solid acumen for this NHL culture, where Kenny seems to be always playing catch up nowadays.

    I could also see Stevie come in as the hatchet man to rid this team of some of the asinine contracts that is log jamming this team. He is definitely not afraid to move players, even players that are pretty damn good to benefit the team.

    Hopefully this isn’t a pipe dream and it does come to fruition and hopefully Stevie can bring us back to the Promise Land of Lord Stanley once again!
    Hopefully he brings the lil’ Ball of Hate with him.

  2. I remember the speech he made after that last game at the Joe. The heartfelt words he spoke that night told me what I always knew about Steve Yzerman. He will always be a Red Wing. I don’t know if he will join the Red Wings again in some capacity. I really, really hope he does.

  3. Z will sure be missed on and off the ice. I am sure he has given advice to Larkin, Mantha, etc. If he can struggle thru this year which I doubt, he will be gone next year. Hopefully Larkin can start to file his spot.
    One spot on D??? Now that is bad, Kronner is going to miss some games and should retire. For me DeK and Big E should be pushed hard by prospects. I will see if any of the Bloated NTC/NMC contracts that end will get resigned.
    Up front there is or can be 2 or 3 openings. I know that Veleno is said to be headed back to junior but his skill set has no holes. Young and light maybe an issue.

    Lil Joe, Vili and a lot of other DMen prospects just aren’t big enough.

    I am not thrilled with Howard and Bernier but hopefully one of them can stop a few pucks.

    Next draft hopefully produces a High end D man. Maybe KH can trade Nyquist and get a major return like the Tats trade. (Good luck with Tats, Habs!)

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