Chris Ilitch declines commenting on Wings as he visits Lakeland

Updated at 3:36 PM: The Free Press’s George Sipple asked Tigers and Red Wings owner Chris Ilitch to weigh in on the hockey team as the man in charge made an appearance in Lakeland, Florida, and here’s what Ilitch has to say–or not say–about the Wings:


For what it’s worth, Ilitch also plays men’s league hockey with Bill Ford…

But I don’t believe that we’re going to get an update on the “state of the Wings” until locker room clean-out day, if we receive a “state of the Wings” update at all.

Update: The Free Press’s Sipple penned an article regarding the exchange:

Ilitch spoke for more than 10 minutes to reporters near the home dugout of Joker Marchant Stadium, the spring training home of the Detroit Tigers. While he was there to talk about the upcoming baseball season, I twice asked Ilitch about the future of Holland. He opted not to address the situation.

Asked what it would take for Holland to return and when discussions needed to begin on an extension, Ilitch said: “We, of course, have 11 operating companies that we’re involved with, the Tigers and the Red Wings being two of those. Today, I’m in Lakeland, Florida. This is spring training for the Tigers. So, I’m happy to talk to you about the Tigers and really want to keep the focus today on the Detroit Tigers.”

I quickly followed up, asking Ilitch if he wanted Holland back as GM.

“And I’ll be happy to take any more questions you have on the Detroit Tigers,” Ilitch said, finishing his comment.


Holland offered a “no comment” when reached by phone Saturday in response to what Ilitch said.

Neither Holland or Ilitch are talking to the media, which is their prerogative.

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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.

4 thoughts on “Chris Ilitch declines commenting on Wings as he visits Lakeland”

  1. It appears he doesn’t give a rats ass about hockey, I really think he likes to have KH take all the public needs of the Wings.

    I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. The apple never fell anywhere near the right tree!

    1. Chris does care about hockey–he also played it growing up–but Chris is not someone who makes a comment to the media until he has to. I would not be surprised if we don’t hear from him until locker room clean-out day, if we hear from him at all, as Chris is about walking softly and carrying a big stick.

      His passion for the business of sports appears to out-weigh his passion for sports, I will say that.

  2. I will give him the benefit of the doubt until this season is mercifully over. If he fails to act at that point, then it will truly be an indictment of him and his lack of passion and commitment to improving the Red Wings.
    The first order of business, in my opinion, should be to fire or give Ken Holland the choice to move upstairs.
    Second, should be to ensure the new GM understands the need to hire a coach who can help players grow, while formulating a strategy to shed the team of most of the albatross contracts by the end of next season.
    If he fails to deliver in those areas, the Wings’ decline will accelerate.

  3. “The first order of business, in my opinion, should be to fire or give Ken Holland the choice to move upstairs.”

    That makes sense but Holland has shown a need for power. I am just guessing but Holland will go outside his job description and meddle in hockey operations.

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