Friedman on Holland’s future

I’m a little late with this one, but Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman posted the following in his “31 Thoughts” column:

Detroit’s Ken Holland is in the cone of silence, not revealing much about his future. I’m loathe to say he’s 100 per cent coming back, because nothing is done until it is done, but all indications are pointing in that direction. The Athletic’s Craig Custance quoted sources as expecting a three-year extension; I heard rumblings about a two-year move. Whatever the case, the organization is working through the process.

Owner Marian Ilitch has a place near the site of last week’s GM meetings and it is believed they met. There are some GMs who know the end is coming and give off a “Dead Man Walking” impression, but Holland isn’t acting that way. He’s spent much less time around the team than normal, throwing on his scouting beret for a hugely important draft.

Continued, and, not surprisingly, Friedman states that Pavel Datsyuk is not contemplating a return to the NHL…

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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.

38 thoughts on “Friedman on Holland’s future”

  1. Kenny probably brought along that favourite jar of jam that Mrs I likes. He ordered her favourite Earl Grey tea. And they looked at photos of the grandkids.

    The 3-year extension is just a formality. Things like job evaluation, peer comparison, etc…aren’t necessary when it comes to ol’ Kenny. If the empty seats somehow came up I’m sure he perpetuated the organizational lie about how everyone is admiring the new concourse and toilets.

    1. Yeah, kinda too bad its an Oligarchy, not fond of those.
      A board that sells stock anyone?

      I cant think of any other buyer(s) who could pull it off in Detroit . Seems like the new I’s aren’t passionate and I’m really missing Mr. I right now. You always knew he was all in. Now? not so much…..500 hockey is ok now, expected actually. Boooo!

      Although a shiny new building does cover some asses i guess.

  2. I don’t mind bringing Holland back. Sure, it pisses off several fans here, but, he’s done the things he’s been asked to do by his owner and he has succeeded.

    He kept the playoff streak going for as long as he could, managing the team, assets and trades to keep the team competitive. Doing that, he made the team enough money to build a new home while adding to the Illitch coffers.

    While we all know some fans are upset about the long term contracts handed out. Holland made those deals to keep veterans happy in, frankly, a city that isn’t too appealing and had very little going for it (during the 2000-10s). Paying players well is one way trade off a city that has a lot of tarnish. It also sends a clear message to UFAs that the Wings are a place where you can get comfortable and will be taken care of. Everyone likes to be taken care of.

    In Custance’s article about the Wing’s Structure it was made pretty darn clear the Illitch’s wanted trophies (prestige), playoffs (fan attraction) and making money by spending money (good old hard work ethic). Holland did what his boss asked and he succeeded. No one can doubt his accomplishments inside the context of the Red Wings. Sure, Holland inherited a star filled team and had an open checkbook to start, but he also kept his team going to the playoffs during the Cap Era when no other GM could do that – yes it helps having a running start, just ask Larkin about that. He is peerless in that fact alone.

    Now that it is clear the Wings are in a rebuild he has done quite well obtaining assets with what little he has had to move. No one can doubt the Tatar trade was huge. He was able to snag three draft picks from Vegas for a guy who scores most of his goals after the season is put to rest. He fleeced the Rangers for Smith by stealthily offering Smith a contract as if he was desired making the Rangers feel Smith was worth over paying. Holland was able to get something for Mrazek when Peter was unmovable due to poor play, attitude concerns and an inflated contract. We all know Peter will be playing in the K next season. Had Green not had a season ending injury (possibly career ending) he would have put a few more draft picks in the stable too. Excess draft picks in a strong draft can be a benefit, no?

    So, if for the Illitchs, the rebuild started this year or last year, then Ken Holland has started that rebuild correctly. He’s jettisoning redundant talent and adding draft picks. If he continues to work on the rebuild, I wager he will trade AA before the start of next season, Get Gus to waive his no trade clause, and cuts loose at least Jensen if not XO too. There are enough older leadership guys in place to steward the net younger guys through. There are opportunities arising on the horizon. On Defense, Green is replaced by Hicketts next season. The following season Kroner is replaced by Hronek, then Ericcson is replaced by Cholowski and Daley by someone else (Saarijärvi?) in two years. If XO and Jensen are gone there are more opportunities. On Offense, Booth is gone and hopefully AA. AA’s spot become Svech’s or maybe he is battling Frk for it. If Razz is up then he gets paired with Franzy and Helmer. The forth line is something like Glenny and two kids. Glenny looked tradable this season to Toronto, you can bet they might likely be after him again next season. If he and Gus are gone in two seasons, there are two more holes to be filled by young guys. Maybe the plan is to move Helm too by eating some salary – with all the young guy contracts around at that time that’s not a problem.

    I’m sure a few people will start to pick apart the ideas I’ve presented, and that’s okay. My only hope is to show there is a positive way to rebuild from here its up to you to choose to see it.

    1. “We all know Peter will be playing in the K next season.”

      That one comment ruined the complete blog entry for, me. You don’t have a Clue were Petr will be. Your opinions are OK but don’t tell “this fan” : “WE ALL KNOW”

      1. But still a very nicely thought out, although somewhat hypothetical, forward plan.
        Also, Mrazek’s performance in Philadelphia (thus far) might only qualify him as an NHL backup—if stories about ego are accurate, he’d probably rather be a starter in the KHL.

        1. JD your thoughts on Petr were very good. As a Fan of his , he is very hard to figure out. Shutout one game, next game can’t stop a balloon, LOL . Never thought of KHL, good point! Howard’s stats are a bit better but not much. How long does Jimmy want to play or can play. One more yr on a big cap hit. Will see

          I worry about having a goalie for the kids in the future, maybe two??

        2. Can you imagine signing Mrazek or to a lesser degree, AA to long term contracts? We’d be jobbed even worse. Smart GMs utilize their leverage and take the time to evaluate their players to see if they are the real deal. Obviously Mrazek is not, and Ken exercised great judgement in this regard; they didn’t need more time either. He stunk all last year and this year he has been just as inconsistent.

          1. A lot of people think Mrazek didn’t really get an opportunity this season because he never got more then two starts. Even after a good game he typically wasn’t back in net the next game.

            I think Ken and Jeff already knew what they had with Mrazek and they didn’t want him but kept him around long enough to get some value in a trade. We have to remember he was pretty much given away for free and no other GM wanted him. Ken played this as well as he could by gambling on some trade deadline desperation.

            Who knows…..maybe Mrazek gets resigned to the Wings at a backup price….

          2. He may not have gotten the starts here, but he sure as heck got them in Philly! Now Neuvirth is back and allowed just one goal against a desperate Avs team with MacKinnon. Wherever Mrazek goes next, he won’t make near the same amount of money unless it’s in rubles.

      2. good point. That part certainly came out wrong. I still believe Mrazek will be playing in the K. He has too much drive to be a backup. He will be back in the NHL.

    2. Nicely assembled and presented. Although mostly ideal, would represent an excellent path forward.

      1. I believe Ken signed Franzy and Daley to help bring along the kids. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those two guys back in the organization after they retire.

        I also can’t help wonder if Daley was also signed to give G.Smith someone who looks like him in the organization.

        1. Good end around on Givani and Daley. Do GMs think that deep into players heritage or Genes??? I questioned George, IF the younger and apparently better Bro of the Wings current Svech,, is drafted in this Draft by the Wings,, will this cause problems??

    3. Well thought out post. Cant say I agree with everything, but definitely should get people to stop and think about some realities.

  3. Hi Biv;

    *Now Neuvirth is back and allowed just one goal against*

    Actually Neuvirth only made it to 7 min mark then got injured, Petr , I think, made 13 saves with no goals. Flyers goalies must be jinxed.

    Petr coming back sure increased my futile chance of Winning the Lottery tonight, LOL. I never say never but that would a very close.

    He is an odd duck, 1st few games with Philly he was Hot after that he has been pretty bad on most.

    As a Goalie father, I would sure like to have a talk with him, (spoiled, Big Ego…) come to mind as topics.

    Odd thing is a few Wing Vets said he will be missed?

    Hockey getting weird, LMAO

    1. Boo Boo **7 min mark of the 3rd period then injured* Petr had played (started) the night before (OT Loss, 3GAA to Dallas and was a backup to Neuvirth vs Aves. Neuvirth did only all 1 goal and Petr was 14/14 in the Flyer Win over the Aves.

      Enough about Goalies for me!!

  4. Neuvirth was injured at the 7 minute mark of the SECOND period. Mrazek played the rest and stopped all 17 shots, not 14.

    But overall it was a nice attempt at trying to make Mrazek look bad…lol

    1. 1 Petr Mrazek 0 17 17 1.000 0 0 31:31
      2 Michal Neuvirth W 1 11 10 .909 0 0 28:07
      Actually I like Petr and have followed him since he played in Saskatoon, Sask Canada North America
      He’s Back…….
      Are older than 16??

      I need a Block/Ignore option

  5. There isn’t much more to say about Mrazek.

    Looks like he gets yet another shot to prove he is more than an average to below average NHL goalie. He’s had a few chances to hold onto a starting job and he has proceeded to lose it to AHL goalies on multiple occassions.

    Kenny gifts him an opportunity to play on a playoff team, everything to play for, and allows the 5th fewest shots per game in the entire league.

    So he didn’t need any of us to crap on him. The numbers and his play speak for themselves.

    As for Holland in general…whatever.

  6. I watch most of Philly games because they are really on, or really off…both entertaining hockey.

    Too me Mrazek looks intense, focused ,and fast… but not confident, or stable, and cant make the puck stick. Nueverth was night and day difference for his brief comeback. If he gets healthy Mrazek will be the new statkeeper.

  7. Mr. Grr novel should be copied and sold at all available outlets, and also taped to the inside of Mr. Hollands glasses.

    1. Yes it’s quite a tale. Ownership told him to win and gave him a max budget. He used that cap space on…

      Weiss over Filppula
      Cleary…over and over again.
      Colaiacovo and Tootoo. Then wasted compliance buyouts on them.
      Quincey.Mike Modano and Brad Richards. I’m sure Datsyuk loved those moves.
      Then of course the absurd contracts to Abby, Helm, Dekeyser, Nielsen, etc…

      So did ownership tell Kenny to make all of these mistakes? Because Illitch appeared very very hands off. Here is your max budget Kenny. Now let’s try to win.

      And Kenny squandered it, wasting several prime years of Lidstrom, Pav, Zee, etc…

      But yeah let’s blame ownership…

  8. Ownership sure didn’t fire him after all this and signed off on all of it .so yeah. Ownership does take a blow for this.

    1. Big difference between an overly loyal owner that doesn’t fire a GM…to the portrayal above where ownership pressure to win somehow absolves Kenny of a decade of stupid mistakes.

      But yeah, we know your stance…

        1. I hate everything!! Negative negative negative! I predicted this year’s ago with my incredible hindsight!

          Yeah, we know your stance… lol

  9. Tri City Americans just swept Kelowna. Mr Rasmussen 4GP,5G,7A,+4,0GWG. 2nd in WHL playoff points and goals, 3rd in assists.

    Teammate, and also center Geekie(Carolina) is 1st in points(13) and goals(9), and GWG(3).

    A strong 1-2 center combo could go far. But whos 1…and whos 2?
    Regular season Rasmussen +17, Geekie 0, rest of team mostly 0 or less.

    1. Thank you for the update.

      Ryan Martin recently said that “we” (whoever that is) think Pope can compete for a spot next year. Let’s just hope there are actual spots open for him and Ras.

      Top six is looking like Nyq-Z-Bert and Shevy-Larks-Mantha. 3rd line nielsen/abby/helm. 4th line has glenny, then AA and Frk are due contracts, could stay or go (Mantha and Larks are untouchable)

      We’re looking at no open spots if all RFAs are signed. No look for turgeon. Abby/Helm are often the two that are supposed to be traded, but they play the PK, so Holland will keep them.

      1. “Compete for a spot” means play a few pre-season games. Then go to the AHL and get called up for a few games here and there. Heck even if you outperform a bunch of veterans this is what happens.

        So for example, for this year, Turgeon and Hicketts “competed” for spots. Oh and Svech too. See how young we are!

  10. Homers list says 6 veterans, (4 natural centers and 2 wingers) Who says we dont need all of them to make sure the proper legacy is passed game to game? Thinning the old herd will be a hard thing to decide.

    I suggest that we have seen enough of AA and Mr. Frk and they have been found wanting…package for higher picks this year? Yes please.

    Thats still only 2 spots for griffins + maybe witkowski watching mostly, although I have become fond of his presence now too.

  11. I suggest that we have seen enough of AA and Mr. Frk and they have been found wanting…package for higher picks this year? Yes please.

    I agree with Frk, seems he doesn’t hit the net and he seems to have problems with his skating. I like AA but KH might get rid of him for making a scene with current contract. I think AA was the 1st to take KH into the season with no contract. Holding out with KH really pissed off KH, from what I have read.

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