Hockeybuzz’s Bob Duff shares his impressions from yesterday’s en Holland-and-Christopher Ilitch press conference announcing Holland’s 2-year contract extension, and Duff suggests that Holland’s job is still on the line if one reads the owner’s body language:
Does anyone really think the mess that is the current state of the Red Wings will rectify itself in two short years?
This contract doesn’t seem to be a vote of confidence for Holland as much as it appears to be one last lifeline of opportunity before he is voted off the island.
Naturally, Wings governor Chris Ilitch didn’t see it that way at all.
“When Ken and I were talking, two years is what we settled on and what we are both comfortable with,” Ilitch explained. “There’s really no magic to it. Like I said, we’ve known Ken and he has known our family and our organization for so long, length is nothing we’re really too concerned about.
“We just sort of settled on two years and felt comfortable with that, and that’s why we extended Ken for two years.”
It’s no secret that Wings co-owner Marian Ilitch, Chris’ mother, is a big Ken Holland fan, although her son may not share her fondness for Holland’s work. The two men didn’t exactly look like close pals as they shared a podium during Saturday’s announcement.
Duff continues, and I happen to disagree, though I respect Duff’s take to no end.
The young Mr. Ilitch attended a friend’s wedding a decade ago, and he was stiff. In every interview I’ve seen Christopher give, he seems a little stiff. To me, Ilitch is simply the way he is–a little disconnected and disengaged most of the time as it’s his affect.
I didn’t read much into the body language at all, instead listening to Ilitch’s praise for Holland as “the man I’d want flying the airplane,” and you can make your own judgment viewing the Red Wings’ 19-minute-long video of the presser: