Ken Holland talks with Peter Wallner regarding the youth movement (or the lack thereof)

The Grand Rapids Press’s Peter J. Wallner spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the development of the Wings’ top prospects in Grand Rapids, and Holland told Wallner that the Red Wings won’t rush the youth movement (for better or worse):

“Obviously, we have a lot of draft picks so, yes, the theme of the Detroit Red Wings over the next two or three years is youth,” Holland said. “That doesn’t mean it’s youth on Oct. 4 (when the season opens). Then they have to be an NHL player. And if they’re not, in short order they’ll lose their confidence and they won’t be in a lineup. That’s not productive.”

The best young candidate to make the Red Wings next season is center Michael Rasmussen, the No. 7 overall pick a year ago who is still in the playoffs with his junior team, Tri-City. The already-polished 6-foot-6 center would head to Grand Rapids when WHL playoffs conclude if the Griffins are still playing.

Others who could make the Red Wings in the fall include defensemen Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts and possibly forwards Evgeny Svechnikov and Dominic Turgeon depending on what else transpires in the offseason.

This season, six players appeared with both clubs (Tyler Bertuzzi, Evgeny Svechnikov, Hicketts, Turgeon, Brian Lashoff and goalie Jared Coreau).

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said they “all did a good job” but noted players such as Svechnikov and Hicketts were up late in the season.

“They all showed pretty well, but I also think we weren’t playing a lot of meaningful games,” said Blashill, who was also at the Griffins game. “It’s a different thing come the fall. A bunch of these guys have a chance to continue to impress during the Calder Cup Playoffs and then we’ll see which guys come into camp trying to take jobs.”

Wallner continues, as does Holland…

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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 “Ken Holland talks with Peter Wallner regarding the youth movement (or the lack thereof)”

  1. I love this line from Kenny:

    “And if they’re not, in short order they’ll lose their confidence and they won’t be in a lineup. That’s not productive.”

    So basically he’s saying that if a young player doesn’t step on the ice and immediately demonstrate that they belong, well they crawl home and get in the fetal position and their career is ruined.

    Really Kenny? How about you show a little more confidence that these young players you drafted, who are all big on character, can grow and learn from their mistakes without shrivelling up and dying at the first sign of adversity. When Larkin hit the wall as a rookie and was frankly pretty awful for months on end, was his confidence permanently shattered? Has Larkin been ruined because we’re not even competing for a playoff spot? In Bertuzzi’s first 47 games in the NHL, he scored 2 goals, and was a minus 12. Was he destroyed by this lack of immediate success? Nope. He kept persevering. Then in his last 8 games down the stretch he had 5 goals, 1 assist, and was +4. He learned from his mistakes. He improved. He started getting rewarded.

    But Kenny is worried that our guys are so fragile.

  2. “….[when the season opens]….they have to be an NHL player. And if they’re not [NHL ready], …..they’ll lose their confidence and they won’t be in a lineup. That’s not productive.”

    Just incase anyone wanted to understand what KH was actually saying. Shriveling and dying, while sounds very scary, is not what he means here. He is saying, if a player isn’t NHL ready and they don’t have the option to move from the Parent Club to a Minor team then the lack of playing time will cause regression.

    Players like Larkin proved their readiness at the start of the season and were worthwhile risks. Everyone knows a wall is coming for this kind of player who hasn’t played a full NHL season of 82 games. Larkin used his setback to better understand how the next season will go which is what I’m sure Holland saw in him as part of his NHL readiness. A player like Lil’Bert, had the opportunity to transition between the A and the NHL before he showed his readiness. Most players take the latter route while the former occurs less. This is why it is important not to rush a player to the NHL who doesn’t meet the team requirements for NHL readiness.

    [Oh dang, I just gave Fatty another way to be condescending. Watch everyone as Fatty uses “NHL readiness” in his future posts as a way to attempt to insult me. Oh dang, I now made him
    a victim too. Watch as he brings up me predicting his behavior as being insulting to him.]

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