Kulfan speaks with Ken Holland regarding the draft combine; Wings to hold summer development camp at LCA

The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke with Red Wings GM Ken Holland regarding the NHL’s draft combine, which takes place next week in Buffalo, NY. The combine represents an opportunity for the Wings to get to know a pool of approximately 100 players that the Wings will draft from later next month:

All 31 teams get to spend approximately 20-30 minutes with about 10 players they would like to interview, beginning Monday and lasting until Friday. How the players respond in these types of interview sessions, said Holland, is a useful tool.

“You want to see how they handle that type of situation, how they answer the questions,” Holland said. “It’s not a lot of time, but you get an idea of who they are.”

The Wings’ representatives will also take prospective draft picks to dinner each night, getting to know the players in an informal environment.

Also of Red Wings-related note from Kulfan:

Just after the Entry Draft, the Wings will hold their annual development camp. But unlike previous years, they will not be heading to Traverse City. Instead the camp this year — moved up approximately a week — will be at Little Caesars Arena at the Wings’ practice rink in the Belfor Training Center on June 26-30.

…Holland said Todd Nelson, head coach of the Wings’ minor league affiliate Grand Rapids, has been given permission to interview for possible NHL assistant coaching positions.

Holland added the assistant coaching position for head coach Jeff Blashill remains vacant, as Blashill just returned from Denmark early this week after guiding Team USA to a bronze medal at the world championships.

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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.

15 thoughts on “Kulfan speaks with Ken Holland regarding the draft combine; Wings to hold summer development camp at LCA”

  1. Strange that Nelson is being granted permission to interview for other NHL assistant roles…but yet our vacant assistant role isn’t mentioned. Would love for someone to ask why? I’m guessing it’s one of 3 things:

    1) Blashill doesn’t see value in adding Nelson to his staff
    2) Nelson has no interest in working with Blashill
    3) Nelson wants out of our organization. Either give me the Wings head coaching job, or I’ll take an NHL assistant role with another organization and work my way up.

    I fear it’s #3. Nelson has previously stated that he wants to be an NHL head coach, and that he thought being an AHL head coach was better preparation than being an NHL assistant. So to potentially change his tune might suggest that he really wants out. Can’t blame him. Blashill has been a train wreck. Most GMs would have canned him. I mean, he could have been fired in November. Your promote Nelson and see what he can do for 60 games. If he thrives, well there is your new coach. If he bombs, you let him walk and find a replacement in the summer when lots of guys become available. But to do nothing is pretty lame.

    1. They have reached out to Nelson about being an assistant coach replacing Torchetti and also gave him permission to reach out to other clubs. He’s earned the right to choose his path by doing a good job with GR. In my opinion they’re doing the right by him.

      Per Custance

      “according to NHL sources, multiple NHL teams have reached out to him about the possibility of taking an assistant coaching job with their clubs. It’s believed the Dallas Stars and at least one other Western Conference team have expressed interest. Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has also talked to Nelson about the assistant coach opening in Detroit, following the departure of John Torchetti.

      “Right now, I’m in a good spot,” Nelson told The Athletic when reached on Tuesday. “I’m just looking for a move that might help me in the future. That’s why I’m entertaining some possible opportunities. Nothing is concrete at all. Right now, it’s one of those things where there are conversations and I’ve got to see if something comes out of it.””

        1. Ehhh I subscribe to The Athletic and they are right there on par with WiiM and George when it comes to Red Wings coverage plus all the other teams and leagues they cover. I just remember Custance’s article about Nelson and wanted to clarify that the Wings did in fact speak to him about Torchetti’s position.

          1. “Well its better than pulling comments out of your ass. ”

            That’s where most of my best thoughts come from. giggle.

  2. I’d love to see Tim Hunter join the Wings front office – awesome hockey mind and judge of talent!

    1. Dale Hunter. Not Tim. But totally agree. I suggested this earlier in the week. Kenny said he wants to add brains to the front office. Well here is your chance. Give him a blank cheque…make him AsstGM…put him in charge of the draft…and then a promise to take over as GM in 2 years.

      But that might hurt the feelings of Ryan Martin and Kris Draper. So we’ll just twiddle our thumbs. Just like when we could have fired Blashill and scooped up Gallant. Oh, that’s mean.

  3. I wonder what specific front office additions would be realistic while Holland is still around.

    Hunter made it through the recent Toronto braintrust, perhaps because he was determined to be hired to replace Lou L when
    the time came. That suggests he can fit in and play a strong role among some major ego and heavyweight personalities – at least for a while.

    But is Holland, at this point, the kind of GM who wants to invite a highly-qualified, strongly-opinionated talent evaluator (arguably one of his front office’s greatest weaknesses over recent seasons) into the mix and give him real authority?

    We keep hearing about how Holland, the long-ago former scout is devoting lots of time to watching prospects, etc. Does Holland still see himself as a scouting talent, as well as a “manager”?

    It would be moot for this draft and offseason anyway, if reports are correct that Toronto will only release Hunter to work for another team after the free agent period.

    I just wonder how sincere and motivated Holland is about inviting in a new perspective and voice who might rock the boat.

    1. “It would be moot for this draft and offseason anyway, if reports are correct that Toronto will only release Hunter to work for another team after the free agent period”

      I thought that was the deal with him. Thanks lefty for clarifying

    2. “Does Holland still see himself as a scouting talent, as well as a “manager”?”

      I have a feeling Holland is deeply involved in every aspect of Red Wings operations from scouting on up. He’s through and through a hockey dude. He lives, eats, sleeps and sh!ts hockey. You have to give him credit to be his age and still fully 100% be entangled in the sport.

  4. I think both are confused and am thinking of Mark Hunter? Whom just currently split from the maple leads when Dubas was made GM. I don’t think Mark is allowed to sign with another team til after his contract ends July 1st but could be wrong on that?

    Dale is currently the coach of the London Knights I believe? He was the coach of the Caps til like 2012. He’s the one that had major problems with Ovi.

    Tim is the coach of the moose jaws. Served as assistant coach at the NHL a couple of times in I believe the late 90’s

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