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RedWingsRox

Holland losing his moxie? Is Detroit slipping as UFA destination?

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I think even the outside world is starting to question whether we've lost our mystique. I am leaning on yes, there will be some difficult years ahead. I think with this present roster, we'll be fighting just to make 7 or 8th spot.

http://sports.yahoo....01313--nhl.html

Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland is considered the best at what he does, which is maintaining a consistent contender in the Western Conference with legitimate designs on winning a Stanley Cup each season. Along with Coach Mike Babcock, Detroit's recognized as having the "gold standard" for management.

Yet the Red Wings' offseason has seen better talent depart than has been added the roster.

Nicklas Lidstrom retired. Brad Stuart left for the San Jose Sharks. Jiri Hudler signed a 4-year deal with the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, the Red Wings inked Maple Leafs backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson, Nashville pot-stirrer Jordin Tootoo and Mikael Samuelsson, for a second tour of duty after playing with Florida last season.

The real frustration for the Red Wings: They have $13 million in cap space, and were unable to land a premium upgrade to the defense. Ryan Suter of the Predators flirted with Detroit, who courted him heavily, only to sign with conference rival Minnesota.

Nashville captain Shea Weber, meanwhile, spoke with Detroit but Holland was never given the option to sign him to an offer sheet, as he did with the Philadelphia Flyers. The Predators didn't engage in trade talks with Detroit, seeking to move Weber to the Eastern Conference.

In some ways, it's inconceivable a team like the Red Wings would be on the outside looking in on these free-agent blockbusters. Which is why Holland is being criticized for Detroit's lack of reloading this summer, as the power shifts in the Western Conference.

Matt from Ultimate Hockey Source on Holland "losing his moxie" as GM:

Despite the Red Wings signings of
, Jonas Gustavsson, and Mikael Samuelsson, Holland has once again disappointed fans with the lack of a big move. In years past, it was Holland stealing great players and assembling the perfect teams, but this has failed to happen recently. His last ditch effort of making a move for restricted free agent
has even been stomped on by the Flyers. Even if the Wings manage to sign
, or perhaps trade for Bobby Ryan, their defensive unit as it is will not be enough to carry them to the Stanley Cup next year.

If Holland can't regain his moxie and make a high impact trade and the Wings fail to make the playoffs, you can bet that people will begin to call for a replacement.

George Malik offers this dose of reality on the Wins perusing Alex Semin and Doan:

I hate to use the line because it even annoys me at this point, but as the Wings continue to aggressively pursue every option to improve their team, they've still got to sell their "program" to players instead of tossing $6 or $7 million at a player simply because someone else is bidding for said player.

It makes me cringe to say that, mind you, but it's the truth.

Because of that spend-thrift ideal, Chuck Pleiness of the Advisor & Source (MI) wondered last week if the Wings had "lost their luster" as a destination for free agents:

"Once you make those types of decisions you're out of the game for a decade," Holland said. "We're not going to have major announcements every year, the league doesn't work like that. I'm confident that at some point in time, and it might be next year, that the history, the tradition, the commitment of our ownership and the passion of the Red Wing fans is going to all add up to us bringing a player of significance here."

… "We're going to try and do some things," Holland said. "We have some cap space so we'll see. But it has to be the right fit whether it's a trade or someone wants to come here. We're working the phones so we'll see.

"At the same time we're in a cap world," Holland continued. "We're moving some younger people in. If we're not moving younger people in we're going backwards. Brendan Smith has to play. Gustav Nyquist has to have an opportunity. Jimmy Howard is 27. We signed Jonas Gustavsson and he's 28. Darren Helm is 25. Those players have to be a part of where we're going."

Seeing where Doan and Semin end up is essential to determining whether Holland's in a rut or simply hasn't landed his big fish yet. He's been hindered by some forced beyond his control: Ryan Suterwanted to play with Zach Parise in Minnesota; Nashville wouldn't let Weber slip to a division rival; and the same could be the case for Rick Nash and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

But perhaps the greatest question: What does he do to fill the holes on the blue line? Keith Yandle, if available, would be a great start.

centcougar07 likes this

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Time will tell if it's better to wait or scramble when competing for free agents. I think Holland's vision is more long term and he's not willing to pull the trigger unless it's a smart deal. In a sense I see his position. Each team can only support so many of these mega contracts. Minnesota is done. Philly might be done. A lot of the teams are saturated with huge contracts and Detroit may become a more favorable option down the line by elimination alone. The difference maker after multiple years might be which team manages their cap more effectively and ices the more complete team. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Vladifan likes this

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I like our team. We kicked the tires. Darren Helm is our big acquisition; remember, he wasn't available to us when we faced the Predators. We have to think long-term, big picture. We can't just go out and add a couple big names, that's the reality of the cap era and parity. We only have so much spending money. Danny Cleary. Certainly we have gotten bigger, tougher, younger, faster - and there's still a whole lot of time left and a wealth of options. The CBA means we're not going to see any more big deals. (Shae Weber does not exist; he is a hoax.) We like to think of our power play as our enforcer. Youth. You can't win the Cup ever year.

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Holland knows that building from within is the secret to success in a parity filled league. He doesn't overpay free agents or overpay in trades unless it's absolutely perfect for that reason. Plan A is always to build with homegrown talent and not to overpay for outside help. Holland has already assembled the next wave of quality prospects so I fail to see how he has lost his mojo. No we won't be a favorite to win the cup this year, but over the next few seasons our prospects will be entering the league, giving us an influx of cheap and talented youth. It begins with Smith and Nyquist this year. Holland knows the game better than anyone/

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We were on the biggest free agent defenseman's short list of 2 teams, Nash's short list of 6 teams and I thought I heard Doan said he was interested in Detroit at some point. I don't think Detroit has completely lost its luster.

It was going to take a hit when #5 left no matter what, I think we'll be ok.

Vladifan, Frozen-Man and 55fan like this

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I hate to use the line because it even annoys me at this point, but as the Wings continue to aggressively pursue every option to improve their team, they've still got to sell their "program" to players instead of tossing $6 or $7 million at a player simply because someone else is bidding for said player.

What does this mean? I don't quite follow...

It irks me to hear people say "oh Detroit isn't the premier destination for people to want to go to anymore", I know just as well as you all that as soon as we win that next cup that will change again and all the Suters, Webers, and Doans can kiss our red and white asses.

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I like our team. We kicked the tires. Darren Helm is our big acquisition; remember, he wasn't available to us when we faced the Predators. We have to think long-term, big picture. We can't just go out and add a couple big names, that's the reality of the cap era and parity. We only have so much spending money. Danny Cleary. Certainly we have gotten bigger, tougher, younger, faster - and there's still a whole lot of time left and a wealth of options. The CBA means we're not going to see any more big deals. (Shae Weber does not exist; he is a hoax.) We like to think of our power play as our enforcer. Youth. You can't win the Cup ever year.

For the second time in LGW Forum history, I agree with Dabura.

Shaman likes this

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One's gotta think Holland has had a hard time selling the program in recent years.

I mean, yes we're an original six team with a previous winning tradition. However, we're also a team with an old, dilapidated arena, a team who just lost their franchise player, full of aging veterans and unproven youth....a team, playoff wise, has been going the wrong direction for the last 4 years.....

Yeah, doesn't really scream "attractive" does it?

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I don't think he is at all. If anything, he has been more active this offseason than most during the salary cap era. He went after both Parise and Suter. He made a bid for Rick Nash. It has also been reported that we are interested in Shane Doan, and possibly Alex Semin. He spoke with Weber's agent to see what could be done to bring him to Detroit.

Unfortunately for us Wings fans, we are in the same division as the teams most of these players are coming from. Columbus and Nashville would have a really hard time trading their respective stars to their division rival. Suter had narrowed down his list of teams to Detroit and Minnesota. Too bad for us Zach Parise wanted to move back home while convincing his pal to join him. The Doan sweepstakes has been said to start at 4 years at 7.5 mil per year (more than both Dats and Z get paid annually). Semin has been said to be a locker room 'cancer' that some wings players, "don't think to highly of." What can Kenny do? The man has reportedly attempted to bring every name on the market this offseason to Detroit. He is the victim of unfortunate circumstances this offseason.

The allure of joining the Red WIngs organization is not fading away. Ken Holland has tried as hard as any other GM in the league to land the Wings a player of significance this offseason. Eventually, he will succeed. If he sees a player that will help us win, rest assured that he will do everything within his power to bring them here.

We still have a ton of money to spend through free agency and trade this offseason. No one knows what the cap will look like after this new CBA. We still have to save for the raises that Jimmy and Filp will be getting. The trade deadline may also have a few 'sellers' that may want to unload. He knows our D isn't as good on paper as it has been in the past. He knows that we need another top 6 forward to help support our main guys. When the oppurtinity arrives, the Wings will be make their move. Don't worry. In Kenny I trust.

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The doom and gloom by some on this on this board is ridiculous. This is still a good team, and will continue to be.

Sycsa likes this

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The doom and gloom by some on this on this board is ridiculous. This is still a good team, and will continue to be.

Which part? The lack of a #1 or #2 D-man? The lack of a sniper? the aging players like Cleary, Bertuzzi, Samuelsson? The management which thus far this season has not been able to seal the deal on one high profile player? And on top of that seems to have not foreseen the retirement of Lidstrom to do SOMETHING to mitigate it? The doom and gloom is expected, unless this team overachieves next season, they are a bubble team, some of us aren't in love with that idea, sorry.

Question: Could Detroit's loyalty be the reason why players do not want to play for the Wings? Is Holland sacrificing some competitive advantage for being loyal to the older players that is dissuading younger players who want money and a Cup more than they want a place to retire?

Edited by Shaman464

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One's gotta think Holland has had a hard time selling the program in recent years.

I mean, yes we're an original six team with a previous winning tradition. However, we're also a team with an old, dilapidated arena, a team who just lost their franchise player, full of aging veterans and unproven youth....a team, playoff wise, has been going the wrong direction for the last 4 years.....

Yeah, doesn't really scream "attractive" does it?

All the above and plus, the city isn't much of an attraction.

ShanahanMan likes this

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All the above and plus, the city isn't much of an attraction.

Yep. They should build the new arena in Windsor, on the other side of the river. A WHOLE half-mile away. They're going to have 3 bridges and 2 tunnels, so whats the big deal? Work out some revenue-sharing deal with the city of Detroit and all the whining would cease.

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One's gotta think Holland has had a hard time selling the program in recent years.

I mean, yes we're an original six team with a previous winning tradition. However, we're also a team with an old, dilapidated arena, a team who just lost their franchise player, full of aging veterans and unproven youth....a team, playoff wise, has been going the wrong direction for the last 4 years.....

Yeah, doesn't really scream "attractive" does it?

you say aging vet...i say proven experienced leaders

you say unproven youth...i say potentially very talented young guns

you say pessimism....I say optimism

Which part? The lack of a #1 or #2 D-man? The lack of a sniper? the aging players like Cleary, Bertuzzi, Samuelsson? The management which thus far this season has not been able to seal the deal on one high profile player? And on top of that seems to have not foreseen the retirement of Lidstrom to do SOMETHING to mitigate it? The doom and gloom is expected, unless this team overachieves next season, they are a bubble team, some of us aren't in love with that idea, sorry.

Question: Could Detroit's loyalty be the reason why players do not want to play for the Wings? Is Holland sacrificing some competitive advantage for being loyal to the older players that is dissuading younger players who want money and a Cup more than they want a place to retire?

Look, every team has holes...last year our holes were: grit, forward depth, back up goalie, sniper....Now they are: defensive depth, sniper

We filled more holes than we dug....gone are the days of stacked teams with no holes, get used to it.

55fan, Vladifan and stevkrause like this

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If Lidstrom hadn't retired no one would even be questioning him. So we lose one Dman to retirement and another to uncontrollable family circumstances. How does that in any way reflect upon his abilities as a GM?

55fan likes this

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I think there is truth in the title of this thread about the UFA destination. However I don't really think that's Holland's fault. With big name UFA's it's not like it's OMG WE HATE KEN HOLLAND. Holland get's a lot of praise and s*** on this forum. Not sure how to take it really but maybe expected 50/50.

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I think the whole Detroit as "the" destination of choice for all free agents is a bit overstated in the first place. How many times have we really made huge FA acquisitions? Hull & Robitaille, Hatcher, Rafalski, Hossa... Lot of smaller moves, other teams' cast-offs and over the hill names.

We missed on a lot of guys too: Hull (when he went to Dallas), Kariya, Selanne, Mogilny, Turgeon, Chara, Neidermeyer, Roenick, Fedorov... probably more.

Obviously right now we aren't as desireable as we were the year after a Cup win, but I don't think any less than we were in '01 or '07, nor are we undesirable at all.

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you say aging vet...i say proven experienced leaders

you say unproven youth...i say potentially very talented young guns

you say pessimism....I say optimism

Look, every team has holes...last year our holes were: grit, forward depth, back up goalie, sniper....Now they are: defensive depth, sniper

We filled more holes than we dug....gone are the days of stacked teams with no holes, get used to it.

Last years holes: Grit, back up goalie, sniper and defensive depth.

This years holes: Grit, back up goalie, sniper, defensive depth, a #1 D-man, top 6 depth.

Seems the team has more holes this year.

Grit? Tootoo adds some, but, I would say its a wash with what was lost with Stuart, and even if the Wings are marginally more gritty, its not enough to say its been addressed. Back up goaltending? Are you kidding me? Conklin may have been s*** the last two seasons but Gustavsson's been worse, hopefully the change of scenery will help, but right now his GAA and Save % are both worse than Conklin's. Also this year the Wings are less deep on defense and on top 6 forwards, so they have regressed there. And finally they have no #1 D-man, and arguably no #2 d-man. Kronwall will hopefully continue his good play, but, hes in no way a #1.

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Dobberhockey perspective:

Puck Daddy – Red Wings GM criticized for lack of offseason splash, but is it premature? First of all, any criticism is stupid. Secondly, it’s not premature because even if nothing is done by the Red Wings this summer, they’re fine. So they were runner up in the Ryan Suter sweepstakes. You can’t win every free agent. So now what, they’re supposed to settle for the next best guy? Dumb. They need another defenseman, but there is certainly no rush. If they don’t get one until January or February, will that hurt? Not one bit. They don’t need to make a big splash. I love the forward group:

Valtteri Filppula Henrik Zetterberg Johan Franzen

Gustav Nyquist Pavel Datsyuk Mikael Samuelsson

Dan Cleary Darren Helm Todd Bertuzzi

Drew Miller Justin Abdelkader Jordin Tootoo

Patrick Eaves Cory Emmerton Jan Mursak

With Damien Brunner, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Tatar as the first three call-ups. I like it because I’m high on Nyquist making a splash right away. And on defense, Kronwall is a fine No.1 guy and White and Quincey are fine as No.3 and No.4.Brendan Smith can certainly slide in as a No.5. So the only hole is a No.2 defenseman. And until January or February, just give more responsibility to the rest of them. The Wings are fine, no need to make a splash. Suter would have been nice, but if I’m a Wings fan I don’t want them to settle or rush

Edited by Rick
amato, Vladifan, number9 and 1 other like this

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Our scorers couldn't score to save their lives. Our bottom-6 was, by Babcock's own admission, a hugely weak link. Our blue line blew, our team defense sucked.

Our top-6 remains extremely one-dimensional. It's six kinda-sorty-gritty Euros who play a mostly non-physical, skill-centric, playmaker's game. They're going to get boxed out to the perimeter in the o-zone. They're going to pass about 300 more times than they should, then ultimately settle for a shot into the goalie's chest. And Sammy will push someone from behind after the whistle, and O Sweet Lord, is this not the most dynamic, dangerous scoring unit you have ever seen? So many looks they can throw you. So many ways they can hurt you.

Bottom-6 - I like the Tootoo signing. I like Helm as the third pivot, Bert and Cleary as his wingers. I don't think we've really imporved all that much. Are we significantly bigger? Stronger? Faster? Nastier? Do we boast more legitimate secondary scoring threats? Are we stronger defensively?

D - We lost Stuart and Lidstrom. Even with them in the lineup, our D was terrible.

So far, Helm is our biggest acquisition.

Edited by Dabura

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