I feel like most GM'S are cyclical, usually they make some bad moves followed by some good moves and round and round it goes. Holland's issue has been that lately he's been lacking in good moves, and while you'r right he hasn't done anything crippling, he's hurt the team in other ways. Like wasting cap and roster spots on unworthy players, he also seems to have lost the midas touch in luring top flight UFA's. It's become strange that no top free agent wants to take the Wings money-maybe they're not offering enough?-I don't know... I don't advocate firing him, because who would the Wings get that was better? Sooner or later the fan base would turn on the new GM anyway. I would however like to see Holland get his head out of the sand and join the real world, he's got to realize his moves lately have been beyond atrocious; he's got to get off his hands and finally upgrade the D along with finding a scoring winger for Pav-while Pav is still at the top of his game.
I definitely agree with some of the things you've said. For instance, Holland is notoriously stingy when it comes time to make offers to free agents (remember Wisniewski's 'market value' comment). But I don't think his moves have been as bad as people think. Hindsight has shown that some of them haven't worked out, but who could have known at the time. For instance, it's easy to say that he doesn't attract top flight FA's, but Weiss and Alfie were both at the top of their respective FA cohorts. Likewise, the Quincey move is generally considered bad. But prior to coming back he'd been playing top four minutes and scoring around 30 pts. a season. And he was young and still had development potential. Easily worth a first at the time. With Legwand I'd generally agree we overpaid, but Poile had us over a barrel and we knew it. Even then, we were still getting a very good two way center capable of putting up good numbers. It's mindblogging how he was used, but that's not his fault. Tootoo? Same deal as Legwand. They both just did what they do, no knock on their game.
The two worst things that Holland did recently were bring back Cleary and give Sammy a No Trade Clause. The first is defensible because Babs and the team leadership intervened on Cleary's behalf. The NTC is indefensible and was just a plain bad move. Neither of them, it turns out, actually impacted the team negatively all that much, though it maybe have impacted the Illitch's pocketbook (hard to feel bad for them considering they haven't paid taxes in about ten years lol).
The question I would have is how high would the bar be set for Mantha to beat someone out?
Very far considering he has no systems training and Babs runs one of the most demanding systems in the league. This kid has zero chance of making the team next season. Letting him learn the system in GR from Blashill is the right call, just not the sexy one.