You have to consider his forsight to not make any reactional signings or trades. Teams like NY, Philly, and even Pittsburgh this year went "all in" to try to win The Cup. If none of them do, then it was a failed season by their expectations (Philly fell flat early). This season without a doubt is a rebuilding year. However, look at where we currently are in the standings. We are 8th in the WC and 15th in the league. To me, it's incredible that we are rebuilding and are still competing for a playoff spot.
In our worst season in a long time, we can still see hope and potential that we can be a serious contender within the next few years. We are only a top 6 player or two away from that. We lost the best defensemen ever to play, along with Brad Stuart and our defense hasn't struggled nearly as much as everyone expected. We have competed and almost beat the best team in the Western Conference twice this season, all while injury riddled.
The losses of Helm and Bert (not so much Sammy) have really caused us to force guys who don't belong in the top 6 to step up and play top 6 minutes. Holland could have made a move to land a guy like Iginla or Bouwmester, but why would he at the expense of our future? Holland is as level-headed as a GM can be. He realized right after the last lockout that teams now need to build through the draft and not through free agency.
Look at all of the teams who have won Stanley Cups in the past years and there is a trand that their superstars are drafted, while their role players are picked up through trade or free agency.
06 Hurricanes - Eric Staal
07 Ducks - Perry, Ryan, Getzlaf, McDonald
08 Wings - Datsyuk, Zetty, Filp, Franzen, Lidstrom, Kronwall
09 Pens - Crosby, Malkin, Fleury
10 Blackhawks - Toews, Kane, Staal, Keith, Brouwer
11 Bruins - Lucic, Krejci, Berjeron, Marchand, Seguin
12 Kings - Quick, Kopitar, Brown, Doughty
For the most part, since the 04-05 lockout, all of the teams who have won Stanley Cups have built their core through drafting while adding one or two other pivotal players through other means. Ken Holland was the first person to say that this is the new trend after that year. He didn't trade any draft picks this season in order to gain a rental player. He is a very smart man and I don't think that any of us on the internet could do a better job than him.
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