Holland deserves blame for sticking with over the hill players (Weiss, Cleary, Samuelsson, Cole, Zidlicky etc.) WAY too long and not finding the players who are on the cusp of blossoming and acquiring them. Usually by the time a player becomes a UFA, they are over halfway done with their career and we pretty much know what they are going to be. Younger players aren't worried about self-preservation and "life after hockey" and they give you 100%. A player who is worried about his health long term and his investment portfolio might give you 95% but he is always subconsciously holding something back and being afraid of getting injured. Brendan Shanahan mentioned this in an interview I remembered and I thought it was an outstanding insight. And no, I don't have a link to it. It was in a thing called a newspaper.
I'm not trying to turn this into a "City" topic but I think that is something that cannot totally been ruled out. We live here, we know better. But what has the national media done? Very superficial headlines, Anthony Bourdain's special about the crumbling city, for someone out of town and they only get headlines about Detroit and they hear "the biggest city ever to declare bankruptcy", Kwame trial, oldest building in the NHL things like that, makes the city look bad. I know there are people rebuilding the city block by block and we have a new mayor and a new arena planned and reasons to be optimistic, but to an outsider considering a move here with his family, he doesn't know how lush the suburbs are that he will be moving his family to, he doesn't know about the great golf course right down the street from his house, he just sees the thing on the news that says Detroit is bankrupt and the Big 3 need bailing out and like it or not, it puts a negative light on the city.
Like I said, we live here, we know better. But I recently turned down a promotion that would have put me in Oakland, CA. Because on the news and reality shows they showed a lot of violence and gang warfare there and I said, I don't think so. And this is coming from someone from DETROIT since 1983! Perception is sometimes stronger than reality.
It all depends on what you expect. If you expect the Red Wings to be equal or worse than the Minnesota Wild, then you're ok. (actually the Wild was better than them last year.)
If you hope for them to win the Stanley Cup or go to the Finals, then you're disappointed. We saw this team barely make the playoffs last year, I can't expect there to be a dramatic improvement with the same ingredients.