Again, are you just ignoring the fact that Holland has gone out chasing every big name hard for years now? Did you forget that he had monster deals on the table for Parise and Suter as well? I don't get how people can just go with that "it was the smart thing to do" when he clearly, blatantly has tried to do something different every year now. He just hasn't landed the guys that he was chasing and then had to plug holes with FA scrubs and youth.
And don't get me wrong, youth is good and our drafting is great relative to the picks we get, but we are not a complete team. We struggle and fight and will ourselves to more success than we likely deserve if you're just going by what's on paper.
The bar is not just free agency and trades, but it's a huge part of the game still. You can't just draft all the players you need, especially when you don't get high picks like we do. You have to be able to augment the team via trade and free agency as well. Holland has not done a good job of that lately, plain and simple. Like I've said for a long time, he gets so caught up chasing the big names that he's missed other opportunities to improve the middle of this team, and he ends up with scraps in free agency.
And it's ludicrous to ignore how much money we've spent in the last few years on guys that don't play. Odd circumstances aside, we've been paying a lot of guys way too much money to practice or play in Grand Rapids. That is just plain stupid, and again, in many cases, the result of not being more pragmatic right when the deadline hits.
Guys like Parise and Suter are significantly better than anything that we had coming up. Those 2nd and 3rd tier free agents are marginally better than what we had coming up (or in some cases not better at all). All free agents aren't made alike. I don't mind Holland trying to land REALLY good ones. I also don't mind Holland being conservative and not overspending on the SORTA good ones.
It seems like people just want free agents for the sake of it. I don't. I'm happier with Nyquist or Tatar than I would be with Pominville or Vanek. Apparently, so is Holland.
I also agree that some of his acquisitions have blown up in his face. Weiss, Cole, Zidlicky, Tootoo, Sammy, etc. Which should indicate the inherent risk associated with free agency/trades. I'm glad that we've got someone who's cautious when it comes to these sorts of moves, because they don't work far more than they do.
It almost seems like people around here think that if Holland made MORE moves, that there would be LESS risk. Which is silly. Very few signings/trades are slam dunks, and when they are (Suter, Parise) you've got a lot of competition.
I think Holland's plan for post-Lidstrom was..."We'll take a run at Suter, and if not, no harm done. We've got Kronwall and he's a legit number 1".
I don't think failing to replace Lids was as big of a screw up as failing to round out the top four with legit top four players. We replaced Lids with the best we could manage, but we didn't replace Rafalski, Stuart, or Kronwall with anything special.
I hope Kindl gets the game winner. Then the Wings can deal him in the offseason.
I'm trying to stay positive here. Losing Kronwall is seriously the absolute worst thing that could happen to this team right now. Worse than losing Pav, Abby, Mrazek. Anybody. I'm actually about to "follow" Kindl on twitter and spend him inspirational messages all day long. Just to do my part.
Whether or not he could or should be replaced doesn't negate the fact that it's frustrating how poorly Holland has performed at acquiring NHL talent via trade or free agency. He's done a really lousy job of it for five years. Just because he drafts well doesn't mean that it's not colossally frustrating that he's made so many terrible signings and trades over the last five years.
I feel like I'm in the middle of the road on the issue at this point to be clear. I don't necessarily think he should be fired for what he's done given all that he brings in other areas, and I think he gets too much blame for a lot of things, but I can understand completely why he's become such a frustrating and polarizing GM. At this point, he's definitely deserving of much of the criticism he gets just as he's deserving of much of the praise that he gets.
I disagree with your premise though. I don't think he has been colossally bad in FA or at the trade deadline, at least not during the time period you're talking about.
You yourself said that if you can't get a guy like Suter, you should get a mid level guy. Which he went out and did, in White and Quincey. He later got Dekeyser to play in that role too. He also signed depth defensemen in Colaiacovo, Commodore, and Zidlicky as well.
On top of that he signed or traded for four top six forwards (Alfredsson, Legwand, Weiss, and Cole). Two of them were busts because of injury. We don't make the playoffs without the other two. During that time he also signed depth forward in Tootoo and Sammy. And he brought in Brunner, I don't really know what you'd call him, though he really didn't play bad for us.
Finally, he brought in a backup goalie for cheap, who acted as a bridge between Howard and Mrazek and did a pretty good job...especially a year ago when Jimmy was injured.
So, in the last five years, Holland brought in:
That's not terrible. And, aside from injuries (which you can't anticipate before they happen), it's actually a pretty good mix of players that filled a variety of roles for us.
It should also be noted that we didn't give up a hell of a lot to get any of those guys either. So he managed to do all that AND not mortage the future. I'd say that's pretty good considering the alternative (give up a fortune for guys like Vanek, Iginla, Jagr, Pominville, Nash, Suter, Parise, etc.) hasn't exactly yielded positive returns for the teams who have gone that route.
I'm clearly in the minority here. And that's fine. He has earned much of his hardware when there was no salary cap.
I don't think he's been that terrific lately.
Just my two cents. We apparently disagree though. Which is fine. Neither of us get to fire or retain him anyways.
You've clearly got an axe to grind, which is the point of contention.
You're blaming Holland for things like Nyquist being small and lost, and Stephen Weiss being less effective than he was prior to an injury he didn't have when Holland traded for him.
You're right to say that Holland has made some mistakes over the years. Nobody would argue that. But you're attributing things to him which are totally asinine.
And what's more, you're doing it while the team is actually performing pretty well in the playoffs. Which also suggests some sort of agenda. You might have a point if we'd just been swept. But we didn't. We've played well and earned a 7th game. Why don't you wait and see how the season turns out before assigning blame/finger pointing.
Since '10 we haven't gotten through the second round.
As a "special consultant". You know who else is a "special consultant" to the Red Wings. Chelios and Lidstrom. It would be a stretch to attribute the team's successes or failures to "special consultants".
You're reaching dude.
You can search the entire world over, and you will not find ANYONE who's a better NHL General Manager than Holland. He's got the hardware to prove it. He is, literally, the most accomplished executive in the business. Period. Fin.
So I'm not really sure what you're trying to do here, say that he should be replaced with someone better? There isn't anyone. Demonstrably so. Or are you saying that he's really not that good, and that his underlings did all the work? Which would be silly, because the team was arguably MORE successful when he was the underling.
No matter how you cut it, he's the most competent person at his job...by af****** mile.