Can we please put this to bed now? Also, those myopic posts about Holland not doing his job... Yea, you can't dance if you don't have a partner, no matter how much you try...
Holland made offers to the two big free agents and the biggest guy on the trade market, now that he's really up against the wall with no other choices, so he gets a pass? Oh, and he didn't get any deals done, but to me, that's never been the issue. Nash was always a huge longshot and if people really get upset about that, then it's just unfortunate.
But again, where was this thinking the last 4 years? You seem to deem it okay that Holland went after Nash as you're using it to defend him. Okay, well, we can only assume that his offer included Franzen and Flip, and we couldn't pass on or trade just one of those guys in 2009 to make keeping Hossa, a better all-around player than Nash, for far less money?
I said it then and I'll say it again now: when you have the chance to bring in genuine superstar talent, you do what it takes to make it happen.
Holland didn't do that, and now he's left having to beg to give up more to get back less from people who don't even care to listen.
And the last 4 years, the same types of stories keep repeating. You would think that losing Rafalski would have lit a fire under him to start looking for a Lidstrom replacement via any means necessary, but again, based on what he's said, not I, he wasn't interested in trading away so and so and such and such to make any sort of big move. But now that we're up against the wall, it's okay? Again, it would've been nice if he had approached these things in a realistic, business-like manner the last 4 years instead of waiting until we were left with a defense that didn't include Lidstrom, Rafalski, and Stuart and an offense that struggles to score goals when it counts.
But even when we had the defense, we couldn't get past the 2nd round, and last years 1st round exit was just embarrassing. Some draw we are now…
Some call it parity, but I think Holland's struggled to make decisions that could rock the boat when it's been obvious for some time that the boat was going to get rocked no matter what when Lidstrom left. He's consistently settled on trying to keep all the pieces he already has instead of swapping some out to get bigger pieces or pieces that simply better complement some of our current pieces. One of his strengths is in finding low-end or cheap talent that can contribute like Bert, Eaves and Miller, but instead of chasing those guys because he has no cap space after signing game-changers like Hossa, he's forced to chase them when they're the only option left at all and then expect what's likely too much out of them. And again, at this point, all those guys he refused to part with are either gone or currently being shopped around in a futile desperation act.
So, I don't know, feel free to love him unconditionally, but despite past successes, I find little reason to defend his handling of this team the last 4 years. I'm not taking anything away from the past success, but this is 4 years in a row now of Holland coming up short in my book. I defended him as long as I could, hoping that perhaps in the last minute he'd pull a rabbit out of his hat and make it all okay like he's done before. That would've minimized my distaste with his management the last 3 years, but at this point, it's clear he never had a solid plan at any point in time to prepare for this off-season.
I'm not even mad at him about this off-season. He did what he could in a desperate moment and came up short for logical and easily understandable reasons. But the thing is, successful people tend to find a way to get "desperate" before life forces it on them, leaving them with a lot more control and subsequently far more options and time to consider them. Holland failed to get "desperate" until life forced it on him, and thus had very little control and few options. And any way you shake it, at this point, he's failed to address the biggest hole that's ever been left by a player leaving this team.
He hasn't even come close to replacing Stuart (Quincey still has a lot to prove this otherwise) let alone Rafalski.
To allow it to come to the point where it still hasn't been addressed in any way, shape or form this summer or in the last 3 offseasons is simply unacceptable. Holland didn't get serious about this until he absolutely had to; he procrastinated, and he came up with nothing. And now he has less bargaining power than he ever had as well.
He may be one of the best GM's in sports when history is taken into account, but he's now well into year four of a stretch where he has been anything but one of the best GM's. It may not kill his reputation, and it shouldn't, but it doesn't negate the fact that he's failed to address too many issues since our last serious Cup run. Maybe the management version of a Stanley Cup hangover lasts four years and looks like a guy clinging to past success too much instead of evolving. That's the closest I can come to a logical explanation for three seasons and four offseasons of doing next to nothing to tweak a team with balance issues let alone prepare for the post-Lidstrom/Rafalski/Stuart era.