A couple of weeks ago, Detroit News columnist John Niyo wrote his latest “The Red Wings Are a Hot Mess” article and it was pretty on point as usual. But buried in that column was a sentence that largely went unnoticed regarding GM Ken Holland ….
“But that’s where all this gets a bit harder to read, because Holland’s future in Detroit seems just as uncertain, if not more so, with an expiring contract and no apparent talks of an extension for a GM who has been in place for more than two decades.”
I have been pretty resigned to the fact that garbage owner Chris Ilitch would either extend Holland’s tenure as GM in Detroit or ask him to move upstairs while one of Holland’s subordinates (Kris Draper or Ryan Martin) took over player personnel decisions. Both scenarios would be a nightmare considering Holland would probably still be the team’s shadow GM if one of his puppets took over the reins.
But this comment from Niyo was intriguing and I doubt the columnist wrote it without doing some research. It gave me the first hope that the possibility of a completely new regime in Detroit is possible.
And boy, a total revamping of the Red Wings’ front office — from Holland down to every scout — is urgent. And if you don’t believe me, just read the following comment from Hockey News writer Matt Larkin …..
And this isn’t some Holland hater who is stating that the Wings are currently in the worst position of any of the 31 teams in the NHL. This is a dude whom I’ve personally labeled a Holland APOLOGIST in the past.
The most recent humiliation for Holland occurred as Team Canada selected their Under-20 team for the upcoming World Junior Championships in Buffalo.
Neither of the Wings’ last two first-round picks made the prestigious squad. This year’s top selection, Michael Rasmussen — a power play specialist reach with the 9th pick overall — wasn’t even INVITED to compete for the roster.
And defenseman Dennis Cholowski was the first player cut from Team Canada — which indicates his invitation was a favor to Holland more than anything else.
It’s an utter embarrassment that a 2016 first-round pick (20th overall) couldn’t make Team Canada’s blue line in his final year of eligibility.
Here is a breakdown of the skaters on the Team 🇨🇦 roster. I have included the round each player was selected and their overall selection in their respective draft year ……
Cholowski couldn’t beat out the 51st and 100th selections in his own DRAFT YEAR, not to mention the THREE players who made the roster and are a year younger than him.
And Rasmussen’s situation is even more ridiculous. Keep in mind that the Tri-City Americans’ forward was the NINTH overall selection and he didn’t even get invited to the camp, while the 47th, 50th, 55th, 121st and 128th players selected in his draft year MADE THE GOD DAMN TEAM!!!!!
Many Wings and Holland apologists have defended the Rasmussen snub by stating that Gabe Vilardi (a kid on Windsor whom Detroit fans wanted and who was picked two slots later) didn’t make the team either.
Yeah, except Vilardi has been hurt all season long and hasn’t played a game in the OHL!!!!!
Is this evidence that Cholowksi and Rasmussen will be busts? Absolutely not. But the Wings cannot miss on these first round selections and the early returns on Holland’s recent first-round picks are not good.
Their 2015 top pick (Yevgeni Svechnikov) is currently languishing in Grand Rapids with a paltry two goals and three assists in 27 games.
Cholowski was such a bust playing for St. Cloud State last season that he packed it in — with the Wings’ prodding — and decided to regroup in the WHL this year.
Other slapdick Wings fans and Uncle Tom bloggers have suggested that Canadian brass wanted a grittier WJC team and selected more grinders. Guess what? The Red Wings have someone in their system who fits that bill as well.
Well, 2016 second-round selection (46th overall) Givani Smith didn’t get invited to the Team Canada camp either.
Last week, Holland gave an interview with TSN1050 in Toronto where he said the following:
“The reality of it is, if we are going to be an elite team, it’s really going to happen through the draft.”
What? If the REALITY of the situation is that you are only going to get better through the draft, then why the fuck did you trade Pavel Datsyuk’s dead cap space to Arizona (so you could overpay for Frans Nielsen and re-sign Darren Helm) instead of selecting Jakob Chychrun with that pick?!?!?!?!?!?!?
Oh yeah, Chychrun didn’t make Team Canada’s WJC squad either. That’s because he is in his second year in the NHL playing for the Coyotes on their second defensive pairing.
By the way, the most underrated part of the Chychrun/Cholowski debacle is that Dennis looks like he has a Bar Mitzvah to attend and Jakob looks like Ivan Drago’s son.
As bad as shit is here in Detroit, the future looks even worse because the team’s farm system is impressing absolutely no one. The Griffins are mainly led by a bunch of journeymen who weren’t even selected by the Wings while guys like Svechnikov, Dylan Sadowy, Joe Hicketts and Filip Hronek haven’t exactly set the world on fire.
Even more insane is that one of their top defensive prospects (Vili Saarijarvi) started the season in TOLEDO playing for the Walleye this season. Because I guess the jury is still out on Brian Lashoff.
Holland also might be losing his fucking mind. In that aforementioned interview, he told the hosts the following:
“(Henrik) Zetterberg and (Pavel) Datsyuk became Zetterberg and Datsyuk when they were 25 and 26 years of age, not when they were 21 and 22 … they were just … I think Pav might have even been in Russia.”
Pavel Datsyuk was already a Stanley Cup Champion by the age of 23 and was most definitely not still in Russia.
And Henrik Zetterberg was the runner-up for the Rookie of the Year …. at age 22!!!!!!
This team is a third-trimester abortion and shit is only going to get worse until Holland and the entire front office is broomed. When losers like George Malik and the fanboy fucks at WingingItInMotown continue to root for this team it boggles my mind.
This team needs to bottom out NOW. Shit needs to be so bad that even Chris Ilitch can’t justify bringing Holland back. They need the best draft odds possible to get a franchise defenseman like Sweden’s Rasmus Dahlin.
Who — by the way — will be playing for his home country in Buffalo starting next week.
And he doesn’t turn 18 until April.
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