Ken Holland Tournament Over and Red Wings Have Last Laugh

My uncle has been a Red Wings season ticket holder since the first full season the team played at Joe Louis Arena. And because of this relationship I have been able to attend hundreds of games over the last four decades — everything from Steve Yzerman’s debut, to the March 26th Massacre, to Game 4 of the 1997 Finals.

I fell in love with the Red Wings the first time I went to that dump arena when I was about nine years old and watched the Montreal Canadiens kick our ass. We caught a puck that game and I have been pretty obsessed with the franchise ever since. As told here many times before, I had to move my wedding date because I wasn’t going to be in an airplane during Game 3 of the 2009 Finals. I am pretty committed, even if you don’t like my “By Any Means Necessary” approach I take on this site.

(In retrospect, I could have missed Jordan Staal’s shorthanded goal that flipped that series on its head. I could have also done without Game 7 a few night later when I returned from Las Vegas to witness that cunt Sidney Crosby hoist the Cup but that’s an entirely different story.)

Anyway, after about 35 years of renewing Wings’ second row, lower bowl seats, the team contacted my uncle over the summer and told him that he’d be the season ticket holder of the night for a game this season. To commemorate the evening, the team wanted someone to come down to Comerica Park in August to record a Q & A video that would be eventually shown during the second period of a 2017-18 home game.

My uncle had no interest in being on the big screen at Little Caesars Arena so my cousin David (his son) and I decided to do the interview. We were told at the time that it wasn’t unusual for two family members to participate in the tribute and that we’d both be featured.

So we went down to Comerica Park and answered about four or five questions each. The following is the questionnaire they sent out prior to the taping along with my responses:


After recording those answers, we found out that this Season Ticket Holder of the Night deal would be on January 31st against the Sharks. Ya know, last night.

Yeah, poor Joff Mess was left on the cutting room floor. And not only that, this video package was BY FAR the shortest one they’ve played all season. Someone put two and two together and figured out it was me in that video and they edited me out completely and just left my cousin answering like one question.

Not that I can blame the Red Wings’ in-game media production people for leaving me out of the tribute. I am the most vociferous and belligerent voice of the anti-Chris Ilitch/Ken Holland resistance. I was just hoping that they wouldn’t recognize me and it would slip through the cracks.

Because it would have been pretty hilarious to honor the season ticket holder of the night on the day the person in that video on the Jumbotron is holding a “Worst Ken Holland Transaction” tournament final on his demented website.

Oh, and about the tourney. Here is the bracket and the championship result ……

The bracket ended up being extremely chalky with all the #1 seeds advancing to the Final Four. In the end there was a lot of incest in the matchups including the final of Holland prioritizing the signing of Johan Franzen over future first-ballot Hall of Famer Marian Hossa losing to overpaying loyalty.  You could make a solid argument that Mule over Hossa could be lumped in that loyalty category.

In fact, there was a lot of debate over over whether or not all of Holland’s history of overpaying veterans instead of letting them walk or test the market should have been one entry. There was a lot of thought given to seeding the Jonathan Ericsson signing, the Justin Abdelkader extension and others separately.

In the end I decided against it because I didn’t want a 64-entry bracket. 32 was depressing enough. But that decision probably crowned the eventual champion as “Overpaying Loyalty” was a 1990 UNLV juggernaut.

Not that it’s not a deserving champion. The overpays and excessive lengths of term Holland has doled out to fourth-line forwards and third-pairing defensemen is nauseating and the main reason the team has only won one postseason series in the last seven years.

Contrast Holland’s habitual need to keep veterans like Kirk Maltby, Kris Draper, Chris Chelios, Dan Cleary and a host of others around way too long with Chicago’s cut-throat operation. The list of guys Stan Bowman has jettisoned from Cup-winning teams is staggering. From Dustin Byfuglien to Brandon Saad to Artemi Panarin, the Blackhawks have never had an issue with separating loyalty when it comes to the overall health of the franchise.

So that’s the final word on the tourney. Hopefully it will be a going-away present to Holland when he leaves Detroit at the end of this season for Seattle, Vancouver or Edmonton.

And that lost video of me answering questions at Comerica Park on August 14, 2017? Well, the Wings refused to show it, but luckily my cousin videoed one of my answers. And yes, that is the Red Wings version of the Flyers baseball jersey DJ Jazzy Jeff wore in the video for “Summertime.”

Enjoy …..

(You can follow Moss on Twitter @JeffMossDSR. You can discuss this article on Facebook by clicking here. You can also go fuck yourself if you’d like. Totally up to you.)