The last thing I want to write — or the last thing you desire to read — is another conventional Joff Mess column explaining why Red Wings’ GM Ken Holland needs to be fired immediately.
I’ve written that article so many times that I am sick of addressing the situation. If you want to traipse through that territory again, just go here, here or here. Trust me, it’s brilliant stuff and ahead of its time.
And if you want a national perspective on the Hindenburg that is Kenneth Holland’s managerial stylings, you can read today’s Bill Bradley dissertation on Deadspin — a post that I would like to think was heavily influenced by me and I doubt Mr. Bradley would argue.
No, I want to focus on three items today. First, John Niyo’s recent lukewarm column in the Detroit News regarding the future of the Red Wings. Second, bought-and-paid-for shill blogger George Malik’s response to Bradley’s Deadspin article. And third, a year after my “Swedish Mafia” article I will tell you the identity of the Wings player behind that scoop and how we received the tip.
John Niyo, You Failed Us
For the last few seasons, I have written extremely long articles at the end of the NHL season regarding what I believe the Red Wings should do during the summer months in an effort to regain the franchise’s past glory.
My column from May of 2016 can be found here, but if you want to save yourself some time, just know that if Holland had followed my formula, the team would have some salary flexibility this offseason, Jakob Chychrun would be in the organization, and Darren Helm and Frans Nielsen would not.
But I am not going to write something similar this year because with Holland in charge it is painfully obvious that none of my suggestions will be implemented. If anything, Holland has continually done the exact OPPOSITE of what I proposed. It’s just too depressing to concoct a fantasy situation where the rebuild commences only for Holland to double down on his horrific mistakes.
Which brings us to Niyo, whom I consider to be the best media member working in my own personal Shit Town. I was hardly expecting dipshits like Robert Wojnowski, Helene Scarf James or Ansar Khan to call for Holland’s head, but I was holding out hope that Niyo would write that piece — one that hasn’t been written by any “working” member of the Detroit sports media.
Instead Niyo pulled a Moss and came up with a rebuilding plan of his own that included quality ideas like bribing the Las Vegas expansion team to take one of the team’s atrocious contracts (Helm, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Nik Kronwall, Justin Abdelkader ….. Hey, how much time do you folks have?) with a draft pick since the Golden Knights have a lot of salary space to work with.
Niyo even rightfully carpet bombed Holland’s recent history in this paragraph …..
This would be all fine and well if you were dealing with a GM facing reality, but we are not. Niyo wrote this column after Holland’s season-ending press conference during which he reiterated that there would be no rebuild and the team would still try to tweak its way into the 2018 postseason. Holland made it abundantly clear that he is going to stick with the same plan that has gotten us into this mess in the first place.
And this presser was coming off a recent interview he did with Michael Stone on 97.1 where the lunatic suggested that a rebuild would take FIFTEEN YEARS!!!!! Think about that for a second. 15 seasons. If the Wings team plane crashed into an ocean killing all aboard, the rebuild wouldn’t take a decade and a half.
The Florida Panthers were FOUNDED in 1993 and reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996!!! And THAT was prior to the Salary Cap Era and not in this current Gary Bettman wet dream of parity.
Niyo didn’t have to call for Holland’s job based solely on this past season in which the team’s fluky shootout record masked how bad the team REALLY was. Niyo didn’t even have to mention that the Wings had the league’s highest payroll in 2016-17 and all that got them was 24 regulation and overtime wins. (Only the Avalanche had fewer and they were considered one of the worst regular season teams in post-lockout history.)
Nor did he have to reference Holland’s 2016 spending spree which left the organization with no budgetary wiggle room whatsoever in the year they are to move into a brand new arena.
All Niyo had to write was that Holland is taking an irresponsible approach MOVING FORWARD and is contradicting Niyo’s own to-do list from his column written that day!!!! And that Holland clearly isn’t the man for this project.
But for whatever reason, Niyo didn’t do that. I have no idea why. He was our only hope and instead he gave us ‘It’s time for Holland to change’ when that train left the station three years ago.
Here is the thing. Detroit media members are terrified to call for Holland’s job because of his resume that was built on the backs of Jimmy Devellano, Hakaan Andersson, Scotty Bowman, Bryan Murray and Neil Smith.
I wonder how many of those dolts realize that since the Wings last hoisted Lord Stanley’s hardware in 2008, only FOUR teams have won the Cup. The Penguins, Blackhawks, Kings and Bruins.
And do you know what Ray Shero, Dale Tallon, Dean Lombardi and Peter Chiarelli all have in common? They were the General Managers who BUILT those teams and they all have been either fired or demoted since the Wings beat the Pens in ’08. In the meantime, the Wings have won ONE postseasons series in the last six years.
In some cities, the goal is winning the Stanley Cup and not just making token playoff appearances. Fortunately for Ken Holland, this ain’t one of them.
George May Lick My Taint
As I mentioned earlier, friend of the DSR Bill Bradley wrote a tremendous piece dissecting Holland’s recent failures for Deadspin today. Hell, dopey Holland miraculously even subjected himself to an interview with Bradley. I guess the GM doesn’t realize he can’t talk himself out of every situation and that “Jizz Bucket” Jamie Samuelsen-types aren’t always at the other end of his line.
Anyway, noted Holland apologist and morally bankrupt Red Wings blogger George Malik decided to chime in with a blog post calling into question Bradley’s use of an unnamed former Ilitch employee who had some depressing and disparaging things to say about Holland. Because the standards of the New York Times and Washington Post aren’t good enough for an article about an NHL TEAM.
This giant hunk of shit has the chutzpah to question ANYONE else’s integrity? This is the same guy who took a PAYCHECK from Pavel Datsyuk’s miniature agent/mortgage broker and wrote a puff piece on Dan Milstein’s agency without divulging his monumental conflict of interest!!!!!
Yep, Malik wonders if Deadspin is being Deadspin. The SAME MANIAC who asked this question of Milstein and then pimped the article on his Twitter handle …..
Your passion for advocacy really comes across when you talk about those you represent, especially the young prospects. Do you relate to some of the struggles they face, given your humble beginnings?
You’re obviously a self-made man, and I’m sure no stranger to challenges yourself. It must be gratifying to give a ‘hand up’ to those you know have what it takes.
You’ve obviously built great leadership within the Gold Star Family of Companies. Can you tell me more about the team of player advisors you’ve assembled with the sports management group – why you chose them — and what they bring to the table?
For fuck’s sake.
And not only is Malik a paid shill who tried to HIDE that from his audience. he works for a website that posted the ramblings of a racist fuckface who blogged that Wayne Simmonds and PK Subban made the All Star team as part of some vast left-wing conspiracy to market black hockey players.
And who called out Malik’s website when that post saw the light of the day?
But Malik wasn’t done. This conman then went on Twitter and disparaged ME ….
A “bogus source.”
A bogus source????????
Wow, it really hurts when you are called bogus by the man taking a paycheck from the dude who helped facilitate Datsyuk’s exit, thus costing the Wings a top pair, offensive defenseman for the next 20 years. AND NOT DISCLOSING THAT HE WAS ON MILSTEIN’S PAYROLL AT THE TIME!!!!!
The Bogus Source
So let’s talk about the Swedish Mafia story for a minute.
After the Wings were eliminated by the Lightning last spring …. AGAIN … I penned an article stating a source had told the DSR that Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was acting as the de facto coach of the team.
And that Jeff Blashill would tell the team one thing and the minute the rookie coach walked out of the locker room, Zetterberg would bark out his own orders.
We were also told that Zetterberg’s influence was part of the reason that guys like Ericsson could get away with turnover after turnover and never get benched or even miss a shift. Or why a garbage player like Joakim Andersson was on the team’s 2016 playoff roster when Anthony Mantha was not.
Zetterberg, of course, denied the details in my story and even went as far to tell the Detroit sports media that he wanted to TALK TO ME PERSONALLY about my article. I reached out to several people in an effort to facilitate this meeting with Hank, but, of course, it never materialized. That was all talk from #40.
So, how did the DSR get that juicy scoop? Here is how ….
After the Wings were vanquished from the postseason, one of the members of the team contacted a friend of his who also plays in the league. This Wings forward spilled the beans about Zetterberg acting as the shadow manager.
The friend of the Wings player just happened to be close to a former writer and contributor to this website. You can connect the dots from there.
I am not going to disclose the player’s name but I will say this. He is in the midst of a ridiculous seven-year, $30 million contract. His numbers predictably plummeted this year with Datsyuk in Russia. And he is engaged to an absolute dime piece.
I doubt you’ll ever figure out this riddle.
It’s good to be back.