DISCLAIMER: In this article, I put aside all of my expertise (lol), analysis, logic, and reasoning.
By now, you’ve heard the news. Whether you like it or hate it (you probably hate it), it’s over and done with. Ken Holland will sit as GM for the Red Wings as long as he wants, and as for Jeff Blashill, a coach that he’s personally seasoned and advocated for, well he’s just going to control his fate as long as he so wishes.
The reaction from Red Wing faithful has been all but welcoming, and that is completely warranted. Management has made a myriad of poor decisions that will have the team hogtied for years to come. These were short-sighted decisions made in hopes that an aging core of players like Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, and Niklas Kronwall would be enough to push them to another run at playing hockey in June.
Ken Holland: I’ll have ‘we like our team’ for 500, Alex.
*that one noise from Jeopardy that plays when you’re wrong plays*
Alright, you struck out. Again. Every one is pissed. Red Wings fans have endured a horse-bleep couple of years — what, with losing a storied generational talent in Pavel Datsyuk, the best coach in hockey, an owner who believed in the city of Detroit, and their hockey team’s compete level as a whole, I’d say these are dark days in ‘Hockeytown,’ or whatever the heck we call it now. It’s fine.
Here comes the counterpoint. Here comes a take so hot and ready, they’re selling it at your local pizza shop.
I think that keeping the same front office is the best bet for this era of ownership.
This has nothing to do with my feelings on Ken Holland, Jeff Blashill, Kris Draper, Ryan Martin, or whoever else. It boils down to ownership. Simply put, you can say what you want about Mike Illitch and his empire, but he left it to a completely different mindset.
Mr. Illitch was a high-roller — through and through. He put up the money to get his team where he wanted it to be, and that groomed a very irresponsible GM in Ken Holland. Now, Holland needs to deal with the repercussions of emptying the piggy bank with new rules under the salary cap. Maybe he works it out, maybe he doesn’t. That’s not the point. The point is that the Red Wings will be a troubled team for quite some time, and yes, Holland will shoulder the blame for it. But as a fan, my raw emotions tell me that I would rather have Ken Holland try and build up what he tore down than Chris Illitch go scorched earth with something he knows nothing about.
Okay, so maybe Chris Illitch is some sort of hockey genius... ENNNNH (this was supposed to be a buzzer). He isn’t. He’s a business man — and a good one at that. If you ask me, I think that the best situation for us fans is that Ken Holland fumbles the attempt of trying to clean up his mess... Fumbles so bad that Chris Illitch realizes that he doesn’t know the first thing about managing a team at the state that the Red Wings (and Tigers) are at, and decides to sell it to someone who does. That’s my final play. That’s my Hail Mary in the 4th quarter of the State Championship with 10 seconds left. Simply put.. It’s a pipe dream.
I think that Ken Holland has dug himself a hole. It’s a hole that we all thought he would end up buried in, but now he has another chance of digging himself out. The odds are against him, but the odds of the Red Wings being fixed in the next three years are slim, so I’m willing to see what he has planned. We’ve seen him at his best, we’ve seen him at his worst (cross your fingers), so let’s see if he can climb out. The Wings have a huge summer ahead of them.. They have a shot at a big haul of picks in the Draft, and there’s always a chance at more trades. We know he can pull them off (Mrazek, Tatar, etc). We can only hope that maybe he’s got a plan tucked up his sleeve.
DISCLAIMER: Hope is not a strategy