Accountability within an NHL Organization


Let's start off by rewinding to the 2013 Training Camp. Daniel Cleary had been offered a multi-year deal with the Philadelphia Flyers. Everything seemed right. However, Mike Babcock made a fuss to Ken Holland about wanting Cleary back to the Red Wings. Why? Because he's an "accountable veteran who is well-respected in the locker room." Fair enough, Mike.. Kenny will get you what you want. Cleary was signed to a one year deal worth $1.75 million. Whatever.

Cleary ended his season with a staggering 8 points in 52 games before missing time with an injury. Who is accountable for that signing? No one, of course.

Amidst the injury plague that was the 2013-2014 Regular Season, Detroit saw a wave of rowdy young players throw the team on their backs and push them uphill into the playoffs as an 8th seed. Who is accountable for that? Jack Adams Nominee Mike Babcock, of course.

Perhaps you recall at the trade deadline when this broken team acquired veteran center David Legwand in exchange for a 2nd round pick, top-prospect Calle Jarnkrok, and Patrick Eaves. Why was this trade made? According to Mike Babcock, he wanted a player who could be held "accountable."

Of course we saw the Detroit diggers dress the trade up with a pretty pink bow by saying Jarnkrok wanted to go back to Sweden, which I believe that to be a complete folly. Jarnkrok wants to play in the NHL, and he's going to get his chance in Nashville. The whole "he wants to go back to Sweden" gag was nothing more than Detroit diggers trying to cloak this front-office's LACK of accountability.

See where I'm going with this yet?

This entire organization is derived on being an "everyday" player. That was pretty much hammered into the skulls of young players at the 2014 development camp this year. Every time I spoke with Anthony Mantha, he kept talking about how he wants to be an "everydayer." These young players are being taught that they are accountable for their future in the NHL, which is why they need to work every day to give them a better chance. A solid philosophy, but it's sheer hypocrisy.

We signed Dan Cleary again yesterday.. With a raise. After scoring 8 points. He was signed because he was made a "promise" last offseason. A promise that didn't need to be made, mind you. The favor had already been done to him by bringing him back another year in 2013-2014. Who's going to be held accountable for this? I'll tell you who: No one. Not Mike Babcock for standing atop a mountain and whining out Cleary's name until he was brought back, and certainly not Ken Holland for giving into that. Literally no one is accountable. Why? Because there is zero accountability in this front office. But hey, we crave accountability in players. That's why we get these veterans, right?

Ken Holland commented on Cleary yesterday saying he will have to "beat out" players for his roster spot. Until I see his name as a healthy scratch on the opening-night roster, I don't believe for one second that the player who he signed for $1.5 million gets scratched from the get-go. Literally nothing about the past tells us that it will happen. Nope, Jurco will get tossed back and forth from Grand Rapids like a football in the backyard of a frat-party during Rush Week. Tomas will likely do it politely too, because he's a good kid and wants to do whatever it takes to make it in the NHL.. Just like Nyquist was. Jurco could still make the team if Daniel Alfredsson isn't re-signed. However, if this is a team that snubs Alfredsson and re-signs Cleary... I don't know what to say. Probably lots of swear words.

As for trades? No thanks. I don't trust you, Ken. Not anymore.
You've carbon-copied the roster that couldn't stay healthy (I have every reason to believe they won't next season either) and you've snubbed one of the players who helped your team stay relevant and make a push to your impending doom that was the Boston Bruins in the first round.
As for coaching? Peters is gone, Renney is likely gone.. You can't get UFA players to come to Detroit, and you have no idea why.. What makes you think coaches are going to be any different?

An accountable organization? No, I think what you're running here is a burlesque comedy, and I'll tell you what.. Red Wings faithful just aren't sitting so faithful anymore.

So who's accountable? In the eyes of team ownership, no one. The team keeps bringing in money, so who cares right?
With that being said... Good luck making the team anytime soon, kids. You're gonna need it. Don't worry! Your hard work won't be forgotten.