Holland sticks to script
Wings GM is digging in his plan to dig team out
From one vantage point, the Red Wings look doomed. They don’t have stars in their prime or a stocked farm system, and they don’t have loads of salary-cap space. They also don’t have a proven history of rebuilding because, well, they haven’t done it in 25 years.
Ken Holland has heard the yelps and knows the odds, and he’s not giving in or giving up. He’s also not interested in defending his record of success or belaboring the rough reality of the Wings’ current circumstance. They’re stuck in a difficult spot partly because they’ve avoided it for so long, and Holland takes a lot of the heat. He gets it, agrees with some, vehemently disagrees with some. The Wings’ longtime GM is digging in, and sticking to the plan for digging out. The Wings won’t make a big splash when free-agency opens Saturday. They won’t trade future picks or prime young assets. They will sign one or two stopgap veterans — possibly a defenseman such as the Penguins’ 33-year-old Trevor Daley — with the goal of reaching the playoffs in their first season at Little Caesars Arena.
That sounds stubborn to some, even though the touted alternative — the unseemly notion of “tanking” for better draft position — provides no clear timetable for success. The Wings are adjusting some elements but Holland isn’t altering his basic philosophy. He loves the size of 6-6 center Michael Rasmussen, taken ninth in the first round of the entry draft. The Wings added bulk and defense with their 11 picks, and when their draft class was ripped as underwhelming by many experts, Holland didn’t fire back.
“If you think we’re a million
Free agency: Pittsburgh’s Daley could be Wings’ likeliest option, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland disagrees with the notion that his team is “a million miles behind everyone else.”