Holland Gone Senile: Keeping Players Near It Too

What the heck is going on, or should I say is wrong with Ken Holland all of a sudden. The league has known him to be a deal maker and top-notch stealer in the past years but lately his choices are questionable.

Take for instance his priorities this offseason. You’d think he would go after a few decent free agents right away like Markov or Samsonov, ones that could speed and toughen the team without breaking the bank. Or filling the two wholes that are in the top 2 lines at winger with RFA’s like Gagne or Havlat via trade.

But who does he consider to be most valuable and dangerous to lose? Chris Osgood, Chris Chelios, and Brendan Shanahan. Is this a cruel joke? Apparrently since he is just about done to signing all of them back. All old and just plain second rate knowaday’s.

What about Shanny and his 80pts and 40pts you say? Well think about this, he had one of the best and most creative centers, Datsyuk, doing all the work for him. Don’t believe me? Just look at his numbers when Pavel wasn’t centering him in the playoffs or was still recovering from injury. A meager 2pts in six games. If hes getting older, he’s only going to get worse.

The fact is this team is probably going to only be worse next year despite the improved financial breathing room. Detroit started off with around $31 million committed to players. Then they singed Osgood for two years. Add another mill. Then Chelios’ pay raise. Add another mill. Belfour is added to the senior’s team for another mill. And now most likely shanahan for an outrageous $4 mill. So that makes the grand total now……$37 million. Leaving a plentiful 7 million. Wait. Carry the four, add the 5, crap. Only 7 million.

The Red Wings Lineup Looks Like this right now….









So what is he going to do with the other 7 million (well should be 11) he contends is supposed to be dedicated towards a physical defensman, a goalie (not since we got the eagle), and who knows what else? That’s anybody’s guess.

What should he do? Well if we retract the mentally insane $4million for the Irishman here’s how I think it should be handled. Sign Danny Markov for $3 million. That’ll leave 12. Then go for Havlat and sign him for 4 million. Next Gagne for $5-6 million. If Gagne takes $5 then that’ll leave $3 million for Samsonov, who by lives in the Detriot area during the summer. Now that would sound and likely work perfectly. Whether it could or would be done is another matter.

Now here’s the lines.









Sound good? Go Wings and good luck fans.

34 Responses to Holland Gone Senile: Keeping Players Near It Too

  1. monley89 says:

    i didnt read ur article and the reason is this, NO ONE knows whats going on with management PERIOD. you can speculate and get ur knots all tied up, but at the end of the day, if your not involved with the detoit organization you cant say anything who knows whats goin on with that team, lol i jus had to get that off my chest before reading this!

  2. magnifikko says:

    ok now, how do u expect to get Gagné and Havlat….trades?? what are u gonna give up for them without changer ur core of players…just curious…

  3. monley89 says:

    ok now that i read ur article, i’ll say this, first off not bad, its your opinion right so im not gonna bash that, but come on that last part with markov, gagne and havlat? come on neverrrr gonna happen

  4. ThomasHawks says:

    Do you really think that Detroit can have Havlat, Samsonov, D.Markov and Gagne with the salary cap.

  5. Viller02 says:

    Get Havlat and Gagne without giving anything, im a little curious to know how you would plan to do so. Its impossible, thats the bottom line.

  6. Farva says:

    I was with you until all this Gagne, Samsonov. Havlat talk. You said that the Wings had $7 mil to spend, minus Shannys $4 mil would give you $11m. Then you went up to $15m available to spend. Not trying to nitpick, but you know what im saying.

    If you want to swing a trade so badly, why dont you send Holland to the Leafs and well give you JFJ and a pick

  7. Winged16 says:

    I am dissappointed by KH this offseason. Although I think he’s just been outmaneuvered on many of his targeted players (Gerber for example). I suspect that they aren’t bidding enough due to the pressures of the cap…

    Still… Havlat, Gagne, Samsonov, Markov AND Belfour???? You are daft!

    Of those 5, two (Gagne/Havlat) would require major trades that’d require giving up good ACTIVE players (i.e. Dats & Zetts). Or, we’d have to give up 4 1st rounders for an RFA offer sheet…

    As for Belfour… I fear that KH will sign this nut which will guarantee a mediocre season either due to his injuries or simply his antics. He is literally over the hill… had a horrible season last year, has a very wonky back, and his personality would be cancer to this team.

    If I were GM for a day…

    – Shanny… 2.75M max for a year… if he wants more he can walk.

    My priorities for new players –

    – #1 Markov (UFA) – A must-sign in my opinion… he’ll toughen up the blue line significantly

    – #2 Bell (trade): Chi is offering him up… he is young, big, strong, can score, and has a mean streak. Bell (or someone like him) is also a must-sign in my opinion.

    – #3 Samsonov (UFA) – Small… but shifty. Would complement Dats well but they need someone big (hence ‘Bell’ above) on their line to give them room.

    – #4 Biron (trade): The best option out there for a decent young netminder w/out breaking the bank.

    Who would I offer to trade? Lang (if Shanny or Samsonov are signed), Schneider (if Markov is signe), Williams/Hudler (both are at a peak of value after last season), any prospect other than Kindl, Grigorenko or Howard… and of course picks.

  8. Winged16 says:

    I forgot to mention what I’d do for Netminders.

    Ozzie already signed… so can’t do much about that. So, I’d bring up Liv & let him compete for the #1 slot.

    I’d rather go with Ozzie/Liv than sign Belfour (or Hasek for that matter).

    Ozzie did well last season when he had regular crease time… he was much weaker when he was in the pure backup role. I believe if he was #1 he’d be solid enough… certainly more solid than the Eagle.

    As for Liv, he’s been ‘maturing’ overseas for a long time. Skilled & flashy, he’s done well in Sweden and has become a fan favorite. The only concern would be that he would need to adjust to the North American game.

    Howard probably could challenge for the #1 spot… but I think he needs more seasoning time in GR. Probably 07/08 when he’ll be ready.

  9. Marky2Fresh says:

    Pass some of that please

  10. 2buxaslice says:

    Why would Samsonov take a paycut? He’s gonna be looking for $4 mil at least, probably closer to $4.5.

  11. Biggzy says:

    Good lord this threads or comments are just ridiculous. People pretending to play GM with all these herendous wishful thinking scenarios. Gimme a break. Detroit isn’t going to get Gagne.

    Obviously Ken Holland knows what he’s doing and you don’t, otherwise you’d be the GM of the wings.

  12. mikeribeiro says:

    Shanahan is coming to montreal anyway…the real “hockeytown”

  13. Mainer87 says:

    Very nice mikeriberio. The last part of this article sounds like a leafs fan dreaming about a winning roster that they will never have.

  14. ObjectiveImpartiaL says:

    There are so many holes in this I don’t know were to start. Just refer to the above posts for that. There is not one player that you have there that you would be able to get. Thats why he has not done those things. Its not easy being a GM and it looks like the wings are getting set to rebuild after next year.

  15. dcz28 says:

    it would be possible just by making an offer to them and if the team doesn’t match the Wings would lose draft picks for them but thats not going to happen and instead of Gagne, Bergeron would be a better cheaper choice anyways.

  16. tacitus says:

    Umm Osgood, Chelios, Belfour for a total of around 3 mil isnt bad at all. I hate Chelios and Belfour but i mean what do u expect in a salary cap world. Lidstrom got more then last year, Kronwell got a raise u gotta budget and u still have to play for Datsyuks and Zetterbergs raises coming in the next year or 2. I woulda went with Osgood/Howard instead of Belfour/Osgood but thats not my call. And if Ficsher comes back they will have Lidstrom, Schneider, Kronwell and Fischer logging over 20 minutes a piece. 850k for chelios expecting to play 10-15 min a game isnt bad. You want more miracle trades or something.

  17. dcz28 says:

    I agree that so far Holland has done very little to improve the team but teams have overpaid for players so far which has made his job much harder with the cap limit.

    Now if he signs Belfour i will lose a lot of respect for him since i believe Belfour will hurt this team more then help just by his personality (no Yzerman to keep him humble) and the fact that he is done and should retire. Biron would be my #1 choice depending on what Buffalo wants for him from the Wings and how much Biron actually wants money wise since he is only qualified at 2.2 million not signed…maybe Biron wants 3-4 million a year for 4-5 years i don’t know. If not i would either sign Legace again at a good price since no team has shown interest in him so far or let Liv, Howard and the other young goalies have a go at it with Osgood for the starting job.

    Shanahan i would offer 1 or 2 year deals at 3 million per season or else let him walk…to me thats a fair deal for him…i wonder how Lidstrom feels after taking less then he could have asked for to help give some cap room to improve the team only to have Shanahan hold the team up for ransom and hurting the teams chances to be able to improve the roster.

    Samsonov is a possibility depending on his asking price and he would go good on a line with Datsyuk although he does have a long injury history.

    Gagne you can forget he wants around 5 million a year and Clarke would want Zetterberg for sure since they have enough centres in Philly also Gagne would not be worth 4 first round picks with a 5 million a year price tag if they sent him an offer sheet.

    Havlat is a great talent but again it would depend on what the Sens want from the Wings for him since he plans on becoming a UFA next year and sending him and offer sheet would not be worth it with the risk he would sign elsewhere next season.

    Markov would be a good addition and i would like for Bab***** to use Lilja as a 6th or 7th dman not on the first pairing with Lidstrom since he is always out of position…he is some what physical and blocks shots thats it.

    If i were Holland i would offer the Blues Lilja and a 1st round pick for Brewer maybe another pick if that’s what is took to get the deal done but i seriously doubt that the Blues would trade him to Detroit or as i said before would send Bergeron of the Bruins an offer of 4 million a year on a multi-year deal and watch them have to match or loose him for a couple of 1st round picks (they would match it for sure but would screw their budget for the other RFA’s) a little revenge for the time they offered Lapointe that big contract although that blew up in their face when the Wings refused to match that and he went to Boston…the Wings need some grit on defense and forward no doubt about that…fast gritty players is a must on every team in the new NHL.

  18. RangerSteve says:

    i got a nice buzz goin right now, and your post just magnified EXACTLY what i was about to say lol.

  19. Downtown says:

    Even though there are some questionable strategies at play in Detroit (chiefly Shanny at $4 million and a lot of faith in Belfour), most teams would kill to have a roster like that under the salary cap.

    To ice the line-up you mention with $7 million to spare is far ahead of most other teams. (I hate to admit it as a Leaf fan, but Ottawa may be the only team with more bang for the buck — at least in the regular season).

    I do agree, however, Holland could’ve done much more with the resources he had. From what I understand, he was prepared to sign Luongo to an offer sheet before he was traded so that may have caused him to alter his plans in a hurry. Who would’ve though Keenan would’ve taken a number four defenceman, a back-up goalie and a soon-to-be free agent with excess bagage for Louy?

    Really, Detroit could go with its current line-up (at least they know Shanny has some chemistry with Datsyuk — unlike the other team(s) apparently willing to break the bank for him) and be in great shape to pick up players at or near the trade deadline with plenty of cap space. I don’t think the Wings would be in serious danger of missing the playoffs.

    Teams like New Jersey and those who made poor decisions in the FA market will be looking to move salary and good deals may be out there. If not, there’s room to move next season.

    All in all, I don’t think things are that bad in Motown. They’re not the team they once were, but dynasties are a thing of the past in the salary cap era.

  20. Downtown says:

    Biron is a decent goalie but I understand why Holland hasn’t moved for him — he’s not a franchise goaltender (otherwise he’d be starting in Buffalo since he’s still fairly young and Miller would bring a much better return).

    It’s much the same in Toronto — a slightly above-average goalie is not good enough. And before the comments come, yes, I realize Raycroft is a risk but there is a possibility he could return to the form he showed every year of his career except for last. If he doesn’t pan out, a replacement will be sought or they’ll wait to see if Pogge is the real deal.

    Wings fans, like Leaf fans, expect their team to challenge for the Cup every year. (Whether they actually do or not is another story) and Biron doesn’t exactly inspire championship dreams.

    Holland’s in a bad position because aquiring top goalie via trade would rob the team of someone like Zetterberg — not an option at this point. So, he’ll opt for Belfour if he’s healthy and see what he can do in the near future about picking up a franchise goalie.

  21. BigCanuck says:

    You now what? He might be worth that on the market, but If I was gm, why the hell would I pay a floater that much, banking on a 80 point season , when he is always hurt, and disapears in the playoffs? Totally invisible in the final! Pisani is where the dough is!

  22. Downtown says:

    Belfour is getting older and he physicals he took in Motown will help determine the health of his back, but I don’t know where you get “his antics” from.

    He was nothing but gold for Toronto (last season was not very good, I grant you, but it was mainly due to injuries) and was easily, I say easily, their MVP in 2003 and 2004. More valuable to the team than Sundin or anyone else.

    Not once was there any problem with Belfour in the dressing room or out. The only reason he’s not in Toronto this year was his $4.5 million salary — nothing else.

  23. MoscowDynamo says:

    It is abuntantly clear that you really know nothing about the Red Wings. The fact that you focus on names like Samsonov, Havlat, Gagne and never even mention names like Hudler, Kopecky, Liv, Filppula illustrates your severe lack of knowledge of the Wings’ system. There will be room made for at least 2 of the aforementioned rookies this year.

    It seems you’ve jumped the gun a bit with your “Belfour is added to the senior’s (sic) team for another mill” comment. When did this happen?

    In my opinion Belfour is, in most part, a bargaining tool. Every GM in the league knows Ken Holland needs a #1 netminder right now. Why hasn’t he acquired one? Because GMs are asking for a ridiculous return (Kronwall was one rumor). Enter Eddie the Eagle and suddenly there is a bit of leverage for Holland.

    Lastly, and the one point I agree with you on, is the idea of the Wings acquiring Danny Markov. I think this will happen. I also think a BBiron or Giguere will be in red and white before Belfour, but that’s just my opinion, which I’m entitled to. Just like you are. I just think your opinion of what the Wings will/should do is so far off the map you should have never clicked on “OK” when you finished typing.

  24. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    actually anyone with half a brain knows its toronto. yes the city with dillusional hockey fans.

  25. flyerjim says:

    Didn’t he offer a Dallas cop like, a Katrillionbazillion dollars once?? I thought I read through the year he got kinda pissy about Tellqvist getting more starts too?? Not that I really care, when his back goes out he’s Holland and the Wings problem.

  26. darthjudd says:

    You make being a GM sound like the easiest job in the world. You have to be a little more realistic when it comes to signing free agents. Brendan Shanahan is a must sign for the WIngs, true Datsyuk was his line mate, but Shanny still hast to bury the puck himself. Markov is a possibility and Holland may have offered him a contract, but maybe Markov doesnt want to play in Hockey Town, USA. Do you think Bobby Clarke would give up Gagne? He is one of the elite players in the NHL right now and in order to get him the wings would have to give up the likes of Zetterberg or Datsuik. Havlat has stated many times that he only wants a 1 year deal with OTT and then he’ll test the free agent market, but for the Sens to trade him they would want something fair in return, such as Zetterburg and that isnt going to happen. As far as their goalies are concerned i think that the Osgood/Belfour tantem will be decent. They’ll get Belfour for one year at a low price with a lot of incentives and Osgood will carry his fair share of the games and he’ll do well. Without locking down crazy UFA’s and RFA’s the Wings can go after a good young goalie next year and sign him to a long term contract. GM’s have hard jobs and you have to be realistic nowadays. Good luck to the Wings, but keep your heads up come playoff time for those Alberta teams. Or maybe it’s Vancouvers time to upset them??

  27. GoWings1989 says:

    UMMM Shanahan has signed with the Rangers

  28. goleafsgo1991 says:

    Detroit survives off having large numbers of underrated Swedes and A handful of veteran players that are in the wilight of their careers, being carryovers from the great Detroit teams of the 1990s. Detroit doesn’t need an oustanding goalie, it’s proven that. It also doesn’t need a whole bunch of prime-aged, expensive snipers, it has Zetterberg and Dastyuk (who are putting up as many points as Yzerman and Shanahan did in the 1990s), and if they stick with the first roster you displayed they also have a solid #2 centreman (who’d be a number one on most teams). The second line wingers are a little suspect, but both of them just had breakout seasons and they could end up into decent 20 goal, 60 performers over the next few years. It’d be far better to just let them develop. Their third line is actually a REALLY good checking line, and both Holmstrom and Draper can be relied upon to score 20 goals if the offense is needed. The fourth line is a typical NHL fourth-line and luckily it isn’t populated by minor leaguers and goons. Cleary is a decent 4th liner, Franzen is a sophmore, and Hudler is the next big European rookie. On defense I agree Chelios is abit old, but hey if he get’s the job done he’s probably cheaper then signing some overpaid younger FA defenseman. In goal Belfour and Osgood should be fine, considering Detroit never has had to rely upon an outstanding goalie to win, and the team normally ends up boosting goalie’s stats anyway. Osgood and Belfour can split playing time between now and the trade deadline, when I suspect Jim Howard will have proven enough of himself to earn the back-up job and free up one of the goalies for trade to a team looking for a veteran back-up. Belfour and Osgood can then retire, and Howard can be joined by a FA goalie who can handle a limited workload 50-60 games for a season or two until Howard becomes the starter.
    The one move by Holland I didn’t like was trading his first round pick for 2 second rounders, and then taking a undersized centreman (Emmerton) to join the similarily undersized Datsyuk, Hudler, and McGrath in the farm system, and then taking another centre (except one who didn’t exhibit that much offensive viability; Mathias). The prospect system of the Red Wings is much overstocked at centre and the pick could have been used to acquire either a viable top-4 defenseman (the Red Wings start to get thin in terms of young defensemen after Kronwall and Kindl, especially considering Fischer’s illness) or else on LW, where Abdelkader and Kopecky top the depth chart in terms of prospects. They could have used the pick to get either Joe Ryan (projected to be a reliable top-4 defensive defenseman), Nigel Williams (projected by some to go in the first 15 picks, if not the first round and who’s projected to be a giant two-way defenseman, a poor man’s Chris Pronger…note I said poor man’s so don’t lambast me on that one), or else several decent left wingers, including first-round projected Mike Forney, or Alexander Vasyunov (a Russian Sniper, who seemed to be the most skilled sniper in the draft and who would have fit in nice with the plethora of playmakers that Detroit has).

  29. LeafsLeafsLeafs says:



  30. LeafsJaysRapsBillsManU says:

    Yup, Shanny is coming to Montreal…twice next season as a member of NYR.

  31. JeffBurnz09 says:

    Detroit is in the same situation Philly, Dallas, Toronto and New York is in now…they’re not going to land the big names anytime they want to anymore. With the salary cap, there’s 30 teams looking to land big name players, and 30 teams fully capable of doing it. This off-season is a let down for Detroit fans because it’s not something you’re used to. I don’t think Holland suddenly lost his touch, and it’s not like he’s been sitting around doing nothing since July 1st. He just can’t land every player anytime he wants anymore because “We’re the Red Wings how much do you want?” doesn’t work anymore.

  32. wingfanto says:

    KENNY – WAKE UP AND DOOOOO SOOOOOMETHING ALREADY!!!! Can’t believe what a crappy off-season the wings have had – HUGE diapointment!!

    Granted there are still a few (diminishing) options out there i.e. samsonov, sykora, markov, trading for giguere etc but man oh man – the post stevie era is starting to suck already!

    I think the wings need to make a big splash and sign Gagne to an offer sheet. So what if it costs a 4 first rounders – Red Wing first rounders are usually 29th or 30th overall picks anyways and our gems seem to come from later rounds thanks to stellar scouting. Time to make a statement Kenny. Now that Stevie and Shanny are gone, the salary is there and we need a good fresh new face on the club. I’m a big fan of Gagne and think he’d be great in hockeytown. And hey, worst thing that happens is that you force Philly to step up to the plate to match the offer and have to make some cuts/trades to get back under the cap.

  33. moosehockey says:

    You’re still only allowed to sign 1 RFA from another team every 5 years or so I believe by rule. Since you lose your draft picks for the next few years when you do that.

  34. elite89 says:

    It’s true. Kenny has done little to nothing spectacular, disregarding Lidstrom, to further imrpove this team. When i think about it tho i understand why. And i tend to agree with his decision. This years FA market was dominated by teams that were way under the cap, rebuilding, non-playoff bound, and lacking major star players. we have our mainstay stars already signed and Lidstrom was our superstar UFA signing. The FA market has been picked over by those who needed the players more. It would be stupid to begin making deals at this point for the sake of making a splash. It is uneccesary.

    By signing Belfour, Holland is putting himself in a position where he has the most flexibility. Belfour will sign for the minimum. He will start and if he plays well then Holland will look like a tactical genious. If not then come the trade deadline or at any point in the year, you are in a great position $ wise to make a trade. Guys like Biron and Giguere are at their highest asking prices right now because the FA goalie market is done. Other players may become more available thru trade as well.

    Keep goin Kenny. Put urself in a position where u can make the move when the time comes. Right now is not the right time. But mark my words, there is a major deal on the horizon especially with the loss of Shanahan and his salary.

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