After a questionable preseason for the Detroit Red Wings’ organization which saw the likes of Teemu Pulkkinen lost to the Minnesota Wild through waivers and Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi sent down to the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, general manager Ken Holland is sticking to his guns regarding tough personnel decisions.
While Red Wings fans have been quick to call for the GM’s head, the latter believes that staying the course and favoring the veteran free agent signings is the right way to go:
“We’re going to hurt those kids. If they get here and they’re not ready for this, and they lose their confidence and the coach loses his confidence in the player, now what?” he told The Ticket 97.1.
He added that despite a number of teams sticking to a youth movement, he doesn’t feel like the team is ready to go along that route just yet:
“…there are teams that have been doing that for ten years and that hasn’t been the answer. You don’t know that these kids are the answer. We think they’re the answer, we draft them, we develop them, (but) do we really know that they’re going to be the absolute answer, that they’re going to take us to the promise land?”
Finally, he explained that the Red Wings have not had a top-10 draft choice in 25 years, and that teams who tend to draft higher have a tendency to do better faster.
Still, Holland expects youngsters to seize the opportunities and “take somebody’s job.”