Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland was once one of the most respected executives in hockey. The four time Stanley Cup champion and the architect of so many classic Wings teams has taken a hit to his reputation the past few seasons though as his team has struggled as a result of some questionable moves on his part. Fans in Detroit have been calling for Holland’s head on a platter for awhile now and with his contract expiring this offseason, they’ll likely get their wish.
But, there’s another well-respected, and long tenured NHL GM without a contract for next season, as well: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello. There’s a chance Lamoriello returns next season to help see the Leafs through their rebuild in earnest, but with no contract negotiations as of yet, the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGrann wonders if the team may let Lamoriello walk in favor of hiring Holland.
It’s a crazy idea, but one that’s not so far fetched the more you look at the details. According to McGann:
The post-Lamoriello Leafs will need to keep that balance. Who would be the right guy? If it's from within, Hunter and Dubas are the obvious choices. But an outsider? My money would be on Ken Holland: his contract also expires this season and he goes back a long way with Mike Babcock.
More than that, Holland has a deep history with Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. The former Red Wings star turned Leafs executive has shown that he’s most comfortable working with individuals whom he knows and trusts. Holland, like Lamoriello, is definitely one of those indivduals.
Also, as crazy as it seems for Holland to leave the Wings… did anyone ever predict that Lamoreillo would leave the New Jersey Devils? Stranger things have happened.