The 2017-18 NHL season marks the 20 year anniversary of Ken Holland as the Detroit Red Wings general manager. The architect of the team’s 1998, 2002 and 2008 Stanley Cup championships is a legend within the organization. But with the team in steep declined, as evidenced by their failure to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 25 years just last season, is it time for Holland to ride off into the sunset?
Even the most loyal and staunch Wings supporters are now calling for Holland’s dismissal. The 61-year-old was once the unquestioned leader of one of sport’s most successful franchise’s and was a mastermind of negotiation. Lately though… his track record hasn’t looked so stellar. Despite being approximately $3 million over the NHL’s salary cap the Wings project to have one of the weakest rosters in the league and still haven’t managed to sign promising RFA Andreas Athanasiou to a new deal.
A new hire in Detroit could wipe the slate clean and begin anew. Also, it’s not as if the Wings don’t have the pieces in place for a successful rebuild. In Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha and 9th overall pick Michael Rasmussen, the Wings have the start of a decent forward group in the near future. However, they’ll need to add top end talent up front and completely revamp their defense if they’re going to get back into Stanley Cup contention again. Is Holland the man to do this? He’s proven in the past, with contracts handed out to Darren Helm, Justin Abelkader, Jonathan Ericsson and others that he can let loyalty cloud his judgement.
What’s your call? Should the Wings fire Ken Holland?