Detroit Red Wings sign GM Ken Holland, assistant GM Jim Nill to 5-year extensions

Thumbnail image for 1-holland.jpgIt’s been rumored for a few weeks now, but the Detroit Red Wings will officially retain general manager Ken Holland and assistant general manager Jim Nill. The team extended their contracts for five years today, according to TSN.

Holland, 54, has been the GM for Detroit since July of 1997. Since that time, Detroit has won more regular season games (588) and postseason games (99) than any other team in the NHL.

Over his tenure, the Red Wings have made the postseason each year and have won Stanley Cups in three of those seasons (1998, 2002, 2008). He was also a member of the 1997 Stanley Cup team as an assistant general manager.

Also, Detroit has produced 10 straight 100-point seasons, which is an NHL record. The team has won four Presidents’ Trophies, five Western Conference titles and nine Central Division titles.

Yeah, so Ken Holland … he’s pretty good. My guess is that Jim Nill has been a heck of an assistant too, since he’s been in that role for 13 years. (That’s hard-hitting analysis right there.)

Really, though, Holland’s run as GM of the Detroit Red Wings might be one of the greatest in sports history. The thing that truly stands out is that he’s been successful in different eras.

The Red Wings dominated in the ’90s, but they also were able to flex their money muscles in free agency and via trades with small market teams. No doubt about it, the team stood out because of their genius draft picks too (Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in the, what, billionth round? Genius!). Yet there was always this vague lack of finesse, though, since Detroit were a lot like the New York Yankees in the pre-salary cap era.

What really impresses me about Holland’s work is what he pulled off after the lockout. While Colorado and other powers declined considerably with a cap ceiling, the Red Wings made shrewd moves and rarely misfired with contracts. It only feels like they’re cheating because, frankly, they’re brighter than everyone else.

Of course, it will be interesting to see if Holland can keep working his magic when Nicklas Lidstrom retires. The talented Swede could make a lot of GMs look brilliant …

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    Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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    Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

    The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

    With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

    Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

    Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

    Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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    Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

    Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

    Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

    Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

    Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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    Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

    It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

    The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

    NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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    The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

    The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

    Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

    “When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

    In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.