The Detroit Red Wings’ astounding playoff streak might be alive, but they’re far from the contenders they once were. Which makes each perceived Ken Holland misstep sting that much more.
Especially when those mistakes seem like unforced errors.
Holland didn’t address those losses directly, but he did discuss the discomfort of being stuck in the middle of the pack, as the Detroit Free Press reports.
“The frustration’s understandable,” Holland said on Monday. “Everyone wants to go back to when we were consistently in the running for the Stanley Cup. We want that, too. Nobody’s happy here that we haven’t fared well in the playoffs. But we’re confident in how we’re trying to retool our roster: getting younger while still trying to field a team that can give us the best opportunity to win.”
Of course, angry Red Wings fans would counter that losing Frk and Pulkkinen for nothing hardly constitutes “getting younger.”
Detroit is a limited group – just check PHT’s 30 Questions to see how the franchise’s stock has fallen – that is nonetheless bumping up against the salary cap ceiling. Losses like these really rub it in.
Let’s take a survey of the outrage, shall we?
- Winging it in Motown called the Red Wings’ handling of entry-level contracts “mind-boggling and inexcusable.”
- More than a few fans believe this should be Holland’s last year. Yes, there is a Fire Ken Holland hashtag. Other Twitter searches unlock a lot of anger, too.
- The Detroit Free Press describes him as “under fire.”
- The Steve Yzerman comparisons aren’t doing Holland any favors, especially on a day when the Lightning signed Nikita Kucherov to a killer deal.
- It’s gotten to the point that “Ken Holland deserves our patience” almost feels like a hot take.
Maybe the Red Wings will shrug off the loss of these two prospects, but it’s plain to see that Holland has plenty of critics. And they’re pretty upset right now.