Holland expected Red Wings to compete for playoffs this past season

Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland was recently re-signed to a two-year contract, despite the fact that most fans wanted to see the team move in a new direction.

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs now underway and the Red Wings not participating for the second straight year, they face another long summer of questions. Holland joined the “Jamie and Stoney Show” on 97.1 The Ticket on Thursday morning to discuss this past season and admitted that his aim was to be competing for the playoffs this season.

“I was hoping that we would be more involved in the chase for a playoff spot than we were,” he said point blank when asked about the expectation going into the 2017-18 campaign. 

When asked whether he thought there were developments on the ice that led to another disappointing season, Holland pointed out factors that he believes led to last season’s disappointment.

“I thought that a year ago, I think we were if not the most injured team in the league, we were one of the teams that had the most man games lost to injury,” he continued. “Our powerplay was historically bad for three and a half months, and we had a number of players that I felt hadn’t played up to the level of or produced at the level they had in prior years.

We went out and added a defenseman from a Stanley Cup championship team in Trevor Daley and I felt that in the month of March leading into April I was hoping that we’d be involved in the playoff race to some degree…..I was disappointed we were not more involved in the playoff race.” 

Of course, Holland is opposed to the controversial strategy of “tanking”, essentially trying to lose games in order to field a better draft selection.

“I don’t think you ever want to cheer against your team, so I think you let the chips fall as they may and when there comes time in the season when you have to make decisions based on the information at hand, you make those decisions whether they’re at the trade deadline or whenever it is,” he said. 

“One of the things I’ve tried to do in the year and a half is to acquire more draft picks…..when you’re a good team, quite often you’re spending draft picks and trying to acquire players to give you a little help with that season in a playoff run. For lack of a better word, the last two years were an opportunity to acquire draft picks  and the more draft picks you have, the better opportunity there is to wake up down the road with players who will help your team be successful.” 

Click here to listen to the interview.

Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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