Red Wings GM Holland unwilling to bend on philosophy of player development
The 2014 offseason has largely been one to forget for the Detroit Red Wings.
Unable to land a much sought-after right-handed defenseman, the team has not made waves via free agency, and some fans are even beginning to question the seemingly invincible Ken Holland.
One particular area of criticism is the general manager's philosophy in regards to developing young players. According to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press, "some fans have begun to tire of Holland’s philosophy of having players be 'over-ripe' before they earn regular shifts wearing the Winged Wheel."
While the decision to keep players at the AHL level for a prolonged period of time paid off in the past, the team's fall from being perennial contenders is causing some to be impatient.
Holland, however, is prepared to stay the course:
Certainly when you’re a general manager and you make decisions, especially in this world today, we’re open for people to judge our decisions. I’m OK with it. But I’m going to do what is in the best interest of the Red Wings. At the same time, I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of our young players. I’m not rushing young players. The expectations in Detroit that we’ve created is that we’re going to compete for a playoff spot. We’re going to compete for a playoff run. Our goal is to try (to) win another Stanley Cup, and in order to get there, our young people need to be brought along properly.
This could be bad news for fans clamoring to see top prospect Anthony Mantha in Detroit next season, on whom Holland recently opined. "It's more than just, 'Can you score?'"
In short, Mantha and others will have to shine incredibly bright in training camp to avoid spending 2014-15 in the AHL.