Ken Holland Oozes Confidence (But Not Really)

Trying to shake the tummy ache of Hudler-induced diarrhea.

Ken Holland must have been paying attention to the roundtable discussion, because he chimed in with his thoughts about fatigue setting in as the season wore on last season — and how he thinks they’ll hold up this season. Chris McCosky of the Detroit News has an article discussing many views, but one bit in particular made me cringe:

“I guess I look at this year a little bit like Joe Dumars did with the Pistons,” Holland said. “At some point in time you’ve got to make some moves that you believe might take you one step backward so that when you wake up in a year or two you are two steps forward.”

Ouch! Raise your hand, Todd Bertuzzi and Jason Williams, if you feel like you just got kicked in the nuts.

Panic was quelled with a simple fix:

[We] are going to do everything we can to be Cup contenders in 2009-10. The whole idea is to be a Cup contender in 2009-10 and to be a Cup Contender in 2012-13.


Red Wings Roundtable — Day 3 @ The Triple Deke

Today, the hilarity that is The Triple Deke hosts the Red Wings Eleven. The topic of discussion is fatigue down the stretch given the extra season worth of games the Wings have played the last three post-seasons.

Rob had the honors today. Here’s a preview:

I spent last night in a Springfield, Illinois bar drinking pints with a Blackhawks season ticket holder. About a half hour before they turned the lights on and kicked us all out with the ceremonial “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” notice, I realized something – this guy was incredibly OPTIMISTIC. He was looking forward to the NEXT BIG RUN. This struck me as a foreign emotion. By nature I’m a pessimistic hockey fan. I imagine most Wings fans are, especially when it comes to the postseason, so part of me wants to just say…”oh, playoffs? nervous? …yes and yes” …and then call it a day. That said, this question about running out of gas is especially timely. The ONE THING that would have assuaged this fear for me…if that were even possible…would have been smart offseason maneuvering. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the words “fresh legs” and “inspired hockey” don’t seem to fit the major acquisition we yanked in to close out our Free Agency Non-Bonanza. I would have been happier if we’d stayed put than if we’d brought in Bertuzzi because I don’t think he makes us stronger in the final playoff tilts. I think he’ll wear down. I think he’ll be a pain in the ass in the locker room. I like our chances better with young, hungry guys coming in from Grand Rapids more than I do with BIG ODD TODD sulking away minutes on the third line. Those are Gator-Minutes, damnit!

Bottom line – We ran out of gas last year. We didn’t do anything to address that concern in the offseason. Why SOULDN’T I be nervous? Can I get a scotch over here?

Lots of great stuff, as usual, at the Roundtable. Check it out.

Red Wings Roundtable — Day 2 @ Snapshots

George James Malik at Snapshots hosts today’s roundtable topic, revolving around the acquisitions of Jason Williams and Todd Bertuzzi (and to a lesser extent, Patrick Eaves).

Lots of great thoughts there. Here’s mine – which will come as no surprise to anyone who has read TPL the last month or so…:

While I’ll never even pretend to know as much about building a championship team as Ken Holland does, I do question his signings this summer – outside of Patrick Eaves. Adding a smallish twenty-something-goal-scorer doesn’t bother me in theory, although it is troubling to hear Williams would have preferred to stay in Columbus. But really, who wouldn’t say such a thing to the media? However, in the scope of your question – I suppose I’ll eat that one.

Anyone who reads The Production Line knows my distaste for Todd Bertuzzi – and its simple really. While the Red Wings organization – and its fans, myself included – are comfortable giving players second chances at a life in hockey, like Dan Cleary, there has to be a line. Todd Bertuzzi is on the other side of it.

He’s been given a chance to show his stuff on the Wings (albeit, not at 100%) – an opportunity that he failed miserably. But, aside from that audition, he’s not just “a player with baggage.” Those kinds of guys are welcomed with open arms. There’s only one Todd Bertuzzi, and the kind of player/character he is/was simply doesn’t fit into the Red Wings mold.

New Feature:: Training Camp Roster

So, being that I like watching things fall into nice, little categories, I’ve made a spreadsheet containing the names and positions of all the players invited to training camp (or prospect camp…or the summer camp that took place in July…) so that we can watch how the cuts unfold and visually see our team coming together.

Obviously, we’re all pretty sure what the NHL roster will look like come October, but it always nice to see the order in which players are cut. I’m sure we’re all aware that the final cuts last season were Ville Leino, Darren Helm, Jonathan Ericsson, and Aaron Downey. But did you know that Cory Emmerton, Jan Mursak and Mattias Ritola made it all the way through the pre-season?

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce the Training Camp Roster for your enjoyment. It will be available on the right hand side of this page, under “PERMANENT FEATURES” until the opening of the regular season, when it will be replaced with an active roster document.

Player names marked with an asterisk are tryouts, not currently under contract with (or property of) the Red Wings.