OT: Time for a coaching change (Red Wings edition)

Submitted by Hotel Putingrad on December 2nd, 2017 at 9:56 PM
So Detroit lost its seventh straight contest tonight, getting annihilated 10-1 in Montreal. I'm not usually one for hot talk radio takes, but this team has completely quit on Blashill, who is an awful coach. According to Elliotte Friedman, the Wings have already done their due diligence on Dave Tippett as a potential replacement. They had better move quickly.



December 2nd, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

Mantha, Larkin and Athanasiou should be leading all forwards in ice time.  He keeps ragging on the young guys while the veterans who are dragging the team down get a free pass.

Holland needs to go because he butchered the salary cap situation and made other terrible free agent moves.  Blashill needs to go because he has mismanaged the team since his first season and he's gotten no better.


December 2nd, 2017 at 11:33 PM ^

"Fire Kenny instead" was the answer I always got every time I ever posted "fire Blashill" anywhere on the internets last year.  I never understood why.  I know Kenny built a terrible roster and can't manage a salary cap to save his life, but the roster is still better than what Blashill's done with it.  This group of forwards is better than this.  Their collective gross underachievement is, and has always been, an indictment of the coach.

He and Kenny should both go, yesterday.  Yes, this is Blashill's fault.


December 3rd, 2017 at 12:57 PM ^

Oh, he realizes it by now. And now desperate Ken will try to make Blashill his scapegoat. But it doesn't matter much who the coach is because this roster is a disaster. 

Ken Holland has been in "let's just get in the playoffs and pretend we have a chance so that I can keep my job" mode for years. He either doesn't have the creativity or the will to rebuild this team into a championship contender again. Or both.

Can't draft. Can't get good free agents to come here. Overpays his own mediocre players killing their roster flexibility.

Once a GM wins a championship in this town, he wins enough goodwill to coast and be terrible for a decade or so. Same thing happened with Dumars. It's what we do here.

I just hope Chris Illitch is smart enough to finally realize that Holland has to go. I'm not so sure. I question his commitment to winning. I really worry about the future of the Tigers and Red Wings with him in charge.

Navy Wolverine

December 3rd, 2017 at 2:37 PM ^

I wonder the same thing about him. Does he really want to win or does he want to focus on the profitability of the Wing and the Tigers? The early returns don't seem too encouraging.

It is easy (and quite justifiable) to criticize Holland and Blashill, but one thing to keep in mind is that Holland may just be trying to execute the strategic direction of the Illitches. I'm sure they have told him to keep the team competitive while they open the new pizzarena. Unfortunately they are going to have to embrace the rebuild / tank or the Wings will not contend for a long time.

I do take some comfort that the Tigers seem to be committing to a rebuild, but of course I am skeptical as to whether it is to rebuild them as a winner or just to shed salary so they are more attractive to sell to somebody else.


December 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 PM ^

It's going to happen, but at what point does Ken Holland get the axe? It's going on a decade since we've seen anything past the 2nd round of the playoffs. 


December 2nd, 2017 at 10:03 PM ^

Blashill needs to go. Interim coach would then be the best option. Holland's contract is up after this year. Start the next season with a new GM and new coach.


December 2nd, 2017 at 10:06 PM ^

Fuck blashill he's a piece of shit. If anybody had watched his last 2 press conferences, you'd agree. He can't even coach junior hockey let alone nhl. Fuck him and fire holland too while we're at it..


December 2nd, 2017 at 11:40 PM ^

No, what set this franchise back is Kenny's salary cap incompetence and his insistence on handing stupid contracts to third-pairing defensemen acting like they're future franchise stars.  A good GM could've obsessed over the streak, kept it going, kept the team in contention, and done it by not giving $5 million a year through 2022 to fucking Danny DeKeyser.  Or $4.25 a year through 2023 to Justin Abdelkader.  Abdelkader is a nice Kirk Maltby kind of player, without Maltby's ability to make opponents want to slam a brick through his head.  Why that was worth asinine amounts of money forever is a complete mystery.

Robbie Moore

December 2nd, 2017 at 10:22 PM ^

The Wings should do whatever they can to bring Yzerman back. This is a real test for Chris Illitch. Does he have the drive and fortitude to aggressively chart a course forward? 


December 2nd, 2017 at 10:27 PM ^

Blashill was in over his head from Day 1. 

Mike Babcock papered over a lot of roster holes that were already showing years before his departure. Funny how so many thought he was the problem and were actually, apparently, not displeased to see him move to Toronto. Clearly a difference between winning titles in the AHL and losing locker rooms in the league.

i'm not so sure if the game has passed Holland except that he has been slower to adjust to the realities of each new CBA vs. his contemporaries like Lou Lamoriello, David Poile and Jim Rutherford.

Wings' obsession with the streak didn't help a bit, either.

NOLA Wolverine

December 2nd, 2017 at 10:51 PM ^

People hated watching Babcock play both dump-and-chase along with neutral-zone-grab-and-hold hockey, but it was the best strategy available, even with two prolific puck posseson forwards in Z and Dats.

In Holland's defense, accepted rumor is that he was told to keep the streak alive, and the NHL's structure (along with every league that's not soccer in a European country) is such that you can't just stay on top indefinitely. I'm willing to believe he did the best anyone could given his marching orders. Regardless of that, time for wholesale change has come, if for nothing else than the sake of change. 

Navy Wolverine

December 2nd, 2017 at 10:30 PM ^

This organization needs to start tanking. The only way we will ever contend for Cups again is to get more elite players. The only way to get elite players in today's salary cap NHL is by picking near the top of the draft. It looks like we may be starting to do this in spite of Hollands vision of "rebuilding on the fly". We will be in salary cap hell for the next 3-4 years thanks to Holland so we may as well get as many high picks as possible until that problem fixes itself. I don't really care who coaches the team for the next two years. The worse our coach is the better as far as I am concerned. Holland needs to go clearly but that is stating the obvious.


December 2nd, 2017 at 11:09 PM ^

I vowed not to watch them this year. I checked and saw they werent doing so bad until recently .  I miss good hockey in Detroit and seeing so many stars playing for the winged wheel .

Navy Wolverine

December 2nd, 2017 at 11:12 PM ^

Today is the 22nd anniversary of the DRW 11-1 beat down of the Canadiens where MTL left Patrick Roy in net for all 11 goals. This was the game that drove Roy out of Montreal and the rest was history. I guess they got some payback.


December 3rd, 2017 at 2:13 AM ^

The Wings were in desperate need of a total rebuild 4-5 years ago but slept on it as management enjoyed the pats on the back as the ‘best organization in hockey’ that could procure superstars out of thin air (which they last did 15+ years ago fwiw).

They kept giving bad contracts to average to below average players in order to increase the chance of slipping into the playoffs (i.e. preserve their dearly beloved streak). That didn’t work anymore but hey you still can’t do a total rebuild because you got a new building to fill.

What’s funny is that the tank-or-no-tank debate among Wings fans over the last years totally missed the point. In the NHL, the situation is that you either force the tank yourself or the tank comes to you entirely naturally. You can’t avoid rebuilding forever in a hard cap/entrance draft league. Every team currently at or near the top of the standings has sucked hard at some point in the not so distant past.

The only difference is that if you don’t plan for it, it takes a lot longer to get to the performance floor and a lot longer to get away from it again.


December 3rd, 2017 at 3:23 AM ^

Why does it seem the trades are always for picks that rarely help in less than 4’seasons?

You would think hockey bottom dwellers would adopt the baseball model and ask for and receive say nearly ready to go prospects who had been drafted 2-3 years before.

Does anyone know why you rarely see trades involving the rights to already drafted players happen?

The baseball model seems a quicker and more predictable way to rebound from tanking .

Navy Wolverine

December 3rd, 2017 at 9:28 AM ^

I think the simple answer is that elite NHL prospects spend very little time in the minors. Dylan Larkin never even went to GR. Mantha was only down there for a year and a half. If you look at the kids we have in our system now there are only a handful of kids who realistically project to the NHL and probably 2nd line players at best. It is not quite like MLB where players spend 2-4 years (or more) in the minors before making it to the show. To succeed in the NHL, you need a handful of elite players with a solid supporting cast. Nobody will let a potential elite player go and they usually lock them up with long term deals so they are never available in free agency. The best way to find them (unless you get lucky and find gems like we did with Datsyuk and Zetterberg) is by picking in the top 10 of the draft.  


December 3rd, 2017 at 10:35 AM ^

They need to keep losing and attain the highest draft pick possible. 

They also need to trade as many assets this year as possible. Green and many others should be dealt at the deadline. This roster is absolutely atrocious.

Ken Holland is a piece of work. 

The Krusty Kra…

December 3rd, 2017 at 10:45 AM ^

People around my dad's age seem content to give Holland a free pass because he stepped in and the team won 3 cups with a roster HE DID NOT ASSEMBLE. The key parts were put into place by Jimmy Devellano, Bryan Murray and Scotty Bowman. Sure Holland could sign Brett Hull in the twilight of his career but that's because he wanted a cup and wanted to play with his friends. Since losing to Pittsburgh in 2009, and Lidstrom's retirement in 2012, the team has been a sinking ship, hemmoraghing talent and signing old timers to crap contracts. I understand a rebuild will take time but right now the ship is still sinking and the rebuild has yet to begin. Trashill seems hellbent on not giving young guys enough ice time, also it doesn't help that Zetterberg has full control over that locker room, problem is his contract is an untradable albatross. If last night wasn't a sign changes need to be made at the top, then Chris Ilitch needs to actually start paying attention to his hockey team.