I only just today got around to reading this Thursday post by Graham at Winging It In Motown.
I’ll give it this much: it comes at Ken Holland from a novel angle, at least. There’s a little flak fired off for inaction this summer, to be sure. But the main concentration of fan shell airbursts centers on suggesting that Holland should have found an opportunity to uncover and draft a player capable of replacing a once-in-League-history talent in Nick Lidstrom.
So, basically, he should have drafted Ryan Suter, Drew Doughty or some other similarly talented young defenseman that, you know, got drafted by teams closer to first in the draft order than the Wings. Or, apparently, a player who conveniently (miraculously) was ready to make the leap to top pairing minutes in the NHL the day Lidstrom hung them up.
Graham freely admits that doing this was hampered by the Wings constantly finishing high in the standings, so it’s unclear how exactly Holland was supposed to accomplish it. Maybe he should have magically traded up?
I don’t know. I’m not going to pretend this is the outcome I was hoping for (Suter being that). But every new post claiming this off-season is The One for Holland to just prove he’s the best in the business (usually accompanied by contradictory claims that the author already believes he is—just prove it again, okay, Kenny?) is really just another in a long line of calls for him to wave a wand that he does not have.
I more or less went over this yesterday. No amount of demanding Ken Holland prove himself is going to make this list any better. No amount of claiming Holland can’t coast along on past accomplishments makes the trade market light up. Now no matter how much second-guessing there is about the Wings’ draft strategy over the years, it doesn’t change the fact that other teams had first dibs on the top talent.
Was Brendan Smith not drafted with an eye to this day? But we’re to the point even Smith isn’t good enough.
I too would love to see “something that will knock our socks off”. But if we don’t get that, it does not itself demonstrate that Ken Holland has lost it.