Detroit Red Wings: Trusting Ken Holland and the rebuilding process

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 11: Some fans stand and cheer on a play stoppage during an NHL game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena on November 11, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jackets defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 11: Some fans stand and cheer on a play stoppage during an NHL game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Columbus Blue Jackets at Little Caesars Arena on November 11, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. The Blue Jackets defeated the Red Wings 2-1 in an overtime shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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It’s currently a hot debate in the Motor City. The trust of Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland.  Fans want to know if he is serious when he said he is willing to give prospects a shot to make the final roster.

The signing of three free agent veterans had some fans seething mad.  The Detroit Red Wings, in the midst of a rebuild, need to get younger, faster and more gritty on the ice.

If Red Wings fans had any say Filip Zadina, Joe Veleno, Filip Hronek and possibly Dennis Cholowski would be slam dunks to make the roster out of training camp.  They are widely viewed as being NHL full time ready.

The Red Wings, with a few exceptions, demand that prospects are put in the minors for about three years before making it to the show.  In today’s NHL, which is youth driven, that seems out of date with fans and the league itself, which leads to part of the fanbases displeasure.

I do believe that Ken Holland is willing to give prospects a good long look. However, Red Wings fans need to keep in mind, bad contracts could be the single reason a player does not make the final cut.

While there is a chance at least two prospects make the team, this is where it gets cloudy.  Some players would have to either have to be traded or released to make room for any prospects to find a spot on the roster.  There is no clear indication Ken Holland will make such moves.  Although Holland is likely fielding offers, but will he be willing to pull the trigger on a deal?

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Will there be in-seasons call-ups? Absolutely, injuries always occur.  The younger players have the ability to be sent down without clearing waivers, so after the waiver player is healthy, back down goes the prospect.   Which may further aggravate fans depending on how the prospect performs or does not perform in Detroit his fate will already be determined with a roster full of elder players.

This is a part of the rebuild that is both exciting and frustrating.  It can become a tease, fans get to see the prospects and then boom back in Grand Rapids they go. It is also is why fans need to tune into games.

Trust the process.  A phrase that can grate on fans, but it is what is required sometimes to mold young players into professionals.

Detroit Red Wings fans will soon know just how this rebuild is going to go.  They should also keep in mind better days are coming soon, as eighteen million dollars are set to come off the books after the 2018-19 NHL season.  Thomas Vanek, Gustav Nyquist, Martin Frk, Niklas Kronwall, and Jimmy Howard all have expiring contracts.

The Detroit Red Wings are not expected to be in the playoff picture this coming season.  The Wings; we expect to be in the lottery again next summer for an opportunity to draft potential stand out center, Jack Hughes.

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That hardly means it is a throwaway season. It says with contracts ending at seasons end; the Red Wings need to know where to go in both the 2019 NHL draft as well as free agency.  The “full blown” rebuild may not start until next summer, that may frustrate some people.