The Detroit Red Wings have made some signings during the summer that will beef up their defense core moving forward. One of those moves was to sign defender Justin Holl to a three-year, $10.2 million contract to join the Red Wings’ defense core.
Holl comes to Detroit from the Maple Leafs organization, having spent the last six seasons across the border in Toronto. He’s been one of the moves that the Detroit Red Wings faithful have been less excited about than the others.
He may not be a top pairing defender or even be someone that’s going to be the biggest difference-maker on the defense core, but he’s going to be looking to be a valuable asset to the teams’ defense core in 2023-24 for the Red Wings.
When it comes to Holl, the Red Wings are going to hope they can extract some value out of his game, whether that comes by way of tapping into some offense or just being a capable third-pairing defender in the Red Wings system.
Detroit Red Wings are hoping Justin Holl can be valuable to the puzzle.
He’s a six-year veteran of the NHL, playing 285 games in Toronto. He is coming off the 2022-23 season, where he played in 80 games, scoring two goals and tallying 16 assists for 18 total points. He was a plus-15 rating, though he did have 56 giveaways, which was one of the reasons he was not the favorite in the blue & white uniform.
It takes just a few seconds to log onto Twitter and search up Holl’s name to see Leafs fans excited that he is no longer with Toronto. The Maple Leafs’ fanbase has made Holl the target of defensive struggles at times, pinning him as the problem, being a turnover machine. Sure, he had 56 giveaways, but Morgan Rielly had more than him. T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano were not far behind, being around the 45-mark.
Having 56 giveaways is undoubtedly not the best look, but I’m confident that Holl was not the sole reason or as bad as some of these Maple Leafs’ fans paint him to be. For the Red Wings, if he can cut down on those giveaways and play a more complete game, they’re going to be able to see him be well worth the $3.4 million AAV that his contract carries.
It’s not to say that he will magically become a top-pairing defender or even some amazing help to the defense core. But he could fill a role in the bottom two pairings and be an effective option for the Red Wings.
Truthfully, that’s what the Red Wings need in that bottom two pairings. If Holl can come in and get the job done, it will be good for the Red Wings, helping them establish some depth in the defense core.