By: Jeff Riger
With the NHL trade deadline being less than a month away it’s time for Wings fans to start thinking trade. Or is it? I had a chance to talk to Detroit GM Ken Holland about his team, NHL realignment and of course the deadline — and by the vibe I received it seems like the Wings might be staying pat with what they already have. In a season where parity seems to rule, Holland made it quite clear that the Wings would have to put together a run and really separate themselves from the competition in order to be true buyers at the deadline. Plus there would have to enough teams that fall completely out as well so the Wings could have a partner to trade with. I’m not sure either will happen.
Below are some of the more interesting comments of the interview.
Holland on the parity in the game right now:
“In this NHL every game counts, every 2 points is critical and I think what’s going on now is going to be going on in the last week of the regular season. I have said all along that it is going to be a photo finish to make the playoffs and it’s going to be a photo finish to miss the playoffs. It’s great for hockey fans, you wake up every day, and I think there are 6 teams in the West with 24 points this morning. I think it’s exciting, every 2 points is critical and the second half of the season, it’s like a playoff game every single night.”
Holland on the trade deadline and if the Wings are thinking about being buyers or sellers:
“In order to be a buyer you got to be in the playoffs, it’ doesn’t make much sense to be 3, 4, 5 points out of the 8 hole and think you’re going to throw some assets at a team that might not make the playoffs. We got to wins some games; we got to put a run together. Certainly in the next couple of weeks we think we are going to have Valteri Filpula back, we think we will have Darren Helm back, certainly in Helm’s case, that’s a free agent trade.”
Holland on NHL realignment where the Wings are rumored to move to the East:
“Going into the Board of Governors meetings in December of 2011 we wanted to be in the East, we made it clear that we wanted to be in the East but there were so many issues for so many teams other than Detroit we ultimately voted for that four conference alignment that had us in the Midwest. Part of that conference was home and away with every team in the National Hockey league and we wanted our fans to see every team in the league in our building, Toronto every year, Boston every year, Montreal every year and we liked the idea that playoffs were going to be within the division so you weren’t going 3 time zones away to play in the playoffs in the first two rounds. Now obviously in the last month there seems to e a lot of talk. I don’t know a whole lot, I’m very familiar with what the media is saying, there obviously seems to be conversations going on between the union and the league. Our first priority going back to prior to December 2011 is to be in the East, that has never changed but we’ll see what happens here over the course of the next month or 6 weeks while they make a decision.
Take a listen to the entire interview and let me know: What do you think?