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Sport How Red Wings, ex-GM Holland feel about meeting as opponents

05:30  18 october  2019
05:30  18 october  2019 Source:   freep.com

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Of course, the Red Wings march to the beat of their own drum, likely arguing that their way has There’s also the possibility that Yzerman would like to see if he can meet or exceed what Vegas GM Maybe Ken Holland doesn’t feel threatened. Perhaps he’s just deflecting since the Red Wings can’t

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CALGARY, Alberta — They root for one another except when they face one another.

The Detroit Red Wings finish their Western Canada swing Friday at Edmonton, where they will face an Oilers team that has started the season 6-1. It’s a rare instance where the Wings are happy to see their opponent thrive because of the man behind the team: Ken Holland.

Before he was named general manager of the Oilers in May, Holland spent 36 years with the Wings, rising from scout to general manager. He was behind the draft table in 2014 when the Wings selected Dylan Larkin.

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After ten years behind at the bench for the Detroit Red Wings , Mike Babcock is leaving for Toronto. At 4:00 on Wednesday, Ken Holland will speak with the media.

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“Ken had a great impact on my career,” Larkin said Thursday. “He was very approachable. He was almost like a father figure. He treated all of us like one of his kids, with care, but also he knew when he had to be stern and teach us to make us better players and people and he did. Sometimes you didn’t like the way he said it or how you heard it, but it was in the best interest for you personally and for the team. I appreciate that in him the most. It’s a great quality in him.

“Everyone talks about the culture of the Detroit Red Wings, and Ken is the guy that built that. He made it a family environment and somewhere you see guys from other teams come in and they say, ‘wow, what a great group of guys, what a great atmosphere around the locker room,’ and Ken was a big part of that.”

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After his playing career ended, Holland took a job with the Red Wings as a scout in Western Canada. With Detroit, Holland gained a reputation as one of the most successful general managers in the NHL.[2][4] Under his leadership as GM the Red Wings have won the Central Division ten times

TORONTO -- General manager Ken Holland dismissed speculation the Detroit Red Wings are losing a superstar. It would be doubly painful for the Wings if Datsyuk did go, because as he signed his last contract after age 35, the Wings would still carry his .5 million cap hit, whether he plays or not.

Larkin is the Wings’ best player, but in 2017 he was coming off a mediocre second season and Holland let him know it.

“He didn’t like the way I was playing,” Larkin said. “He thought I was too soft and a perimeter player. I didn’t like hearing that. No one would like hearing that. But maybe it was the wake-up call I needed. He wanted me to have a big summer and become stronger and faster. It helped a lot and I think I will always remember having that conversation with him. I always thank him.

“I do root for him. Ken is such a great guy, guys want to play hard for him. He will be successful anywhere he goes.”

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When Steve Yzerman was named GM of the Wings in April, Holland was promoted to senior vice president. Three weeks later, he accepted the Oilers job.

In an interview with the Free Press, Holland said he roots for the Wings, and is glad to get both games against them out of the way this month. Here are highlights from the interview.

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How closely do you follow the Wings?

They were a massive part of my life. I’ve watched most of those players from the draft table to the NHL. I’ve got relationships in that locker room. I follow their scores more closely than any other team in the league. I’ve only gotten to see them once or twice, but I do follow their fortunes.

Do you root for them except when they play the Oilers?

Absolutely. I put on an Adirondack Red Wings jersey when I was 27 and I’m now 63. I am happy they are in the East and they are in the West, so other than the two times we play, I’m rooting for them. I’m rooting for them, I’m rooting for Steve, rooting for them to surprise. Every year there are two or three or more teams that the oddsmakers thought were not going to be in the playoffs. I’m hoping the Wings are going to be one of those surprises.

What will it be like to return to Detroit when the Oilers play there Oct. 29?

Friday is going to be a little bit strange but it’s in Edmonton. It will be way stranger walking into the rink with the visiting team and going up to the visiting press box. At the end of the day, when I got here the schedule was already done. I’m glad we’re going to get to the first of November and the two games against the Wings will be out of the way. I can say my hellos, thank all those people – not only on the ice but off the ice – that worked their butts off on a daily basis to make our organization as successful as we could. Once Nov. 1 comes along, the Red Wings are in the East and we are in the West and the standings in the East and the West don’t matter. I’m glad we’re playing both games early in the season.

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Detroit — Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was intent Wednesday on setting the record straight about any perceived rift between himself and general manager Ken Holland . The Boston Bruins eliminated the Red Wings in the first-round of the playoffs, and the two teams met twice in the exhibition season.

25. Detroit GM Ken Holland could be waiting to make any moves until 2:45 p.m. Monday, according to NHL insiders Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman. The Red Wings fought their way back into Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks, scoring two late goals to force overtime.

How has it been seeing the Oilers start so well?

I’m thrilled. There’s a long way to go but (head coach) Dave Tippett has done a great job putting people in the right roles. We have two superstars here in Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Other players have important roles, we’ve had great goaltending. Long, long, long way to go, but certainly happy to get out of the gate 6-1.

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How often do you talk with Steve Yzerman?

I talked to him quite a bit this summer. We have a general managers meeting coming up in Toronto and we’ll sit next to each other – D and E, Detroit and Edmonton. Actually it’s D, D, E – Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, so it’s Jim Nill, Steve Yzerman and me sitting beside one another. Steve and Jim have been really important people in my life and I look forward to whenever I get a chance to spend time with them.

I look forward to seeing Steve Friday. I’m sure we’ll grab 20 minutes to have a visit. I look forward to seeing Jeff Blashill, the players, the trainers. I have a great relationship with them. It’s going to be strange for me to be sitting in the press box and we’re playing against the Red Wings, very, very strange. I will be thinking I want to win the game.

Contact Helene St. James at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: How the Detroit Red Wings and ex-GM Ken Holland feel about meeting as opponents

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Red Wings beat Oilers 3-1 to end 8-game losing streak .
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