Skip to content

Ken Holland: “We might not make the playoffs”

Jan 17, 2013, 11:11 AM EDT

Ken Holland

The last time the Detroit Red Wings missed the playoffs, the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup.

That was in 1990, the same year Owen Nolan was taken with the first overall draft pick and Jaromir Jagr was picked fifth.

But according to Wings general manager Ken Holland, his team’s streak of 21 straight postseason appearances could come to an end in 2013.

“There’s the possibility that we might not make the playoffs this year,” Holland said Wednesday at the Detroit Sportscasters Association luncheon, per the Detroit Free Press. “But nobody can run and hide from you any longer in this league. You can’t stockpile players. You’re constantly tweaking. You’re constantly changing. And that’s why all 16 teams that make the playoffs now can win the Stanley Cup.”

Of course, the biggest difference in Detroit this season will be the absence of Nicklas Lidstrom, one of the greatest defensemen of all time.

Holland tried to address that massive hole this summer, but ultimately failed to convince Ryan Suter to sign.

The Wings still have Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg up front, but a couple of stars don’t guarantee a postseason berth.

Detroit has a handful of intriguing prospects, such as defenseman Brendan Smith and forward Gustav Nyquist. But the team’s regular-season success hasn’t made it easy to keep the system stocked.

In fact, the highest pick the Wings have had in the last 20 years is No. 19 (Jakub Kindl) in 2005.

“If we get the improvements we want, we can be the best team in the Western Conference,” Holland said, “but if we don’t get them, it might be a struggle even making the playoffs. But you’ve got to understand that we’re doing this on the fly. We want to compete for the Cup this year, but we also want to compete for it in 2016.”

Related: How will Detroit adjust to life without Lidstrom?

Latest Posts
  1. NHL shoots down Tkachev’s contract with Edmonton

    Sep 30, 2014, 8:15 PM EDT

    tkachevvlad Getty Images

    It sounds like he needs to enter the 2015 NHL Draft.

  2. NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:27 PM EDT

    islanderslogo

    It looks like the transition from Charles Wang’s ownership will ramp up soon.

  3. Johansen, Blue Jackets talks haven’t just resumed, they’re ‘very polite’

    Sep 30, 2014, 7:13 PM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets  v Pittsburgh Penguins - Game Two Getty Images

    What a difference injuries and a nearing regular season makes …

  4. Drouin’s goal is to return for Lightning opener

    Sep 30, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT

    Lightning Camp Hockey AP

    He says the “progress has been really good.”

  5. Risk Factors: Toronto Maple Leafs edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT

    Randy Carlyle Getty Images

    Will this be another season to forget for Toronto?

  6. Babcock was raving about Smith’s performance versus Leafs

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:26 PM EDT

    Brendan Smith AP

    Called him “the best defenseman on the ice.”

  7. Caps still haven’t identified their 2C

    Sep 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Brooks Laich Getty Images

    “We’ve got three games left here, so we really need to finalize what we’re going to do.”

  8. Spezza wants to ‘get comfortable’ before talking contract with Stars

    Sep 30, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    “I’m not naive, I know as the season goes on it’ll become more of a talking point.”

  9. Jets get good news on eye injuries to Cormier, Galiardi

    Sep 30, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    Patrice Cormier Patrice Cormier

    Looks like both have avoided serious damage.

  10. Speedy recovery: Giroux (lower body) to play vs. Rangers tonight

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    claudegirouxcgetty Getty Images

    Flyers captain will make preseason debut at Wells Fargo.

  11. Devils release Fedotenko and Kaberle from tryouts

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:46 AM EDT

    New Jersey Devils v New York Islanders Getty Images

    Could either catch on with another team?

  12. Risk Factors: New York Rangers edition

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:09 AM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v New York Rangers - Game Four Getty Images

    Defending Eastern Conference champs had some major turnover this summer.

  13. Dumba ‘doing a lot of good things’ in push for spot on Wild

    Sep 30, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    Matthew Dumba Getty Images

    Good things like getting an assist in three straight games.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (2613)
  2. R. Johansen (2359)
  3. E. Malkin (2174)
  4. P. Datsyuk (2143)
  5. J. Drouin (2005)
  1. D. Stepan (2003)
  2. F. Forsberg (1849)
  3. T. Krug (1774)
  4. C. Giroux (1772)
  5. J. Staal (1751)