Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

Red Wings Grant GM Contract Extension

The Detroit Red Wings make a decision on their general manager as their season ends.

Red Wings Governor Christopher Ilitch, a member of the team’s ownership family, announced Saturday they had signed executive vice-president and GM Ken Holland to a two-year contract extension.

Holland has served in that position since the 1997-98 season. During that time, the organisation won three Stanley Cups and had the bulk of a 25-season playoff streak. The Wings have won ten division titles, five Western Conference regular-season titles and four President’s Trophies for the best season record in the NHL.

The Red Wings are completing their first season at the new Little Caesars Arena, after moving out of the aging Joe Louis Arena last season.

“Ken Holland is a highly accomplished and well-respected general manager who played an integral role in bringing four Stanley Cup championships to Detroit,” said Ilitch in a statement. “He has done a tremendous job over the last few seasons acquiring high draft picks and creating a tremendous opportunity to supplement our current roster and core of young players with additional high-end prospects. He has my support and that of our owner, Marian Ilitch, and we are completely aligned on our strategy for building a Stanley Cup contender.”

Holland, however, has faced increased criticism from Red Wings fans and commentators, with the later-than-usual announcement of his contract extension leading some to believe the team’s ownership was considering a change. His recent draft history has been criticised, along with a perceived hesitation to begin a complete rebuild of the organisation.

Holland hired current head coach Jeff Blashill before the 2015-16 season. Blashill guided the team to the playoffs his first season, but the Red Wings have since missed the playoffs two years in a row, which has not happened since the 1982 and 1983 playoffs.

Detroit concluded their season Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

Holland is the second-longest serving active GM in the NHL. Only the Nashville Predators’ David Poile has served longer, by just nine days.