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General Manager Ken Holland is the one who has put this team together. Since the loss in the Stanley Cup finals to Pittsburgh in 2009, the team has regressed. It followed back-to-back second-round playoff losses with a first-round loss last season. The Red Wings now sit outside the playoffs with five games remaining.
Holland has failed to bring in players to replace Nick Lidstrom and Brad Stuart. He also has relied too heavily on aging players who are under-performing or too injured to play. Last season he re-signed Todd Bertuzzi for two years when it was painfully obvious that his best days were much too far in the past.
This past offseason he struck out with each of the high-profile free agents that he tried to sign. Alexander Semin was available and, after seeing how well he played next to Pavel Datsyuk at the World Championships, seemed like a great choice.
Instead, he signed Mikael Samuelsson, who has been injured for most of the season and ineffective in the games that he has played in. Semin has scored 38 points, the same as Henrik Zetterberg, while Samuelsson has one point.
He did not make any moves at the trade deadline to improve the team. Instead he has signed Jimmy Howard to six-year, $31.8 million deal. It is a deal that is far too long and for too much money compared to other goalies in his range.
With the salary cap dropping next season, he has lessened his ability to make any major impact moves this offseason.
At this point the only hope is that the minor league system is as talented as many hope and that the team will actually move the aging players out of the way in order to give the young players a chance.