Ingenious abilities basically articulates one's capability of being able to have the necessary power to accomplish something.
However, there's a fine line between being able to have the necessary power to accomplish something and having the potential to accomplish something.
For countless years, Ken Holland, the mastermind behind the Detroit Red Wings, has had all the resources to complete franchise-changing signings and impressive trades. Whether it might be trading for one of the best U.S. born defenders in NHL history in Chris Chelios or acquiring Brett Hull as a free agent for a successful Stanley Cup run in 2002, Holland has been continuously heralded for his general manager skills. Even after the infamous NHL lockout in 2005 with the salary cap coming into motion, he was still capable of luring in elite players, such as Brian Rafalski and Marian Hossa.
Through a hockey era where accuracy and timing is key, Holland has proved to be among the best of the best; however, in recent times, a lack of "cream of the crop" acquisitions mystifies Holland's flawless methods. One could suggest it all began with the retirement of Rafalski, a great right-handed defenseman who accented the play of Nicklas Lidstrom and made the Red Wings powerplay one of the best in the league. Once he announced his surprising retirement due to accumulated injuries, Holland was left with several options prior to free agency. James Wisniewski and Christian Ehrhoff were both becoming unrestricted free agents and were just the type of defensemen that could provide significant depth on Detroit's blueline. The Columbus Blue Jackets pounced on Wisniewski , trading for his negotiating rights before he even hit July 1st. The Buffalo Sabres pulled the same move with Ehrhoff. Both players would end up with mediocre seasons, somewhat justifying Holland's acquisition of Ian White. 1st wave of difficulty? Pass.
This offseason has arguably proved to be the most complicated of Ken Holland's career where he was put into a situation that consisted of the inevitable departure of vital players. Nicklas Lidstrom respectfully chose retirement, Brad Stuart fled to San Jose due to family reasons; the two best defencemen on the Red Wings. Gone. Jiri Hudler took a season filled with a career-high 25 goals to the Calgary Flames. That's about 10% of the Red Wings 239 goals scored in the 2011-2012 season. That's a pretty big number if you don't replace it.
"We're going to be active and very involved in free agency because we have cap space and holes we'd like to fill." The words of Holland, a GM in need of addressing the desire for depth among the forwards and bringing in defensive talent to acknowledge the absence of Lidstrom and Stuart. The Red Wings have inked goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, forward agitator Jordin Tootoo and veteran Mikael Samuelsson. Was this the answer fans were looking for?
The true frustration comes out of the failure to land a premium upgrade on defense with around $13 million in cap space. Holland and the Wings' management were "..right there until the end" for defenseman Ryan Suter, according to the man himself. Despite pursuing him as soon as free agency began, he chose the Minnesota Wild. The next available "high-class" defenseman was Matt Carle, he chose the Lightning. Jason Garrison chose the Canucks. Decent options became much fewer.
Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber had talks with Detroit, but Holland was never presented with the option to sign him to an offer sheet, so the Philadelphia Flyers did. Another opportunity missed.
Trade talks? The Red Wings couldn't make their pitches for Rick Nash or Shea Weber because Detroit's division rivals wouldn't want their own players excelling in the Motor City for many years to come. It's almost portrayed as excuse after excuse for every possible option out there for Ken Holland. If an individual were to look at Detroit's current roster, they could suggest the offensive group is somewhat established for a playoff run in a sense though there's no clear view of taking a step forward in terms of youth. Taking a view at the defence core, there's nothing too thrilling about unit a consisting of Kronwall, White, Quincey, Ericsson, Kindl and Smith with the obvious exceptions being Kronwall and possibly the young Smith. Quincey has a lot to prove after last season whereas Kindl has yet to blossom and White is simply a powerplay specialist. In terms of Ericsson, if he's proclaimed to be the number one shut-down defenseman, then there's obviously a need for an actual shut-down defenseman.
If this is the realistic approach the Red Wings are taking with their current roster then Ken Holland's skills as a general manager in the NHL can quite possibly be questioned. Is the question purely based around bad luck in this offseason or has he really lost his touch? He definitely hasn't lost his natural ability, but one cannot sit on past accomplishments and victories forever, relying on them to set pace for the future.
Ken Holland has six weeks to set his tools in motion. Does it mean acquiring a top-2 defenseman and a top shut-down defenseman? Yes. Does it mean adding a top-six forward like Shane Doan or Bobby Ryan? Yes. Is all this possible? It definitely is, but it is quite difficult for any GM around the NHL to pull off such an immense task to make their team number one.
Even with all these endeavours that lay ahead for Holland, there's a few things that can be said. Ken Holland's contributions towards the Detroit Red Wings will always be put into question, whether they be positive or negative; however, Holland has made his mark. No will ever be able to take away what he's brought to this franchise, leaving the age of the "Dead Wings" era behind. Now, the question that comes into play is can he avoid that era again?