Monday, June 30, 2008, 6/30/2008 10:38:00 AM

Trade Secrets of the Detroit Red Wings

By Todd
The co-authors of this blog like hockey. One of the co-authors (me) grew up in Detroit. It is a slow day in the trade secrets blog world so here's a post related to the proclaimed secrets of assembling a Stanley Cup champion team, direct from GM Ken Holland's mouth:

1. Good people: Like assistant GM Jim Nill, Holland says, who might get a note from his boss on a kid, but "he knows if he wants to, he can throw my note in the garbage."

2. Players learn from other players: Which is why the Wings like to keep old-timers. "They are there to guide our young players," Holland writes. "I'd like to think when an older player is done here, he's done."

3. Uncovering draft gems: "Because we like skill, when a player joins our team, skill plays with skill."

4. On-ice discipline: Though when the Wings get outmuscled, "You wonder, 'Are we good enough? Are we big enough?' " Yes, they are.

5. Puck possession. It's a Holland thing.

6. Ownership: "I report to one person: Mike Ilitch. I talk to all our people and when I want something, I go to Mr. Ilitch and -- boom! -- it's done."

7. Salary cap. "We have a capologist, but working with a budget is also my strength. I like numbers. I was a goalie -- you're always working out your goals-against average."

8. Reclamation projects. Chris Osgood, Dan Cleary, Darren McCarty ...

9. Patience: "I just think the philosophy seems to be working," Holland writes. "Next year we could lose in the first round because we're out of energy, but judge us on five years, not on one year."

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