Every once in a while, there’s a player on the Maple Leafs who just needed to move on. Justin Holl was one of them. Good on him, he landed well with the Detroit Red Wings.
Holl had been the subject of almost constant critique (bordering on verbal abuse) in Toronto; and, while some of that was his own fault, it seemed that fans just were simply looking for things to pick at.
I have to say that it’s good to see him land well and to even get a nice raise with the Red Wings. There he will likely have a much better go of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned out to be a much better defenseman than most Maple Leafs’ fans ever expected.
From Detroit’s Perspective, Holl Helps Solidify the Red Wings’ Defense
The Red Wings made a significant addition to their defensive lineup by signing the former Maple Leafs’ defenseman. The 31-year-old Holl brings a lot of experience and (probably) stability to the team’s blue line. There he’ll work at strengthening the Red Wings’ defensive corps.
Holl’s new three-year contract is worth an average annual value (AAV) of $3.4 million per season. You can imagine it makes many Maple Leafs’ fans believe that Red Wings’ GM Steve Yzerman is a bit of an idiot as a hockey mind. But, we know that’s not true. He helped build the Tampa Bay Lightning into a powerhouse in this time there, and he’s likely to do the same in Detroit.
A Steady Presence on the Ice
Holl is more a defensive blue-liner than one who racks up the points. He scored two goals and added 16 assists (for 18 points) in 80 games for the Maple Leafs. That’s not many points.
Although his contributions on the scoresheet are usually modest, the Red Wings see in him a defenseman who brings reliability and defensive awareness to the ice. They valued these traits highly. Holl’s consistent play during the regular season has earned him recognition outside of Toronto as a dependable defenseman.
Holl Gets to Write a New Chapter in Detroit
Even before Holl’s contract with the Maple Leafs expired, it became pretty clear that he’d be moving on to a new team. The Red Wings wasted no time signing him as a way to bolster their defense. His arrival in Detroit marks a significant milestone in his career.
He’s only ever played for the Maple Leafs. At the same time, the Red Wings’ three-year contract commitment shows their confidence in his abilities and the role he’ll play within their defensive unit.
Holl Will Become a Complementary Defenseman
Holl joins a defensive corps in Detroit that includes Ben Chiarot, Jake Walman, and others. Standing at 6-foot-3, Holl’s size adds a physical presence to the Red Wings blue line. He also brings stability and a reliable defensive game. His experience and ability to read plays effectively will benefit the team’s overall defensive strategy.
As the Red Wings continue their rebuild and aim for improvement, Holl’s arrival provides a boost to their defensive depth.
The Bottom Line
Holl’s signing with the Red Wings starts a new chapter in his NHL career. He’s headed to a team that believes he will be a dependable defenseman for them. The Red Wings see him as bringing stability, experience, and size to the Detroit blue line. With his defensive skills and ability to read plays effectively, he’ll be counted on to play a crucial role in the team’s rebuilding efforts.
For me, I’m glad that he landed well and that he’s already appreciated where he is headed. He’ll become a voice of experience on a younger Red Wings’ team. He should be able to help them improve their game and become one of the rising teams in the Atlantic Division.
I wish Holl luck and hope he can make a positive impact that contributes to his new team’s defensive success.
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