With Dom gone, now what?
Holland: "I've got my thoughts. Jimmy Howard's very close, if not there, to playing in the NHL. If I look at Ozzie ... it's a guess ... Ozzie can play 50ish games. Maybe he can play more. Certainly the 20-30 games Chris doesn't play, in a parity league, those are key points."
"We're trying to continue to be a Cup contender and how do you move young people into your team at a key position? Do we go out and pursue a veteran guy if there is one? Do we pursue a trade? Do we just decide that we're comfortable with Ozzie and Jimmy Howard? I'll talk to Mike Babcock. I want to talk to Jim Bedard. I want to talk to obviously Jimmy Nill and Steve Yzerman. I've got my thoughts. I want to get their thoughts. Ultimately, I'll formulate a plan. We obviously have to have the plan in place before July 1st if we're going to pursue free agency. If we're going to pursue a trade, we have to have our plan in place before (the draft in) Ottawa (June 20)."
My guess is Howard will be in Detroit this season. He certainly played well this season both in Grand Rapids and for a short stint with the Red Wings. Plus there are not a lot of options out there right now. But playing part of the upcoming season will be an audition for Howard, who will be replaced in 2009-10 if he doesn't perform.
"I think if you have to start the year with Jimmy Howard and Ozzie, I'm comfortable," said Holland. "You've just won the Stanley Cup with Ozzie."