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Forums :: Blog World :: Bob Duff: Cholowski Making His Mark
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Bob Duff
Location: Windsor, ON
Joined: 11.10.2014

Nov 7 @ 7:58 PM ET
Bob Duff: Cholowski Making His Mark The Detroit Red Wings began the NHL season with four rookie defensemen on the roster, Slowly but steadily, through attrition and the return of veterans from injury, that number has been whittled down to one. Libor Sulak, Filip Hronek and Joe Hicketts were all re-assigned to AHL Grand Rapids, leaving Dennis Cholowski - the guy who was thought to have the least chance of sticking with the big club out of this group - as the last rookie defenseman standing along the Detroit blueline.
Glak18
Philadelphia Flyers
Location: Tater tots go with everything, PA
Joined: 06.26.2007

Nov 7 @ 9:24 PM ET
Sounds like you could have a Provorov on your hands.
RedDog18
Detroit Red Wings
Joined: 07.05.2013

Nov 8 @ 10:31 AM ET
Cholowski v Chychrun... who will have the better career?
RafiDRW
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Pierre Dorion is going to join the #MeToo movement after getting brutally bent over twice -Reveen, TN
Joined: 04.16.2016

Nov 8 @ 12:21 PM ET
Cholowski. Better than Chychrun.
RedDog18
Detroit Red Wings
Joined: 07.05.2013

Nov 8 @ 12:28 PM ET
Cholowski. Better than Chychrun.
- RafiDRW


I hope it remains that way throughout his career.

For me, the two will always be linked...
RafiDRW
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Pierre Dorion is going to join the #MeToo movement after getting brutally bent over twice -Reveen, TN
Joined: 04.16.2016

Nov 8 @ 1:01 PM ET
I hope it remains that way throughout his career.

For me, the two will always be linked...

- RedDog18

Don’t forget Hronek.
RedDog18
Detroit Red Wings
Joined: 07.05.2013

Nov 8 @ 3:28 PM ET
Don’t forget Hronek.
- RafiDRW


Very true! In hindsight, it looks like Holland might've won that trade...
Sven22
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Joined: 12.24.2007

Nov 8 @ 4:25 PM ET
Very true! In hindsight, it looks like Holland might've won that trade...
- RedDog18


Even at the time I thought it was a great trade (and said as much in the comments back then).

Looking at just the picks, trading the #16 for the #20 and the #53 is a great deal. Already by the middle of the first round there is a lot of uncertainty and not much difference in expected value between picks. And then ON TOP of that, they dumped a huge amount of salary. I would make that deal without blinking every time.

People were salty about it in hindsight because:

1) Chychrun made the NHL right out of the gate, making Holland look bad for passing on him. But anyone who thinks that outcome was guaranteed or even particularly likely at the time of the trade is fooling themselves -- and even if Detroit had drafted Chychrun, they likely would have sent him back to junior anyway.

2) Holland went a bit off board to select Cholowski, and even then his development was slower than expected the following year. So the contrast between the two picks was especially glaring.

3) Holland, predictably, blew all the cap money he saved on bad contracts, taking the team straight back into cap hell without meaningfully improving it instead of kickstarting the rebuild.

Still, Holland's foolishness AFTER the trade should not alter our evaluation of the trade itself, which I have always thought was very good. Now that Cholowski looks like an NHLer, Hronek might not be far off either, and Chychrun can't stay healthy, the general public might start to agree with me.
Feds91Stammer
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Even Holland couldn't mess that up, FL
Joined: 02.01.2012

Nov 8 @ 5:17 PM ET
Even at the time I thought it was a great trade (and said as much in the comments back then).

Looking at just the picks, trading the #16 for the #20 and the #53 is a great deal. Already by the middle of the first round there is a lot of uncertainty and not much difference in expected value between picks. And then ON TOP of that, they dumped a huge amount of salary. I would make that deal without blinking every time.

People were salty about it in hindsight because:

1) Chychrun made the NHL right out of the gate, making Holland look bad for passing on him. But anyone who thinks that outcome was guaranteed or even particularly likely at the time of the trade is fooling themselves -- and even if Detroit had drafted Chychrun, they likely would have sent him back to junior anyway.

2) Holland went a bit off board to select Cholowski, and even then his development was slower than expected the following year. So the contrast between the two picks was especially glaring.

3) Holland, predictably, blew all the cap money he saved on bad contracts, taking the team straight back into cap hell without meaningfully improving it instead of kickstarting the rebuild.

Still, Holland's foolishness AFTER the trade should not alter our evaluation of the trade itself, which I have always thought was very good. Now that Cholowski looks like an NHLer, Hronek might not be far off either, and Chychrun can't stay healthy, the general public might start to agree with me.

- Sven22

Chayka even said he knew the statistics were against trading up but they really liked Chychrun.

I do think if Chychrun hadn't had injury issues this would still be a questionable deal.

I would also feel better about the deal if they hadn't wasted a 2nd on Smith that draft.
VeryModernMan
Pittsburgh Penguins
Location: Munich
Joined: 06.06.2017

Nov 8 @ 5:20 PM ET
Cholowski. Better than Chychrun.
- RafiDRW


I want Pens to save their >=2021 picks so we can offer sheet him.
Sven22
Detroit Red Wings
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Joined: 12.24.2007

Nov 9 @ 8:52 AM ET
Chayka even said he knew the statistics were against trading up but they really liked Chychrun.

I do think if Chychrun hadn't had injury issues this would still be a questionable deal.

I would also feel better about the deal if they hadn't wasted a 2nd on Smith that draft.

- Feds91Stammer


If you judge winners based on hindsight, I agree that a healthy Chychrun would probably tip the scales in favor of Phoenix in the end (and still very well could). But based only on what we knew on July 25, 2016, I still have to give it to Holland. It was a gamble worth taking, even though it still might not pay off.

I think Chayka is a great GM overall, so the fact that he's made a couple of head-scratching first round draft decisions (trading up in 2016, going way off board to take Hayton this year) makes me wonder. Does he know something other teams don't in terms of statistically evaluating junior players? Is it just that his one flaw is overrating his own ability to project prospects? A little bit of both?