When the Detroit Red Wings alumni hit the ice at the Joe this past week, at least a few of them did a double take at the guy in net.
“I didn’t know who it was. I thought it was Mike Vernon,” Joe Kocur said.
Nope, it wasn’t Vernon; it was Ken Holland, the Red Wings general manager and former goaltender. It wasn’t that he was out there that was shocking; it was what he was wearing.
“I have road hockey equipment that looks better than that,” Kirk Maltby said.
“Someone said Holland told Joey Kocur that he had his pads back when Kocur came into the league,” Kris Draper said. “That’s outstanding.”
Holland admits his pads aren’t pretty to look at, but he wore these old, leather pads back in the 1980s and they fit him to a T. So when he needed to suit up recently, he found them out in his garage and put them on. But everyone wonder, are these things even sanitary?
“Good question, I don’t know,” Holland said with a laugh.
“Definitely not,” Chris Osgood said of the pads. “I mean they’re leather, they’ve gotten wet a bunch of times.”
“Oh yeah, they’re really heavy when they get wet,” Holland said.
Well, that might be a problem for Holland considering the level of talent he will be facing in the alumni showdown.
After the two games at Comerica Park and all the guys head back to retirement, it just might be time to retire these pads as well, Ken.