BUFFALO -- The Detroit Red Wings cleared the salary-cap charge of Pavel Datsyuk by trading him and the 16th pick in the 2016 NHL Draft to the Arizona Coyotes on Friday.
The trade was announced during the first round of the draft at First Niagara Center.
"It's huge," Holland told The Detroit News. "It's $7.5 million; every day we were looking. There were a lot of different teams, more than I expected, with a lot of different scenarios. But in some cases, obviously, they wanted to move bad contracts.
"I was OK waiting until July 1 (the start of free agency), but we were going to have to play a steeper price. But I didn't want to pay a lot of assets.
"A deal has to be a win-win. It was a deal both sides are happy with."
Detroit received the 20th pick and 53rd pick in the draft, and forward Joe Vitale.
Arizona chose defenseman Jakob Chychrun with the 16th pick. Detroit chose defenseman Dennis Cholowski at No. 20, a pick that originally belonged to the New York Rangers.
"It's something we've talked about for a long time," Coyotes general manager John Chayka told the newspaper. "There were few teams that can take that contract on. I talked to Kenny at length about it, and when Chychrun started to fall, we started to make calls to see what we can do.
"I thought Kenny was going to keep the pick. I thought that was a good leverage point to utilize. We made the call on the floor and I got the player I wanted and Kenny got the space he needed."
Datsyuk last Saturday said he will play at home in Russia and not for the Red Wings next season. That decision left Detroit responsible for the NHL salary-cap charge associated with the final season of his three-year, $22.5 million contract ($7.5 million).
Holland said last week he was skeptical a trade would happen because of the assets it would cost Detroit to clear salary-cap space for one season.
"We'll see if I can move the contract," Holland said then. "I'm not overly optimistic. ... Certainly you're going to be compromised by having $7.5 million tied up in a player that you don't have."
Selected by Detroit in the sixth round (No. 171) of the 1998 NHL Draft, Datsyuk spent 14 seasons with the Red Wings. He has 918 points (314 goals, 604 assists) in 953 NHL regular-season games and 113 points (42 goals, 71 assists) in 157 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
He helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2002 and 2008, won the Lady Byng Trophy (sportsmanship) four times (2006-09) and the Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) three times (2008-10), and was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game three times.
Vitale, 30, played one NHL game this season, sidelined by concussion-related issues and a fractured orbital bone. He has played 234 games with the Coyotes and Pittsburgh Penguins.