Speculation: Gretzky already told he’s out of the running for GM?

Our very own Dusty Nielson, star of the radio smash hit The Nielson Show on TSN 1260, has been told by a pair of sources he trusts that the Edmonton Oilers have already informed Keith Gretzky that he is not in line for the General Manager position. Is there something there? Let’s take a look.

Now, before we get too far into this thing, I need to make sure that everyone is on the same page in knowing that this is just a rumour at this point. Dusty readily admits in the tweet that this is something that he’s heard from a couple of different people and that there is plenty of room for things to change, but after texting back-and-forth with him over the last couple of minutes, I can’t help but feel like there could be some legs here. In fact, Nielson told me that he actually started hearing rumblings of this decision almost two weeks ago but it wasn’t until he got it for a second time that he decided to put something out there. Dusty isn’t a guy that will make this kind of thing up and I believe him when he tells me stuff, so I’m very intrigued to see how this plays out.

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What I can’t wrap my head around, though, is if this is actually true and the Oilers have told Kretzky that he’s not going to be the man, then why have they been parading him around in front of the media over the last week? He did the Nicholson presser on Monday and the draft lottery last night, so what gives? Are they teasing us? Bobbing while we’re weaving? Why would they make the man sit in front of the media and answer questions about the GM position that he wants if he already knows that he has no shot at the position? I mean, this is the Oilers we’re talking about so maybe this is a little bit of trickery that’s meant to throw us off the scent? Maybe?

Considering the job that Kretzky has done on the amateur side of the organization, I can understand that the team holds him in high regard and maybe standing in front of the media is part of his own internal job interview. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard that the Oilers have a policy where they will always grant a job interview to anyone in the organization that applies for a position and maybe this is part of Keith’s sitdown with the team. Admittedly, I’m 100%  guessing on that last point but it does make sense given the policy I was told they have in place.

Dusty continued his thoughts with a second tweet…

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To me, if these sources are right and the Oilers are in line to bring in some new blood then this is great news for everyone that cheers for this franchise… maybe. Outside of a couple of people that have already stated that Kretzky should just be given the job, I think most folks fear that hiring him without performing a thorough search would be another strange decision by an organization that desperately needs to get this one right. That said, I’m certainly open to the possibility that Keith Gretzky could, in fact, be the man for the job, but I have a real hard time believing that to be true before other candidates have been interviewed or given the chance to make their pitch. Even McDonalds interviews more than one person when they’re looking for new cashiers, ya know?

All I know for sure is that this GM hunt just took a turn and I’m very excited to see how this plays out.

Source: Dustin Nielson, TSN 1260, 4/9/2019 – 2:08 pm MT

  • I don’t find it weird at all that Keith is willing to do interim work even if he’s out of the running. This is the perfect showcase for him, if not for the Oilers then for other teams down the road. There’s also no guarantee he’d get picked up by another organization right away if he leaves, he’s not a Mark Hunter or Kelly McCrimmon type name so he’d be wise to cling to this job as long as he can.

    • OilerForLife

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought I had heard near the beginning of this process that Keith would like the job, but if he didn’t get it he would be happy remaining with the organization. He was probably told this because of the volatility of a fan revolt city is possible because some fans think he’s part of the OBC, and they wanted him to stay before he got too excited about doing the job. So I hope he stays around because drafting in the city improved a short time after his arrival.

      • MrBung

        Not just the whole OBC narrative. He was part of the Chia team. He said “we” the other day when asked questions about decisions made during Chia’s tenure. He was part of it and has said as much. Disqualifying. The damage to this team has probably wasted an opportunity for a Stanley Cup. The challenge is just make this team playoff competitor.

    • Gravis82

      The guy who missed on chabot/barzal/connor….aho….tkachuk/keller…. debrincat?

      all on the board either at or near edmontons pick. Those are not off the board selections either, would have been entirely reasonable and/or even expected in the case of debrincat. KG decided to either not pick these players or was part of the team that decided to trade these picks for Reinhart.

      How many all stars are up there there? More than 1. How many got more than 40 goals this year? 1, and he was not the all star.

        • Gravis82

          no no. Look at our draft picks. At 16 in 2015 chabot, keller and barzal were taken 16/17/18. 2/3 are all stars….already. It would have been impossible to not get one of them.

          aho was taken 2 spots after the pick we traded. He was BPA at the time of our pick I remember this as I was thinking what a shame and 2 teams were idiots and passed.

          Tkachuk or Keller? Lets just say a real GM did their homework and decided to pass on puljujarvi. If we had one of those we likely would have also.

          Debrincat? Oh….only connor mcdavids old linemate who in his draft year without mcdavid scored 50 goals and was the highest scoring player left on the board.

          Literally none of those are a stretch. Just keep the picks and use your brain and we would have had at least one of those players, likely 2. Perhaps 3

      • who

        Actually, I don’t think Keith Gretzky was employed by the Oilers when any of those guys were drafted. Or when the Reinhart trade was made.
        A little more research before you comment please.

          • who

            Wasn’t commenting on Bostons draft record.
            Read the post above mine. The poster was blaming him for Edmonton not drafting any of those players, and trading for Reinhart.
            I was merely pointing out how ludicrous the post was, given that Gretzky wasn’t employed by the Oilers during any of this.
            Facts are facts. Nothing half wrong about it.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I dont mind that, I just dont thinki KG has the experience to get us out of the mess we are in , its going to very very complicated with a lot of moves to get us out of this and is going to take someone with some wheeling and dealing and has a finger on the pulse of the NHL and what teams could use and can read the tea leaves sop to speak, we also need someone who knows how to negotiate which Chia didnt.