Report: Oilers could be nearing deal with Holland as General Manager

We’re on the home stretch here, folks. The General Manager search of 2019 is close to coming to a close, and we have our prime candidate. Sources are saying that the Oilers are very close to finishing the ongoing negotiations with the current Senior Vice President, and former General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Ken Holland.

Mark Spector broke the news earlier today, claiming that the Edmonton Oilers have officially offered Holland complete autonomy of the organization. This means Holland has the sole decision to hire and fire whomever he chooses. Spec goes on to say that negotiation will continue throughout the weekend and that a press conference to announce the hiring could happen early next week.

Since Kelly McCrimmon was announced as the new General Manager of the Las Vegas Knights earlier this week, we learned that the Oilers GM position search has been narrowed to names such as Ken Holland and Mark Hunter, with the possibility of Keith Gretzky as well.

Spector states in his article that if hired, Holland will bring Detroit’s director of amateur scouting, Tyler Wright, with him. Believe it or not, Wright was drafted by the Oilers in the first round of the 1991 NHL Entry Draft. If Holland is hired, there is a large possibility that Keith Gretzky remains with the organization to help out on the professional scouting side of things as well. Maybe they will even keep him as an assistant General Manager? Only time will tell.

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If Nicholson and the Oilers organization are able to finalize a deal to bring Ken Holland in as the new General Manager, do you think we’ll be headed in the right tracks? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

  • Kool-Aid Man

    It really too bad that Holland is willing to risk his legacy as one of the best GMs’ in NHL history, to become a stooge for the cronies. If he IS hired, he had better clean the house out of the OBC faction completely to prove he does have full autonomy. If not, he is just another fool waiting to blamed for the next season(s) of failure.

    • Dallas Eakins Hair

      I am in agreement that hiring Holland is a move to protect the OBC. I have said before I think Holland is past his prime as a GM, Don’t get me wrong Holland did a lot of good things in Detroit in the past, bit last while with Holland at the helM Detorit hasnt fared very well. I dont see Holland working out here and I am not happy with the idea Holland may be GM

      If Holland is hired this is just going to signal no real changes and the OBC will still reign in the backround and wanna bet KG is still going to be heir apparent, I hear the rumors that the Oilers wanted KG as GM but were worried about what the fans thought f it, and they should be worried, the fans have been more than faithful but our patience is wearing thin and rightly so, you can only be dissapointed for so long before you want to change things for the better, but I dont see the Oilers listening to the fans, more another person at the helm the OBC can have act as a puppet GM while the OBC keeps running the show in the backround.

      Does anyone believe Holland will clean house? I sure dont. Does anyone believe that KLowe, MacT Howson, Green Messier ( paul not mark ) are going anywhere? I dont. You will see some lower end mgmt and some other names no one ever heard of get sacrificed, but none of the people from the OBC will go anywhere, maybe a title shuffle, but still in the back wielding power and influence.

      I really wonder if the reason that they had to go to Holland was because Hunter wanted autonomy and the Oilers werent willing to have any of the OBC in a position of peril. Honestly, this is another backwards step by the Oilers with no intention on making the real changes that needed to happen t get the Oilers on and off the ice into a better position for the future. How disappointing!

  • Kneedroptalbot

    Burger Bob, hires his buddy Ken Holland to run the (landfill) Oilers for a couple of years…. until his right hand man, Keith Gretzky becomes GM.
    Pass the Red Wine please.

  • Slipknot 8

    Holland can prove he can make a Stanley Cup team when he can out spend the opposition…..nothing much since.
    This is the Oilers not looking to the future but relying on past accomplishments, terrible business practice.

    • #97TRAIN

      I could just see the negative fan response here in Edmonton if Hunter , a guy with zero experience ,came in to run this team.
      Most negative fans in the league. I’m pissed about the lack of production here over the years too but it just seems the whining fans here just can’t wait to have a whipping boy here.

      • Kool-Aid Man

        Honestly I believe most fans are just plain sour. Unless a great cup run is delivered or the cronyism management scheme is completely eradicated nothing will please most Oilers fans. Oilers current managements’ contemptuous attitude towards the best fan base in the NHL is truly unforgivable and unforgettable.

        Lucic= Whipping boy? Seems fair considering…

      • RJ

        Back in the shortened season Lucic got 27 points in 46 games. This season he had 20 points in 79 games, and his play on the ice was abysmal. You can call him a whipping boy but $6m for 20 points is brutal.

    • Serious Gord

      And reap the rewards of a scouting bonanza where Detroit spent more and hired more than anyone else on scouting and got the likes of lidstrom and datsuk

  • R U Kidding Me!

    Please Mr. Holland if you take this job use you executive power and can MacT-Lowe-Howson and lets start fresh with a new front office.

    Oh, and throw out the pro scouting department while your at it.

  • FutureGM

    Hiring Holland as POHO to replace Nicholson, who admitted himself he crapped the bed by not interviewing for the last GM position, and then hiring Burke or Hunter to be AGM along with Keith Gretzky would be a massive win for the organization.
    Hiring Holland, a GM who has recently struggled with drafting and the cap, as GM with Keith waiting in the wings to replace him would be a massive failure. The exact failure we have see this organization do repeatedly. Please be the former, or I am done with this team

    • cityofchampions

      Good post. My feelings exactly. Holland will be a success if he can end OBC influence in hockey ops (MacT, Howsen and the pro scouts have to go) and make all future hirings based on merit – just hire the best person for the job.

  • TKB2677

    Holland already has a very good, very highly paid, cushy job in a City he has lived in for 37 yrs. He’s not looking for a job. If the reports are true, the Oilers want him to quit his job and come work for them. When ever a company goes after a person who is employed by someone, they don’t say “hey, we want you but here is a list of demands you have to meet for us to allow you to quit your current job that you are in to come work for us. ” It doesn’t work that way. The only guys who’s jobs are probably safe from a Holland potential axe are Katz, Nicholson, K.Lowe and Wayne Gretzky. Katz is the freaking owner. Nicholson is second in command. I love Gretzky and I know he has some VP title which sounds better than what he really is. He’s the Oilers Ambassador. He comes to Edmonton what 5 times a year to wave to the crowd. He shakes some sponsors hands and puts his name on stuff for the Oilers. I bet he probably makes some phone calls to free agents or draft picks welcoming them to the Oilers. That’s it. You can’t be involved in hockey Ops, if you aren’t around the bloody team. Then there is K.Lowe who supposedly hasn’t been involved in hockey decisions for years. Hell, even Gregor who is about as critical of the Oilers as it gets for Edmonton media guys said today he knows K. Lowe does nothing with hockey. If a guy that bashed the Oilers as much as Gregor says that, it’s true.

    This isn’t a negotiation. It’s Nicholson telling Holland the Oilers want him and its Holland telling Nicholson, if you want me, here is what I want. That includes who he can hire and fire. I am sure Nicholson might say “We’d sure like it if you would keep ______”. But for anyone who thinks that if Holland comes, he’s not going to be allowed to fire anyone he wants, give your head a shake man and step into reality. That’s not how it works.

    • #97TRAIN

      I completely agree. I’m sure his new job in Detroit is as good as it gets and if he comes here he will have already been assured of complete control. I’m very good with that.
      It’s a step in the right direction.

  • Shameless Plugger

    I feel like Holland commands respect. I also feel like any of the other inexperienced hires might not have the gonads to let some people in the organization go that need to be let go. I think Holland has not only the gonads but the ability to pick and choose who’s worth keeping and who needs to go.
    In all honesty It wouldn’t matter who they hire people here will find something negative to say about it. Time will tell I guess.

  • 2centz

    On the bright side, Daryl Katz looks like he’s stepped out of the 80’s…. aaaand right into the 90’s

    Seriously though, if anyone doesn’t think this was the plan all along, and that it was coincidence Chiarelli was fired with Ken Holland and the Red Wings in the building, then you haven’t been paying attention.

  • 2centz

    On the bright side, Daryl Katz looks like he’s stepped out of the 80’s…. aaaand right into the 90’s

    Seriously though, if anyone doesn’t think this was the plan all along, and that it was coincidence Chiarelli was fired with Ken Holland and the Red Wings in the building, then you haven’t been paying attention.

  • Boba The Fett

    While I am not necessarily on board with the Holland hire there are a few things people need to consider about Holland and Detroit.

    1. Detroit was the poster child of draft and develop under Holland and it wasnt until just recently that they were forced to rush some prospects.
    2. DET made the playoffs 19/22 years under Holland which would include 10 years in the salary cap era.
    3. Holland was kinda put in a difficult position cap and roster wise when Lidstrom retired with 1 year left, Datsyuk left for Russia before his contract was up, Zetterberg basically was forced to retire due to back issues, his last big signing Stephen Weiss had to retire due to lingering injuries as well.
    4. While their drafting has not been top of the NHL lately they have still made some pretty good mid round picks (Nyquist, Jurco, Mantha, Athaniasou, Mrazek)
    5. He recently fleeced Las Vegas in the tomas tatar deal getting a 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
    6. He got a 2nd and 3rd for Brenda Smith in 2017
    7. He was able to dump the pavel datsyuk contract and actually receive a player and 2nd rounder in return
    8. He is definitely one of the most respected, connected and experienced men in the NHL.
    9. He has a history of surrounding super stars with the depth players required to succeed.

    While he may not be the most progressive minded GM, my biggest fear would be his recent cap mgmt but as I mentioned earlier he has had some unfortunate instances with veteran players.