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!

  • D

    If this is true, then all those big mouths in the media that “shot down” the information provided by that Saskatchewan sports announcer earlier this week owe him an apology.

    • cityofchampions

      Rod Pedersen tweeted this out before McCrimmon was promoted in Vegas, and was adamant about it. He knew back then that this was in the works, and that should give everyone pause. The Oilers weren’t “considering” other candidates, Holland has been the choice for some time now. Pedersen is the real insider, all the “hockey insiders” were quick to say that Holland wasn’t a serious candidate and now they are scrambling to “fix” the story by explaining that Holland was a late entrant after McCrimmon was promoted. Pedersen was right, it is and has been Holland for quite some time now.

  • Oilers_1978

    considering the current state of red wings…i am not so hopeful…last few fears in Detroit:
    1. ave to bad drafting..
    2. cap mess..

    if Ken is here, he should be the POHO and someone relatively new as GM (Keith or Hunter)

    and for sure sweep the entire glory day bod boys..

  • TKB2677

    I am not sure what to think. If he comes in to be a POHO/GM but is more of an overseer while he grooms someone else. Maybe it would be OK provided he brings in good people.

    I guess if he comes in, fires all the guys he needs too and someone jedi mind tricks someone into taking Lucic, then maybe I can give him my support.

  • Rick Stroppel

    I have no particular problem with Holland as GM. Literally ANYONE would be better than Chiarelli. I look at it this way: who is more likely to move out the deadwood, Holland, Mark Hunter, or K. Gretzky? If they hired Holland as GM, it could be a prelude to getting rid of Nicholson, making Holland the POHO, and hiring some sharp young guy as a GM. It could be the beginning of the end of the OBC.

    • fisherprice

      Hahaha this is rich. So an “exhaustive” and lengthy search goes right out the window as soon as Nicholson’s old Hockey Canada buddy might be available. It’s the exact same reasoning Holland used to hire Chiarelli without even bothering to look for anyone else. So you think that Holland, long time friend of Nicholson, who only would get the job because of Nicholson, is going to somehow fire his boss… Bob Nicholson?

    • camdog

      The Oilers are just like the Federal Liberal’s, they are all buds, they won’t turn on each other just promote each other to another position within the organization.

      • jesse says yep

        Cmon, if you are going to bring politics to these comment boards (really wish you wouldn’t) at least don’t be an ass. What you described, Cronyism and self aggrandizement, is politics in a nutshell and has been for at a least as long as you have been alive. . This is not isolated to either side of the aisle. For either side, follow the money and you find their motive.

  • 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

  • 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.

    • ed from edmonton

      There seems to be at least two new “reports” from “hockey insiders” each day on the GM file. So maybe we should wait until this evening’s rumour comes out likely contradicting this one. The only this for certain is that whatever choice the Oil make most people on this site will trash it.

        • cityofchampions

          Well that’s certainly the case for you, and for a lot of the constant complainers on this site. If Hunter is hired, then you’d all be wanting the experience of Holland. If Holland is hired, then you’d all want the new blood of Hunter. If both were hired, you’d find a way to complain about that too. As for me, at least Holland has been around the block and has the necessary connections to start correcting the mess here. He left a cushy retirement job in Detroit because he still wants to be a GM, so I don’t expect he’ll accept any interference from the OBC. My hope is that he can finally clear the OBC out of hockey ops, getting rid of Howson, MacT, the pro scouts etc (Katz might move MacT to the business side, to keep WG and KLowe company in the paid friends of Katz department) However I don’t think that these paid FoK will have any influence on Holland, though I do suspect that KG, who has show competence, will stay in hockey ops as head of pro or amateur scouting.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • billsbills

    This is a bad flucking joke. Detroit had absolutely zero cap space at the end of last year and are in worse position than the Oilers going forward. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea needs a bat up side the head. Not condoning violence, just having either the sense knocked into them or put them out of commission so they can’t make this hire. Seriously what has Detroit done in the last 5 years that was better than what Edmonton has done? They have 8 players on their roster with no trades including the top four of a mediocre defence. They are still paying on two buyouts and their team sucks!!!