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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.

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!

  • Mcjesus97

    Still a better choice that hunter or Sean Burke this man was a gem for what 22 years the 2 other guys have never been a gm. I’d rather an experienced gm than a rookie to come in and try to fix this mess. And for those of you saying he hasn’t been that good past few years come on no matter who was the good the red wings that was going to happen they were a powerhouse for a good 15 almost 20 years it’s bound to happen

  • #97TRAIN

    This fan base absolutely sucks balls.what a complete bunch of whiners.
    Is Holland supposed to win absolutely every year?
    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t he build that powerhouse in Detroit?
    How come people were so quick to praise Babcock and absolutely swoon over him but Holland is a bad pick ?
    Autonomy was the word I was looking for.

    • Hemmercules

      Detroit has been bad for 6 years now. Albeit they did make the playoffs in the first 3 of the last 6 years but got ousted in round 1 every time. The last 3 years they have been awful and spent right to the cap. 8 players on Detroit with NMC’s too.

      Holland was a great pre-cap GM when he could spend anything, times have passed him I think. Maybe this works out but the league is changing and they would likely be better suited with someone else.

      Maybe they are going this route because he will have no problems making front office changes? A new younger GM may be resistant to just start firing people right away? I’m not saying Holland will be a terrible decision but looking at the state of Detroit right now, it looks a lot like Boston when Chia left. At least Boston still had guys like Marchand, Rask, Krug, Chara and Bergeron to work with. What does Detroit have?

    • GM-macT

      Holland did most of that in Detroit with no salary cap. The league has changed, you can’t look back 20 years and ignore the last 5. Detroit sucks now and they have the same cap situation as the oil. We don’t want to hire another dude who is going to build a team that can win a cup in the late 90s or early 2000s.

        • I am sure this exhaustive search was just a bunch of texts exchanged between the OBC. The Hockey Canada connection does not pass the smell test. There never was 10-12 people interested. No need to wonder why. Scouts that live in the Bahamas, Skills coach that apparently does his job from Toronto. The S*hit show never ends with these clowns.
          My apologies to those who are actually clowns that do it for a living.

        • Shameless Plugger

          Think about it. Why would a guy leave a cushy job to not have full autonomy to make personal decisions ? If you don’t think he’ll be THE man in charge you’re not paying attention.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • cityofchampions

    Well the one upside is that Holland as the gravitas and authority to get rid of the deadwood. If he first MacT, Howsen and the Pro scouts that’s a great start, and something that a first time GM (KG, Hunter, Burke) might not have had the ability to do. MacT might move over to business side like WG and Lowe and hang around collecting paychecks to be Katz’s friends, but with Holland in the big chair I have less fear of them influencing hockey ops.

    • GM-macT

      I think the old boys club gets too much credit. If you compare what happened in Boston during Chia’s reign with what he did in Edmonton, it’s the same story, trading away quality players for lesser ones and horrible cap management. Compare that to Mac T as GM, we were all complaining that he was to patient kept talking about bold moves but wouldn’t actually do anything. Not defending Mac T as a GM, I didn’t think he was very good but the last 3 years doesn’t look like anything he did while in that position.

    • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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?