Photo Credit: PAUL SANCYA, AP

Report: Ken Holland to be new GM

The last few days in Oilersnation has turned into Ken Holland Watch and now we’re closer than ever to a contract completion.

Reports from both Darren Dreger and Ryan Rishaug point to Ken Holland becoming the next General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers. As you’ve probably noticed, negotiations between Holland and Nicholson have ramped this past week, and now we’re finding out that Holland is informing the Red Wings organization today about his decision.

As you can see above, it’s not official yet, but all signs are pointed towards near completion. With news coming out on Friday that Bob Nicholson had offered Holland complete autonomy of the organization, there was no doubt that Holland would take the job eventually. It was just a matter of time.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Ken Holland, who has been Detroit’s General Manager for the past 22 years, and who has won three Stanley Cups and made many playoff appearances, will now turn to Edmonton for his latest project. Sure, the Detroit organization has had a rough few seasons as of late, but there’s no doubt Holland has valuable experience that he can bring to our club. I expect the official announcement to come in the next day or so.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    Hopefully his assessment of the rest of the Oilers front office has been sufficiently flushed out seeing their wide range of success over the last 10+ years and his hiring is followed by at least 3 firings.

  • Ivan Drago

    Now that we know it’s gonna be Holland, any ideas on who he brings with him or will hire as coach? I’d love him to pursuade Verbeek to be AGM (won’t happen) and have KG stay on as director of amateur scouting. Who will be director of pro scouting will be crucial.

  • connor is god

    This is finally going to be a good change.I know people are being negative but this is the first time in a whole lotta years I feel positive,Lets see what happens this summer

    • McHitch

      Half the hockey fans in Alberta could fix this roster within 2 years.

      You have McDavid, Draisaitl, Nuge and Klefbom, Nurse, Larrson, Bouchard, Jones.

      You have draft picks, and former first rounders(JP, Yamo) as trade bait. You have an owner who is willing to spend to cap every year and a state of the art arena.

      This team is an easy fix. Dump some salary, bring in a reliable backup and a couple decent wingers. Fixed.

      I dont think it will take the winningest GM in NHL history to turn this around, but we are lucky to get him. Holland is a legend. Excited to see what he does if this is true.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    McCrimmon was my first choice for the GM job with Hunter my second choice. I am not excited about Holland, but looks like I have to accept it. My biggest concern with the hiring of Holland is that he wants to be closer to Family and asks for an out early and KG gets the job, because my guess is that KG is the AGM.

    I know we are going to hear how Holland will have full autonomy to hire and fire who he wants , but I will say right now the OBC is going no where, we might see some title shuffling like the last time, but I expect no changes on the OBC front and that worries the hell out of me. I sure the heck hope Holland does a better job than Chia, but considering Holland had the Wings at the cap, I dont know how things are going to work out for Holland here.

    I will say this, Holland has no idea what a mess he is walking into and the fan bases patience with the Oilers organisation isnt going to be tempered much by Holland at the helm because they will need to see some real changes and results to even believe that change is coming.

    Since Holland is the man, I wish him luck because with the mess the Oilers are in he is going to need it. Hey Ken clean out the OBC and send Schwartz packing, that will show the fans you are serious about righting the ship!

  • CityofWhat

    Red Wing + Red Wine = fits the culture perfectly. This organization got their head so far up their a$$ they wouldn’t make the right hire if all the GM’s in the league were available to them. Also MSM were so far off on this one it showed how clueless they really are or insightful they are. The fire breathing Ferraro also was way off when he said Holland rejected Edmonton. If Ferraro is man enough he would apologize on national tv.

  • ed from edmonton

    There is so much negativity surrounding the Oil, and especially on this site, that no matter was named there would be a fire of criticism. Holland may get more than a less experienced choice would have received, due to the parallels between Holland and PC. I think it will be critical that Holland buy himself some time by purging many of the OBC.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    What the Oilers gave Holland a 5 yr 25 million contract to be GM…Holy moly is it me or does anyone get the feeling the Oilers were in desperation mode and threw a big number at Holland so he would accept qand Bobby Nick wouldnt have egg on his face


    I couldn’t be HAPPIER! Congrats Mr.Holland, show our fan base what you can do. Clean house on and off the ice, surround yourself with PROVEN talent and bring this team back to respectability it deserves!

  • Biomass

    He may not be able to deal with execu-junk above him but if he deals with pro scouting, player development etc he’ll be a hero. If he addresses one over-pay contract and brings in one scoring winger as well — we’re into super-hero status.

  • hagar

    Complaining or discussing merit before a decision is done is helpful, if not only mentally.
    If it’s done, it’s done. No point in being a fan that says they think kosk sucks, then cheering for him to suck despite it hurting the team to try and prove a point.

    If its Holland, I personally will now wish for the best going forward. That doesn’t mean you have to be happy about it… but it is what it is. Guess we will all see soon enough if this is finally the change needed. I sure hope so!! As much as a despise klowe and his band of useless buddies, I want the Oilers to succeed as a priority. If Holland can pull it off while those clowns are still here, then I will be happy.
    It’s not going to take long to see if things are going in the right direction.

  • Heschultzhescores

    Not my first choice, but he’s here for 5 years. May as well accept it and get behind him. Maybe a new challenge, and a big one, will bring the best out if him. Best of luck Mr. Holland.

  • bcoil

    Unless they take Katz’s cell phone away from him so that Wayne,Kevin, Mess, MacT and Coffey can’t text him in the night critiquing every move Holland makes we will be back to the old management style of back stabbing and second guessing in 6 months.

  • gordo

    bottom line, with 2 or 3 of the right changes, the team could make the playoffs under Holland, or any other gm with autonomy and brains. Holland hasn’t done much lately though

  • 786

    The fact that full autonomy is front and center in all the discussions with the candidates makes me wonder if that’s something Peter Chiarelli never got. He got f’d up by that and the whole league knows it. Maybe that’s why everyone wants a guarantee on full autonomy by the Oilers because no one wants to repeat Chiarelli’s tragedy here. There’s no secret in the league and everyone knows everything.

  • Boba The Fett

    Holland built a winner around elite stars like Yzerman, Fedorov, Datsyuk and Zetterberg. He filled in around them with character and depth like McCarty, Draper, Maltby, Franzen, Lapointe, Holmstrom, Cleary, etc. Lets hope he can do that here.
    There is no way Holland leaves an organization he been loyal to for 30+ years to be a puppet at a tire fire. The only way he is coming here is if he is THE man in charge and has FULL autonomy.
    When Holland started in DET they are an absolute joke, and look what he did with them.

    • Boba The Fett

      I do not think you can call him Chia 2.0. Chia believed in “heavy hockey”, when have you ever seen Detroit as a “heavy hockey” team?

      While he may not be the most progressive GM, you have to respect his body of work and if he brings in some smart people around him and grooms KG then maybe we will have something. The biggest difference I think from Chia is it seems like Holland is a much better communicator and is more willing to listen to the people that are there to advise.

      McCrimmon would have been great but I think the success of Lamoriello recently and Poille for 20+ years in NASH shows that some older GMs still have juice left in the tank.

      • Boba The Fett

        I would a combination of Lidstrom retiring, Datsyuk leaving and Zetterbergs injuries have hurt that team immensely. The combination of skill, character and leadership of those 3 was unrivaled

    • Serious Gord

      You outline why one has to temper ones regard for his record. It’s been well documented the tremendous advantages the wings had during those years.

      The ‘wings way’ was a major driver in the demand by other teams to have a salary cap.

  • WHH

    Dreger mentions Bob may be taking on a bigger role. That is the scariest part of this report. What bigger role could that be? The guy is out of his depth as it is. That IIHF job can’t come soon enough.

    • 71CUDAMAN

      Every team has bad contracts….G.M.’s aren’t psychic, the draft, UFA’s ect are all a crap shoot. One thing we can honestly say is that, Holland WON”T get fleeced on trades like Chia did!

  • Odanada

    Best of luck Mr Holland. As a loyal Oiler fan I am counting on you to bring respectability back to the franchise and to clear out the culture that has spawned this continual losing. I wish you the best and will continue to be a tier 2 fan.

  • Jan 13, 1997

    I kinda hope holland will try to bring Håkan Andersson with him to Edmonton. He has been good for the red wings finding people like Henrik Zetterberg, Jonathan Franzén and Thomas Holmström and has a great eye for European players