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Holland: Step One

The Edmonton Oilers will formally announce Ken Holland as their seventh general manager in franchise history later this week. They started in 1979/1980 with Larry Gordon (one year), then Glen Sather (20 years), Kevin Lowe (eight years), Steve Tambellini (five years), Craig MacTavish (two years) and Peter Chiarelli (three and a half seasons). Keith Gretzky has held the interim GM tag since January 23rd.

Holland began his career in hockey operations in the summer of 1985 with the Detroit Red Wings as a scout for western Canada. A few years later he was promoted to director of amateur scouting, then he spent three seasons as assistant GM, before getting the GM title on July 18th, 1997.

He has 34 years of experience in scouting and management.

Holland was a major part of the Red Wings drafting that led to their championship teams.

Between 1989-1994 they drafted 18 players who played 500+ NHL regular season games.

In 1989 they drafted Mike Sillinger, Bob Boughner, Nick Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Dallas Drake and Vladimir Konstantinov (Only 446 due to car accident), and Keith Primeau, Vyacheslav Koslov and Jason York in 1990.

In 1991 their first four picks were Martin Lapointe, Jamie Pushor, Chris Osgood and Mike Knuble.
Darren McCarty and Dan McGillis followed in 1992 and they drafted Anders Eriksson in 1993 and Mathieu Dandenault and Tomas Holmstrom in 1994.

The Red Wings signed and traded for some big ticket free agents, but much of their team was built through the draft, and the only first round picks were Sillinger (11th), Primeau (3rd), Lapointe (10th) and Eriksson (22nd).

From 1998-2005 they drafted and developed Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Kronwall, Tomas Kopecky, Jiri Hudler, Tomas Fleischmann, Valtteri Filppula, Jonathon Ericsson, Kyle Quincey, Jimmy Howard, Johan Franzen, Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. All of them played 500+ games and only Kronwall (29th in 2000) was a first round pick.

Since their last Stanley Cup victory in 2008, the Red Wings have still managed to draft and develop well. But it is very difficult to continually find Hall of Fame players in the later rounds.

The drafting and developing of later picks like Lidstrom, Federov, Datsyuk and Zetterberg created a solid foundation for three decades.

Expecting to maintain that level of excellence in scouting and developing is unrealistic. I don’t believe it means Holland and his staff in Detroit lost their touch over the past decade. They still made some solid picks, but when you lose Hall of Fame talent it is very difficult to replace it. They were able to replace Steve Yzerman and Federov with Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but when the latter two and Lidstrom retired the drop in talent was apparent.

The Wings have some solid young players, and some believe they are now on the track back up towards becoming a contender. Holland won’t be around to guide them, as he handed the GM title to Yzerman and now Holland will come to Edmonton.

DIFFERENT TIME, DIFFERENT CHALLENGE

Holland helps build the Red Wings Championship teams and then he continued to keep them at the top for two decades.

He inherits an Edmonton organization as the opposite end of the NHL spectrum.

The Oilers are the worst franchise in the NHL under Daryl Katz. They have the most losses, and fewest wins, since Katz purchased the team in the summer of 2008. Since his arrival as owner, the Oilers have a losing culture, both on and off the ice.

Some cringe at the term culture, mainly because there is no exact formula to define it, but losing is synonymous with the Oilers for over a decade and Bob Nicholson hired Holland hoping he can reverse what seems like an unbeatable and never-ending trend.

Holland has a major challenge in front of him, much different than when he took over the Red Wings, but also different than when Peter Chiarelli was hired in April 2015.

I’ve read a lot of people comparing Holland to Chiarelli. Yes, both had experience, had won Cups with their previous team, but had some struggles near the end of their tenures, but from my seat the comparisons end there.

They are different people, with different personalities. I can only speak about my interactions with both men. I’ve spoken to Holland numerous times over the past 18 years and he was always open and inviting. Chiarelli not as much, other than a lengthy conversation we had once at a golf clubhouse. I’m not saying one approach is better, just outlining I noticed a major difference in how they interacted with me when they GM teams outside of Edmonton, and then in the time Chiarelli was here.

The other fact is the difference in the talent pool of the Oilers organization in 2015 compared to now.

When Chiarelli came to Edmonton he had no organizational depth, but he had a lot of top-end skill. Sadly, for Oilers fans, he gutted the skill with some horrific trades that saw him trade away a first, a second, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle for Griffin Reinhart, Adam Larsson and Ryan Strome. He added to that with more downgrading of skill when he moved Strome and Drake Caggiula for Ryan Spooner and Brandon Manning. However, during his tenure, the Oilers have created a pipeline of solid prospects in Evan Bouchard, Caleb Jones, Ethan Bear, Tyler Benson, Cooper Marody, Kailer Yamamoto, Dmitri Samorukov, Kirill Maksimov, Filip Berglund and Ryan McLeod. They also signed Joel Persson. (William Lagesson was drafted prior to Chiarelli’s arrival).

On June 20th, six days before the 2015 draft, Chiarelli fired Stu MacGregor and three other amateur scouts. They’d done their scouting reports, but he wanted to move forward in a different direction. It was the right move, excluding the Reinhart trade, and the Oilers drafting in the 2nd round and on has improved recently. At least to the point where they have prospects who look like they could help the NHL team in a season or two.

Holland inherits an organization which should see some roster spots filled internally from drafted players during the next few seasons. But he doesn’t have as much NHL top-end depth that the Oilers had in the summer of 2015.

Luckily for him, he gets to shape his team around Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. He has some other high-end pieces in Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom. The cupboard isn’t completely bare, but he needs to fill in the gaps on the roster, and use his 22 years of GMing experience to find ways to shed one or two of the big contracts.

Of course Holland’s GM resume has a few contracts that didn’t work out. Overpaying in free agency rarely works. Frans Nielson hasn’t been as productive as they’d like. He signed veterans Danny Dekeyser, Justin Abdelkader and Darren Helm to over-priced contracts. I believe the toughest challenge for any GM is to avoid the emotional-home-grown re-signings. I’m not naive enough to see why teams sign veterans, and players epitomize what an organization wants. Good people, who play hard, but rewarding them for past success can be dangerous.

The thing is if you let them walk, you need someone internally ready to replace them, otherwise you overpay on a player you don’t really know, and I understand why GMs will stick with the person they know.

It is a fair critique of Holland to say some of his recent re-signings of veterans in Detroit haven’t worked out, but that doesn’t mean he will do that here. He has no deep emotional connection to any Oilers players. He hasn’t drafted them, developed them, got to know their family, wife and children.

I see more positives than negatives on Holland’s resume. But there are some key questions that need answers.

MOVING FORWARD…

1. The most important one will be how many more changes are coming.

I strongly believe Bob Nicholson should have made some of those changes prior to hiring a new GM. I don’t think it should be the new GM’s responsibility to remove people he has never worked with. Nicholson should know who didn’t excel in their job the past four seasons. It wasn’t only Chiarelli.

Regardless, Holland will make some more changes. I expect them to be in pro scouting and management, more than on the amateur scouting side. I could see him keeping Keith Gretzky, and I could Gretzky accepting a spot under Holland much easier than if a rookie GM came in.

So ultimately, which other changes are coming? It can’t remain status quo. Chiarelli’s only move within upper management was bringing in Gretzky, and he arrived in August of 2016, after the Reinhart and Hall trades.

All the other people remain the same from prior to Chiarelli’s hire and after his firing. It is irresponsible and misleading to think he was the only one who erred in player evaluation.

Bob Nicholson reported that Pat Verbeek will join Steve Yzerman in Detroit as assistant GM. So will Holland bring anyone from Detroit with him? Ryan Martin (Assistant GM), Kris Draper (Assistant to the GM) and Shawn Horcoff (Director of Player Development) are currently in Detroit. (Does the fact Draper has a Dwight Schrute-like title make anyone else chuckle or only me?)

2. What approach will Holland have from an analytics point-of-view?

The Oilers lack of an experienced and professional analytics group needs to be fixed immediately.

The organizations approach to developing players. It improved under Chiarelli, but still not enough. Their rushing of Jesse Puljujarvi, when he clearly wasn’t NHL ready was wrong. Same with Kailer Yamamoto. Holland has always been patient with players, and he wisely had Filip Zadina, 6th pick in 2018, in the AHL this season, not floundering in the NHL. I expect he will maintain his patient approach with prospects.

3. What about the coaching staff?

I expect a new head coach, but do they have to change the entire staff? Wouldn’t it be prudent to keep one or two of them around? Do they really need another new defence coach? That would be the third new defence coach in three seasons. Not ideal. I’ve been told by many players they liked the assistant coaches and they expressed this to Nicholson in their exit interviews.

It isn’t as much about learning a new system, because let’s be honest there aren’t that many systems in the NHL. The players have been exposed to them already. It is more about communication and understanding a player’s personality, emotions and what they do best. Put them in the best position to succeed. Connecting with them is arguably more important than the system you want them to play.

I completely understand why Dave Tippett, or any other coach, would want to hire at least one assistant coach. I get that, and I fully expect him to bring in at least one coach, maybe two. But I see benefits in keeping one of two of the existing staff. Glen Gulutzan, Trent Yawney and Manny Viveiros have only been around one year. They haven’t been around five plus seasons, and I don’t see them in the same situation as the management team.

Holland is a different GM than Chiarelli, but if the organization wants Holland to have more success then they must be willing to make more changes within the current management structure.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

    • Serious Gord

      This and only this could possibly be the first item on the list.

      Holland is very close to many of the OB membership. That is a big reason for opposing his being hired. He needs to whack them all. If he does as I fear he will and begin his first presser talking about how they are such great guys then his tenure will end in failure within the period of his contract.

    • hammer313

      If this is not done and the lingering stench continues, how do you expect the fan base to not think, that it is the same garbage all over again. Giving Holland $25 million is and will be perceived as just hush money and to be a scapegoat, is things don’t fall right. OBC must go and real hockey men hired, #1!

    • Vanoil

      Holland knows each and everyone of the members of the OBC personally. More importantly, he shares their views on how the team should be run. Expecting change is as naive as Sideshow Bob’s exhaustive search for Chiapete II.

      • Boba The Fett

        And how do you know he shares their views? Also the list of people that Holland and Nicholson DON’T know personally or have connections to throughout the NHL is extremely small. When you have been around as long as they have you make a lot of connections, whether it be managers, coaches or players that have been under their purview. Quit using the relationships argument as a negative because it is not based in logic

    • Oilerz4life

      Agreed on the OBC comment, 100%, include Nicholson aswell please.

      Also, please hire a coach that is not in the early stages of dementia,

      and please put goaltending near top priority.

      * hearing about those Chiarelli trades reopens that festering wound, still hard to believe those trades were approved.

    • Stallions #35

      I am so confused by this Organizational Chart… can a GM that Bob hired fire Bob and all the others above him? Doesn’t that have to come from the owner?

  • FISTO Siltanen

    The good news is the debacle this team has been forever gives Holland a lot of ammunition to start firing away with.

    And I’m okay with Holland being the hatchet man. If they were hiring me I’d insist on being the one who fires all these buffoons. Be a nice perk.

  • Vanoil

    Its sad when scribes try to toe the Party line instead of objectively reporting and analyzing the news. This is when the analysis from outside the epicentre is soo much more relevant. Detroit reporters are MUCH more skeptical of this hire by Edmonton, yet none of the local scribes are asking why any more… When the scribes attempt to lobby the fans on behalf of the Owner & team, there truly is no one left to hold the team and Owner accountable. Regardless of whether Holland is successful or not, that makes for a sad day in E-town.

    • Cowbell_Feva

      The guy has yet to be formally announced as the new GM, and yet the keyboard warriors already “know” this is a bad hire!! Because some reporters in Detroit says so? Who says the Detroit media isn’t toeing the line ?

      I for one will give KH the benefit of the doubt due to his impressive resume. I would much rather a seasoned and accomplished GM take over this dumpster fire of a mess, than some rookie GM.

      The next 6 weeks will be very interesting.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Step 1 OBC has to go, have been holding the Oilers back from gaining any traction
    Step 2 Start cleaning out the rest of the house, pro scouting, asst coaches, Goalie Coach Shwartz and some of the rest
    Step 3 Hire Hunter or Burke as AGM, Holland use his connections to fins some good european scouts and some better pro scouts for the team
    Step 4 Find a new HC and Asst coaches and a proven NHL goaltending coach
    Step 5 See what sucker -er GM you can dump some of the bad contracts we have on another team, get rid of the deadweight like Manning if possible and start looking for a golaie and some wingers, we arent going to be dipping our toes in the free agent pool so look for guys that othger teams wanted to keep but had to cut due to cap issues and diamonds in the rough, fins some guys who are hungry and have something to prove… and please no new reclamation projects… we had enough of those last year

  • camdog

    Holland had Lidstrom, Chiarelli had Chara, Lowe had Pronger. All 3 found 1 elite d-man in their career. And of course Hitchcock had Zubov.

    Suffice to say I wouldn’t be trading d-prospects this next season.

  • Don’t expect Holland to get rid of the old boys club. The big question is what have his Red wings won since in the cap era? He comes into one of the worst cap troubled teams in the NHL. Good luck on a quick rebuild.

      • Boba The Fett

        1 Stanley Cup
        1 Additional Finals Appearance
        5 Divisional Titles
        Made playoffs 11/14 years
        Got to 2nd round 6/11 appearances

        But hey tell us more about how unsuccessful he has been and how informed you are

        • Serious Gord

          This has been discussed at length on a previous thread- I would recommend you review the debate as just listing the achievements doesn’t tell the full story.

          • Boba The Fett

            Gord, the question asked was what has he won in the cap era, I answered the question.
            I know it isnt the full story and I know it has been discussed but by no means can anyone say that Holland all of a sudden became incapable once a salary cap was instituted

          • Serious Gord

            The boba: The argument is that a very significant part of the wings post cap achievements were a hangover from the huge advantages the wings had pre-cap.

            Thus his capability post cap is in doubt.

          • Boba The Fett

            Wow an 11 year hangover of playoff appearances, show me an Oiler fan that wouldnt be happy with that. You can’t question his ability in the cap era and then when evidence shows he was successful just automatically dismiss it. Quit looking for every negative, its seriously tiring.

  • Zach's Crazy Eyes

    Holland is a very well respected GM in the NHL, when Holland calls other GM’s answer. He brings instant respect something this organization has been lacking for a very long time.

    • mikecomrie89

      I always thought the “Old Boys Club” was Oilers players who played on the Stanley Cup winning teams. I remember them being the “Boys on the Bus”. Nowadays, you hear of just about everyone being on the Old Boys Club. Learn some Oilers history before you post. All of this and that talk of OBC is boring af. Just move on and talk hockey for once.

      Nothing has happened yet. Calm down. Probably in the next day or two, the new GM will be introduced and he will lay out him preliminary plan. Down the road, the coaches will be announced and who is coming and going, the draft, free agencey.

      On the happenings of any of those events, that’s the time to start talking. But, seriously, if you hate the team so much just go somewhere else. I want to be entertained by the Oilers fans who are actually knowledgeable when reading the comments on here. If all you want to do is whine and complain maybe go for a walk and clear your head instead.

      • Serious Gord

        It’s because they care that the vast majority of the commenters are commenting.

        If you want to run cover for the old boys and the other FOG and FOK go right ahead but don’t cast aspersions on the motives of others that you can’t know.

      • 4th Line Grinder

        @ Mike Comrie 89: I totally agree with you. But I also understand that fans are frustrated , their is definetley a disconnect and absolutely no trust. Im keeping an open mind. Imo Ken Holland is an intelligent hockey man. The fact that he is up for the challenge is encouraging

  • ted

    the old boys are not going anywhere. They are katz’s personal servants, however, they could be relegated out of anything to do with hockey ops. If Holland says that is the case I will have to believe it…because, again, the ob’s, themselves, are not going anywhere.

  • billsbills

    I am not as worried about the contract values that he handed out. History has shown that ANY contract can be moved. Players with bad contracts get traded. Remember Holland trading a retired Datsyuk at $7.5 million and a pick to Phoenix and getting two picks and a player back?

    It’s the NMC and NTC that will severely handcuff a GM and Holland had 8 of them on his roster.

  • ifiwasgm

    I still believe Chiarelli made his own choices, without much input from OBC.
    Chia’s ego destroyed this team even worse then OBC.

    I do not believe Holland can fire Lowe because Lowe is not in an official hockey position with Katz, thus Holland will not be over him.

        • GK1980

          I’m not fending the Hall trade. Larson is no rock star and it’s not like Hall play seasons of hockey and I cant see him getting any healthier. I’m more concerned about the Cags, Strome and Koskinen trades and deals. These were all brutal. Oh and lets not forget about Reinhart, trading a first round pick for a prospect? How stupid do you have to be?

      • Randaman

        Please go cheer for the Flames or Leafs. Your constant whining is starting to hurt my ears and eyes. The thing is Katz doesn’t have to answer to any of us. That’s just the way it is. So accept it or move on. You don’t own the team.

        • Heschultzhescores

          He certainly is throwing a lot of money at the problem, so he must care. I’m hopeful that Holland can right the ship. Let’s give him a shot before judging anything. Like at least 2 or 3 years before judging. This is not an easy mess to fix.

          • Boba The Fett

            Not Katzs money, what a dumb comment. So a store owner that makes money by selling to his patrons decides to spend the money to improve the store, is he not spending his money but rather the money of his customers?

      • AJ88

        Not sure how you feel about the obc, maybe another 1000 times we will all understand how you feel. Time to move on Wreck, your comments are losing fans on this site ( all tiers).

    • ted

      He won because he was able to find complimentary players for his HoF players
      That would be the expectation here. We need the right complimentary players for out stars.
      HoF players can’t win on their own, it takes a team.

  • ifiwasgm

    On Holland, I’m nervous.
    Love is extensive experience, and respect around the league, but is body of work lately is not very impressive.

    Holland built his reputation on luck with HOF players picked in late rounds.(he even said one time that if they knew Zetterberg and Datsyuk were gonna be that good that they would have drafted them sooner)

    I think other GM’s salivated when Chia called just knowing they could abuse him LOL
    That should not be the case with Holland

  • Justino

    If he fires some of the OBC then he gains my trust. I don’t get the argument that he put Detroit into cap hell. He did it because he was loyal to some of his players. He’s coming here fresh with no loyalties to any players and with us already being in a cap hell. All we need is someone competent to make slow positive changes and we will be a contender. Ken can be that guy.

  • RJ

    Went over to Detroit Free Press discussion of Holland. The worst trades listed were mainly vets who got injured and didn’t play a lot or players that Babcock asked for who didn’t deliver. The last trade of a pick was back in 2012, and they didn’t do it again since then.

    The fact that there is no stinker or the Reinhart or Hall variety should be a relief.

  • Boba The Fett

    Can people quit it with the fire Lowe talk, he is NOT in hockey ops and is heavily involved with the EOCF as well as the business side of OEG. Stauffer, Gregor, Spector, etc have all confirmed as much so quit with the conspiracy theories. Lowe does a lot within the Edmonton community and should be commended for it.

    As for people that should be fired i would say Howson, Sutter, Scott, Greene, all pro scouts for sure. I am a little less reluctant to fire Mac T as he is actually quite intelligent and i think if handled properly could be valuable. It is also said that Mac T has been one of the primary people responsible for handling Bakersfield as of late which has seen a nice resurgence.

    So, yes, there are a lot of people that need to go but for goodness sake lets talk rationally and quit with the conspiracy theories

    • Hemmercules

      I agree, but many think his sheer presence on the Oilers staff just reeks of a losing culture and somehow poisons everything in its path. The good think about Holland is I dont think he will listen to what a bunch of losers have to say anyway.

      • Boba The Fett

        Thats the thing he ISNT on the Oiler staff, Lowe works for OEG which is the business side that owns the Oilers, he does not actually work for the Oilers Team

        • Hemmercules

          Not to be a conspiracy guy but nobody knows for sure what voices are being heard inside the organization. I believe Chia acted largely alone in his time here but it’s hard not to question the if the Reinhart trade, the Manning trade and the Koskinen contract were him acting alone. The pro scouts dropped the ball hard on the Reinhart trade I think and Chia maybe felt some pressure from the get go to add a defensemen. I believe the Koskinen contract was revealed to be a committee approach but at that time Chia was on thin ice and gone soon after. Still, horrible time to sign that deal and if the term and cap hit were actually agreed upon amongst those still employed they need to be shown the door. And of course the red wine summits and the hiring of Coffey “part-time” to not really do anything raises some red flags. Seems like there might be too many meddling heads behind closed doors. Whether thats some or all the members of OBC and/or Katz we will never know for sure. Hopefully Holland drops the hammer and makes some changes.

    • HockeyRooster

      Great post but the tinfoil hat crew will be back soon to tell you you are crazy and that klowe is still pulling strings. Your common sense ( and well deserved compliments) are not going to be well received.

    • RJ

      How about Holland does a review, and if it’s warranted, he fire whomever he feels should be gone?

      None of us are in HQ; maybe Lowe is an impediment, and you as his friend/relative don’t want to acknowledge it.

      • Vanoil

        “Fire” in the NHL, means relocate to another position in the organization … i.e. Kevin Lowe, Craig McT, Howson … just like what Detroit did to Ken Holland to “make room” for Steve Yzerman. Do you honestly think anyone in Detroit doesn’t believe KH wasn’t “fired”? He was clearly deemed incompetent by the Illitch’s and moved out of the position so a more competent person could come in and turn the ship around.

        • Boba The Fett

          Vanoil – it has been well documented that Holland actually orchestrated Yzermans return, it was in the works for quite a while.
          RJ – EXACTLY none of us are in HQ so why do you assume he is still making hockey ops decisions. Reputable MSM have said time and time again that he is no longer involved in hockey ops. I choose to listen to what people, more connected than you and i, have been saying over and over rather than subscribe to some conspiracy theory out of spite.

    • Jason Gregor

      When you saying handling Bakersfield. In what way. Chiarelli hired Woodcroft for that job. MacT didn’t sign any of them, so when you say handling, what is he doing exactly. Just curious.

      • Boba The Fett

        Jason, I am just going off various things I have heard through the local MSM over the past year. From what I have been lead to understand is that MacT’s role was to over see the farm team more than the main squad. I could be wrong but the only info I have to go off of is the various media members in the city.

    • russ99a

      MacTavish is directly responsible for player development and there’s quite a track record as GM and AGM for him being the driver of rushing our top picks to the bigs, and how the organization failed Puljujarvi and can’t understand how European players need support and a different track falls right at his feet.

      He can’t remain in hockey ops, maybe Katz can reassign him elsewhere in the org.

  • Hemmercules

    Anyone who thinks the OBC is going anywhere is dreaming. At least not all of them. I can see MacT, Coffey an/or Howsen getting the axe but Wayne, Lowe and Bobby are here for the long haul. Even MacT is latched on enough to get moved into some new meaningless position with the rest of them. I hope KG stays and I think he will under Holland. I don’t think there’s any way he just leaves it all the same, he will want at least some of his own people. We will see how much the OBC blocks him on that over the next month.

    Hard to trash Holland until he has some time here. He drafted and developed players quite well. He doesn’t tend to rush prospects and to my knowledge he’s never done any brutal lopsided Chiarelli type trades. Every GM is victim to some free agent overpays that don’t pan out and even some loyalty type contracts. Holland has lots of experience and I’m sure lots of connections and relationships around the league. I hope this works out. Cautiously optimistic.

  • OldOilerFan

    Only two thoughts: One, I heard, please tell me it was true, that Holland would only come if he had complete autonomy. Second, I didn’t really think our special teams were lighting the league on fire last year – wasn’t that what the Assistant Coach hirings last year were supposed to address? And we want all them back? Just asking …..

    • HockeyRooster

      To your second point, I understand your skepticism. I really thought we hit the jackpot with manny and Yawney when they were hired. I agree there wasn’t an uptick on either special teams side and that was disappointing. My only hope/thought is that it may take longer than a year to form relationships and turn things around. Yawney did a hell of a job with the young D in his last role.

    • wiseguy

      And why should we care what the defensemen think of the assistant coaches or the systems. The result was the system and the players gave up a crap ton of goals against. Keeping things the same is the last thing they should be doing.

  • TKB2677

    If Holland comes in and gets rid of Sutter, Howson and Mac T, the 3 guys who in title should be the day to day pro hockey guys, that would be a start. I would get rid of all the pro scouts. I would look at Bill Scott. He’s the cap management guy and was the assistant to the Hockey Ops Pres.

    IF that all happened, that would be a good start.

    Anyone on the amateur side, I think they have done a decent job actually.

    • cityofchampions

      Exactly right. And doing this would limit the amount of informal influence WG and KLowe have over hockey ops. MacT, Howson, Sutter and the pro scouts are all buddies of WG and KLowe and can’t help but be influenced by them. If you bring in professionals, then the OBC is just there to shake hands and take pics, which is the way it should be (all teams have OBCs, the problem for the Oilers is that they’ve been too involved, formally and informally, in hockey ops)

      • TKB2677

        I really question how much influence Wayne has. The guy is around what 5 times a year during the season. Maybe the odd time in the offseason when they bring on an event. To me, he looks a lot like a Oilers Ambassador with a better title. Pretty tough to be involved in hockey ops when he’s not around much.

  • kormega

    Since their last Stanley Cup victory in 2008, the Red Wings have still managed to draft and develop well.
    ———-
    Disputable. Other than Nyquist (4th), Tatar (2nd) and Athanasiou (4th) it’s hard to name real steals on Detroit picks during last ten years, and all three are far from superstars.

  • KootenayDan

    Oh boo hoo the terrible OBC ruined just everything! this forum sounds like a bunch of little crybaby’s lol, must be millinials who have all the answers. Ken Holland will bring peace and calm to the Oiler organization nothing here is a quick fix. You know I actually have not seen anywhere written or said that Ken Holland has actually taken the job can somebody enlighten me? Oiler fans are the best in the NHL and it hurts to read some much hate.

    • Derian Hatcher

      Maybe it’s really skepticism but comes across as hate. Passionate Oiler fans have bought in (literally and figuratively) for over a decade and have pretty much been taken for a ride with “the plan” put together by arrogant incompetents time and time again. Ken Holland is smart enough to know this but I doubt Nicholson is.

      I hope Holland can do it. I hope he sees things as they are, not how he’s TOLD how they are.

    • The Whispererer

      If you give Cam Lewis any credibility, he posted an article on this site 7 hours ago reporting that Holland formally accepted the Oilers offer late last night.

  • Ted

    All I know is Babcock is not coming to the City of Champions! Therefore I will remain a loyal fan! … Let the new Circus De Huile have twists and turns that will make Betmans hair stand on end! Nothing could make me happier!! …. This is gonna be fun!!

  • OilCan2

    Holy Crow. Holland has not even signed yet. I would give him 60 days to see what he comes up with for the draft and July 1st. As long as its draft and develop and NIX on NMCs I will cut him some slack.

  • Bleeds Oil

    I’m not sure why all you clowns are calling for the OBC firings… sure some mistakes were made along the way and that’s why they got bumped from the lime light! Am I wrong in saying Klowe got us Pronger Rolly Peca etc and one win away from the cup in 06.. As for MacT I actually liked him as a coach… these guys would take a bullet for the Oil

    • Heschultzhescores

      Actually, no. They are the type to put someone in front of them to take a bullet. It’s 12 of 13 years out of the playoffs with them running the show. Taking a bullet kind of people sacrafice themselves..these are know it all survivalists.

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Don’t forget Jaroslav Spacek, with Jason Smith, Chris Pronger, and a young Matt Greene.
      Dwayne Roloson in net, was unreal (another game changing trade).
      Kevin Lowe, built a Stanley Cup contender.

  • Goaliefan53

    I hope they bring in Sean Burke.

    I also hope they fire the goalie staff. Whomever is getting the goalies to go into RVH and butterfly when the puck is behind the net and down low. Brutal. Worst strategy in the league.