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Edmonton Oilers and Ken Holland officially part ways

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Photo credit:twitter.com/edmontonoilers
Zach Laing
19 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers and general manager Ken Holland have officially parted ways, CEO of hockey operations Jeff Jackson confirmed Thursday.
In a statement, Jackson said Holland helped build a culture of winning.
“The Edmonton Oilers and Ken Holland have mutually agreed that his contract will not be extended beyond the end of its current term,” said Jackson. “Over the past five seasons as General Manager, Ken has not only built the Edmonton Oilers into one of the NHL’s best teams, he has also established a deeply rooted foundation of success and a culture of winning that will continue well into the future.
“Thanks in large part to Ken’s outstanding work, Edmonton has become a destination city for players around the National Hockey League. We wish Ken, Cindi and his entire family the very best and thank him for his leadership and contributions to the Oilers organization and the City of Edmonton.”
Holland joined the Oilers on a five-year, $25-million contract in the summer of 2019, taking over the general manager chair from Peter Chiarelli. He inherited a team dealing with salary cap issues that was further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of Oscar Klefbom to a career-ending shoulder ailment at the end of his first season. By the end of his second season, he lost another top-four defenceman in Adam Larsson.
The Oilers struggled to adequately replace their losses until the organization acquired Mattias Ekholm in February 2023, filling the void with stop-gap options in the mean time.
Holland’s legacy in Edmonton will go down as a complicated one. While he is the one responsible for the franchise getting to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in 18 years, it was a process filled with mistakes along the way in terms of cap management, overpaying on contracts and, at times, missing out on value pickups. Still, Holland was at the helm for the signing of Zach Hyman, which will go down as one of the best free agent pickups in NHL history and the Ekholm acquisition, two franchise-altering moves.
In the same breath, the past three seasons have seen the Oilers play the second-most playoff games of any team in the NHL. That’s something that doesn’t go unnoticed.
The writing was more or less on the wall for Holland all season. When Jackson was hired in August 2023, he began working to make some front office moves, and now, will have the chance to install a general manager of his own. The Oilers are expected to be without a general manager in the short term.
Jackson is expected to speak to the media at 11:30 AM MST on Thursday.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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