Jeff Jackson: Oilers will address managerial succession plan after season

Zach Laing
15 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers’ goal right now is to win the Stanley Cup. Everything else will be addressed later.
The largest thing to be addressed will be who holds the general manager’s seat on July 1st and beyond, as current Oilers general manager Ken Holland’s contract with the club expires the day before free agency kicks off.
Little time will remain from whenever the Oilers’ season ends and when moves need to be made, as is the Stanley Cup Finals go to seven games, they will awake on June 25th a mere three days away from the NHL draft, four days from Holland’s contract expiring, and five from the start of free agency.
On Monday, The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun spoke with Oilers CEO of hockey operations Jeff Jackson, who talked about where the organization’s focus was days before they head to Florida.
“We’re not dealing with any of that until we’re done the playoffs,” Jackson said regarding a managerial succession plan. “It can’t be any sort of speculation or discussion that’s going to be a distraction from the team. We’re operating day to day. The hockey-ops group is very in sync and together all the time. We’re on the road having dinner and doing what we do. And being with the coaches. We’re not going to change any of that, because it’s working.
“The timing of everyone is unfortunate just because it’s all jammed up the way it’s played out this year. But I’ll deal with that. And it’s a good problem to have.”
LeBrun reported that the Oilers will hold pro meetings next week when the Finals shift back to Edmonton for Games 3 and 4. At these meetings, the groundwork will be laid on who they need to re-sign and what free agency looks like for the club.
“We’re working in parallel with the playoffs, plus things we have to get done and the preparation that we have to do for the draft,” said Jackson. “But yeah, I’m comfortable with the fact that it’s a ‘problem’ but it’s a good one, in that we’re still playing and trying to win the Cup. Once the season is complete, hopefully with a win, we’ll deal with the other stuff.”
Those pro meetings will surely be busy, as the Oilers have much planning to do ahead of next season and years into the future. They have restricted free agents in Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg to re-sign, and a laundry list of unrestricted free agents in Adam Henrique, Warren Foegele, Corey Perry, Connor Brown, Sam Carrick, Sam Gagner, Mattias Janmark, Vincent Desharnais, Troy Stecher and Calvin Pickard, too.
Couple that with contracts for Leon Draisaitl, Evan Bouchard, Cody Ceci and Derek Ryan expiring after the 2025-26 season, as well as Connor McDavid, Evander Kane, Mattias Ekholm, Brett Kulak and Stuart Skinner after the 2026-27 year, and the Oilers will have to plan well in advance to manage their salary cap situation.

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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