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Jeff Jackson says he has no plans to be the Oilers general manager

Edmonton Oilers Jeff Jackson
Photo credit:Screengrab / OilersPlus
Zach Laing
22 days ago
Ken Holland and the Oilers officially parted ways on Thursday, ending a five-year relationship that peaked this season with the team reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
It’s left his day-to-day work at the feet of CEO of hockey operations Jeff Jackson, who said Thursday that he has no intention of being the Oilers’ full-time general manager.
“I don’t have any intention of being the general manager,” he said. “I guess I would be the acting GM. I’m going to be the one overseeing everything… in conjunction with our staff.”
There’s plenty of work for Jackson to do in the coming days between the draft and start of free agency, which also includes needing to clear up cap space. The OIlers can buyout Jack Campbell’s contract as early as this afternoon, but Jackson was non-committal to that, saying they’re “looking at every option.”
Whether or not the team uses a buyout on Campbell, the team will likely need to find a way to clear out a good chunk of cap space. With a dozen free agents hitting the markets, the team will need to make decisions on re-signing some of them, or finding others to fill their spots in the lineup.
What else looms above the organization is a contract extension for Leon Draisaitl, who with one year left on his contract, is eligible to sign a contract extension as soon as July 1st
Work has already been started by Jackson to find Holland’s replacement.
“I have a number of candidates I’ve started to reach out to,” he said. “It’s a difficult time for everybody. We’re at the draft, people I want to talk to are integral parts of other organizations, so I’m going to probably anticipate I’m going to have to be patient with that and get through this next few days.
“But I’m okay with that. I want to do this the right way, I want to get the right person. I don’t have a time frame for it. Obviously, it’s a priority, a big priority, and I don’t want it to linger, and I don’t know how long it will take. It will be subject to my ability to talk to people when they’re freed up.”
Hired in August 2023, Jackson has made few moves at the helm of the Oilers. His first move saw the team part ways with head scout Tyler Wright nine days after he was hired, replacing him with Rick Pracey, who Jackson said Thursday would run the draft for the team. His second move saw the organization beging to build out their analytics department, hiring Michael Parkatti, and then in June of this year, the team hired Kalle Larson as the senior director of player development.
From the time he was hired, Jackson said he and Holland worked in conjunction on all the team’s decisions over the last year, recognizing the two would part ways this summer. No talks about a contract extension took place, he added.
“I think it was sort of just understood it was what he wanted and he made the comment to me ‘you probably want to have your own guy, and it’s probably time,'” Jackson said, “But that didn’t change the way we operated this year.”

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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