Ken Holland noncommittal about his future, Steve Staios to see an increased front office role with Oilers
By Cam Lewis6 months ago
Ken Holland will be the general manager of the Edmonton Oilers for the 2023-24 season. But beyond that? He isn’t sure just yet.
The five-year contract that Holland signed when he joined the organization back in the spring of 2019 has one more year left on it. Holland committed to honouring the fifth and final year of that contract but when asked whether he was interested in an extension, the 67-year-old said “I can’t answer that, flat out.”
“I’ve been here four years, I’ve got a year to go. I’ve got nine grandchildren, four children. I’ve still got a ton of energy, a ton of passion. But the last time I was a general manager for a Stanley Cup championship was in 2008. That’s a player’s lifetime. I would love to do that one more time.”
Winning a Stanley Cup with the Oilers would be an incredible sendoff for Holland, who won his most recent of four championships with the Detroit Red Wings well over a decade ago. His success in Detroit has already put him into the Hall of Fame and pushing the Oilers over the top would further that legacy.
Things in Edmonton have changed quite a bit since Holland took over following the debacle during the Peter Chiarelli era. The Oilers have made the playoffs in all four seasons with Holland at the helm and they won playoff rounds in back-to-back years for the first time since the upsets over the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche in the mid-90s.
Whether Holland retires after next season or stays on in a more hands-off President of Hockey Operations role is impossible to say, there’s been speculation that Steve Staios is being primed to take over as the team’s next general manager.
Staios spent eight seasons with the Oilers during the 2000s and ranks 19th in team history with 573 games played. After his playing career came to an end in 2012, he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in their player development department. He then had a very successful run as the President and GM of the Hamilton Bulldogs of the OHL and joined the Oilers as a special assistant to Holland in the team’s hockey operations staff back in October.
Holland said that he’d like to get Staios doing more of the things that an assistant general manager does.
“When Steve came on board this year, he did player development and Ontario scouting. I think that Steve should do more of the things that an assistant general manager does.There are different roles for an assistant GM. Keith Gretzky is responsible AHL for Bakersfield. He’s there on an everyday basis working with the coach. Bill Scott works with me on the salary cap and the contracts. My son Brad runs the pro scouting.
Assistant managers go to games, NHL games, AHL games, and he’s the right-hand man in the decision-making process when it’s time for a trade or free agency.”
Holland’s assistant general manager throughout most of his time in Detroit was Jim Nill, who started off as a scout and then moved into player development. Nill left the Red Wings after the 2012-13 season to take over as the GM of the Dallas Stars and he’s still in that position now.
Whoever takes over as the next GM of the Oilers will have some huge jobs on the horizon. Leon Draisaitl’s contract comes to an end after the 2024-25 season and Connor McDavid’s deal finishes the following year.
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