Report: Edmonton Oilers could look to player agent Dave Gagner as next general manager

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Zach Laing
7 months ago
There’s no denying the Edmonton Oilers could be looking for a new general manager sooner, rather than later.
Ken Holland is in the final year of his contract, and if he fails to make any significant move to improve the team soon, it could be finished sooner rather than later. However, a common consensus in the industry is that Holland is more likely than not to sail off into the sunset — unfinished business or not — at the end of this season.
It begs the question of who Jeff Jackson and the Oilers could bring in to be his replacement. According to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons, Dave Gagner, the father of Oilers forward Sam, could crop up as a replacement.
GM Ken Holland will be gone at the end of the season — his call — and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave Gagner, whose son plays for the Oilers and is another former McDavid associate and a close Jackson friend, is brought in to be Oilers GM
Gagner, drafted by the New York Rangers 12th overall in 1983 and played a 946-game NHL career, is no stranger to NHL front offices. After owning the OPJHL’s Milton Icehawks between 2001 and 2006, Gagner was hired as an assistant coach for the OHL’s London Knights in 2006, holding the role for the following two seasons.
In 2008, he was hired to join the Vancouver Canucks, where he served as the Canucks’ director of player development between then, and 2013. It was then Gagner joined the offices of Wasserman, where he worked alongside Jackson for years. According to PuckPedia, Gagner represents 25 players with active contracts, including Oilers in Greg McKegg, Connor Brown, and Evan Bouchard.
While Gagner has been around the game for a long time as a player, coach, and front-office employee, there’s no indication that he could man the ship well as a general manager. He would have the Rolodex and connections around the league to mix and mingle with other managers and league executives. Still, it’s hard to imagine the effectiveness of bringing Gagner in as the general manager.
Nobody saw Jackson stepping in as the Oilers’ CEO, but the jury is out — and will be for several years — on what he and the team can accomplish.

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@oilersnation.com.

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