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With Ken Holland expected to leave Oilers, team may go without a general manager ‘in the short-term’

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Zach Laing
22 days ago
Multiple reports have surfaced in the days since the Edmonton Oilers season ended, indicating Ken Holland’s time with the franchise is nigh.
And late Wednesday night, another surfaced, this time from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, saying that while Holland is expected to leave the organization with his five-year contract expiring on June 30th, the team may go without a general manager in the short term.
Official clarity on Ken Holland’s future is expected on Thursday, but multiple sources indicate the Edmonton Oilers will allow his contract to expire on June 30.
That would make Holland a free agent, and several teams are expected to ask him about roles he’d consider for next season. That would also leave the Oilers without a GM. It’s possible the organization goes without one in the short-term, as the run to Stanley Cup Game 7 forced them to consider this outcome. A search for any potential replacement risked distracting stories and/or rumours.
Earlier Wednesday, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported similar news about Holland exiting the franchise.
Given the tight turnaround from the end of the Oilers’ season to the NHL draft and free agency, it shouldn’t come as a shock to see the team go without an official general manager in the short term. It would mean that the CEO of hockey operations Jeff Jackson would become the de facto “man-in-charge” in the interim.
There’s a long list of things to do for the Edmonton Oilers. On Thursday, the first buyout window opens and there’s a general expectation the team will utilize it on Jack Campbell, whose tenure as an Oiler has been nothing short of a disaster.
That leads into the first round of the draft Friday, where further conversations about clearing cap space will likely continue for the team. The Oilers have roughly $10-million in cap space heading into the offseason and have more than enough holes to fill.
An internal promotion could always happen to fill Holland’s spot, but it’s also likely that Jackson looks to bring in somebody from outside of the organization. Hired last August, Jackson began to put his stamp on the team replacing Tyler Wright with Rick Pracey as the team’s head amateur scout, and started building out an analytics department by hiring Michael Parkatti. In early June, the team hired Kalle Larson as their senior director of player development.
Jackson is expected to meet with the media on Thursday.
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