Whatever player moves Holland makes will be around Oilers draft

Basic information
Date of placement

Its cliche but there really arent enough hours in the day for Ken Holland right now. Pro meetings, amateur meetings, talking to people about a new head coach and other things that come up. The Edmonto


It’s cliche but there really aren’t enough hours in the day for Ken Holland right now.

Pro meetings, amateur meetings, talking to people about a new head coach and other things that come up. The Edmonton Oilers’ new general manager hasn’t seen any golf courses here yet and he shoots in the 70s. No time for that.

“Thursday morning, I met with the head athletic trainer and team doctor for 90 minutes because they wanted to walk through with me how everything works from a medical perspective here. Giving me updates on all the injuries,” said the new Edmonton Oilers general manager, pointing to Jesse Puljujarvi’s double hip surgery.

“I’m getting important information and it’s important I show people respect.”

Holland still has lots on his plate after his first 10 days on the job. Some long-suffering Oiler fans want him to sweep everybody out. It’s not going to happen, although former coach and GM and senior vice-president of hockey ops Craig MacTavish has left to coach the KHL Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team.

Interim GM Keith Gretzky certainly seems like he’ll have a large role going forward but many others are wondering where they stand: Scott Howson (VP of player development), Duane Sutter (VP of player personnel), Bill Scott (director of salary cap management) and the amateur and pro scouts.

Q: At your just-completed pro meetings did you talk about what kind of players you need, like better bottom-six guys, wingers who can score?

A: “We went over all the Edmonton Oilers players, talked about last year’s Oiler team, talked about Bakersfield and which players might have a chance with us … are they just American League players? Then Scott Howson made a presentation on all the Oiler prospects (junior, college), giving us a time-line on the (Evan) Bouchards and (Dmitri) Samorukovs.”

Q: Do you feel you’ve got a good book on the other NHL teams?

A: “We went over the other 30 teams, all the unrestricted free agents we might look at. We talked about what we liked or didn’t like. It’s like fantasy hockey where you throw around ideas, so when I’m on the phone talking to another general manager I can bring up a name. There is a rumour mill, there’s information I’ve gathered as general manager in Detroit, that Keith Gretzky gathered when he was doing this job. Yes, we’re looking at teams that missed the playoffs, are they more interested in making changes (trades) to their teams?

“Keith Gretzky talked to us this week about what possible trades were out there in the three months he was working the phones as general manager of the Oilers. We talked about what we had to do between now and mid-July to build the team.

“I’ve talked to Craig, I talked to Keith, I talked to Ken Hitchcock and the assistant coaches Glen Gulutzan and Trent Yawney, also the pro scouts and I feel in the time I’ve been here I have a good grasp on the Oilers and their players and what needs to be done. Now I have to go and do it over the next six weeks.”

Q: There’s almost no trades made after the season and before the draft, although Jordan Martinook got dealt from Arizona to Carolina for Marcus Kruger May 3, 2018.

A: “It would make your (media) jobs a lot it easier if we had a trade a week but the reality is they’ll happen at the draft. The chances of a trade happening next Tuesday or Wednesday is highly remote. Every organization is in the same mode we’re in. Right now is when every team is doing their planning and other than finding a coach, the decisions will happen from, say, June 20 to July 5. After the draft, you’ve got interviews with (free-agent) players before July 1.”

Q: Was MacTavish’s job up in the air before he accepted a job coaching in Russia?

A: “I came here with an open mind. I’ve known Craig for a long, long time. We’ve done some things internationally I think and I would see him at things like the world junior and we would talk for half an hour, so we’ve had a relationship. When he told me he had something else going in our two-hour meeting in San Diego last week, I said: ‘Are you sure you don’t want to be an Oiler?’ So I guess what I’m saying is I didn’t even have an opportunity to see if it would work here.”

Q: Will Gretzky be getting MacTavish’s job as VP of hockey ops?:

A: “I spent lots of time with Keith in San Diego (watching the Bakersfield farm team in the playoffs). He knows I would like him stay. We have to sit down some more but it’s not like when we talk it’s a short meeting. I want the fans the know when I talk to people whether it’s Craig or Keith, it’s not for seven minutes. When I talk to Scott Howson it’s for an hour.”

Q: How open is your management style?

A: “Anytime there’s change people want to sit down and know what their role will be, what their salary will be, is it a big or small role? I respect people, the game of hockey and I go through a process, while some people don’t like that word. I have meetings with people and they’re not five minutes.”

E-mail: [email protected]

On Twitter: @NHLbyMatty

Dislike 0
Like 0
Someone is typing...

News list

I agree and close
x We use cookies to measure visitor statistics, personalize ads and customize the functionality of the site. You agree to this by using the website