"“The Oilers top four up front is as good as or better the any league. If you talk to Ken Holland, he has to give up a lot to get this team a Cup. The two best players are tired of giving it all. They are mentally tired. It’s move time or move out time for Holland. I have been an Oilers fan since the WHA days, was a season ticket holder until I retired out of province since 1984. I was there for the five rings. Those days they had a general manager with vision and a coach with a go-get-them attitude. The main problem is management. Fix it!” — Jack Brooks"
Well now, Ken Holland became our GM in 2019. Let’s see what he’s done since then.
He started out by suckering Calgary into taking the Milan Lucic buyout-proof contract in exchange for a guy whose contract was actually able to buy out and save the team money as his first trade.
That’s a win, in my books.
He brought in some new scouts, both pro and amateur, which was needed in some respects although Peter Chiarelli had already started the process.
He hasn’t been here long enough for us to get a true sense of his drafting record but one of his picks, Dylan Holloway, is already paying dividends on the roster.
Another of his picks, Reid Schaefer, recently played on the Team Canada world junior team.
He’s signed Tyson Barrie, Cody Ceci, Zach Hyman, Derek Ryan, Jack Campbell, and Mattias Janmark as free agents, all of whom are contributing at varying levels to the roster.
Let’s also not forget he signed Mike Smith as a free agent as well, someone who was key in our playoff run last season.
He also won out on the sweepstakes for Evander Kane, something no other team in the NHL was able to do, and then signed him to a team-friendly contract after that.
He signed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a cap hit that was lower than his previous one.
He traded a guy who had played himself off the roster (Ethan Bear) and then signed Warren Foegele as a free agent.
At the beginning of the season, he traded a left-pairing D prospect who was buried on the depth chart for a failed first-round pick currently earning a regular spot on the roster that’s providing some much-needed truculence in the bottom six. That D was recently called up by his new team but never got into any games. Seems like a pretty big win of trade to me.
He’s established a pipeline from the AHL to the big leagues that are just getting started in terms of it’s potential to constantly bring in prospects to the big league team.
He also made an excellent decision in replacing Dave Tippett with Jay Woodcroft behind the bench.
His teams lost in the play-in series once, lost in the first round once, then went all the way to the third round last season.
His record hasn’t been perfect, but he told us up front when he came here that it wouldn’t be.
And I don’t know about you, but I can handle a Ryan Murray or Slater Koekkoek signing when the wins are so much more powerful, like rescuing Zach Hyman from TO, a move that continues to pay dividends and has been since the day he was signed.
Oh yeah, it makes SO MUCH SENSE to fire the GM who built the team that took us to the conference finals just last season……./sarcasm.
Ridiculously ignorant take, Jack. Ridiculously ignorant.