Offseason questions for Ken Holland

Current Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland. (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images)
Current Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland. (Photo by Dave Reginek - Pool/Getty Images) /
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To be honest I’m not sure the Oilers could have a better hand on the wheel right about now. The Oilers are in a good place – they have a solid core that are locked up for many years. Holland completed one huge trade with the acquisition of Mattias Ekholm and he may do at least one more before next season arrives depending on whether he can make the cap space work or not (more on that later).

He built a team that was a Stanley Cup contender for years in Detroit, both before and after the salary cap was implemented in 2005, so as far as what the Oilers are going through now Holland has been there, done that. Publicly he says he won’t make a lot of major changes to the team, but we all know that things can change quickly for NHL teams, especially in the offseason.

After all, the Oilers are in win-now mode, and that’s a time to make blockbuster changes to the roster if it is proven to make the team better. I was skeptical of trading Barrie for Ekholm a little at first, but once I saw the effect Ekholm had on the rest of the roster – Evan Bouchard, especially – I was on board. No longer is Peter Chiarelli our GM, the guy who thinks it’s a good idea to panic and downgrade the talent level of the roster or trade two second-round picks for a guy who was barely an AHL bubble player at the time.

There’s going to be a lot of NHL teams who are starting rebuilds that we might be able to pull a guy or two out of, or at least consider it – St. Louis., Nashville (again, if possible), San Jose (maybe won’t deal with a division rival, but stranger things have happened) or Philadelphia as the latest example. You could throw Vancouver in there too, but again there’s the division rival thing.

Every NHL player would seize the opportunity to play with Connor Mcdavid and Leon Draisaitl if they had the chance but like all the contenders the Oilers are hurting for cap space right now.  Which leads me to my first question…..