2) Holland’s contract is not renewed at season’s end
IMO this would be incredibly short-sighted as well, to even consider. As previously mentioned, Holland already ranks as a top three GM in team history, and with his track record between here and Detroit, he’s earned the right to control his destiny.
That being said, as also previously mentioned this is the perfect opportunity for new(ish) CEO Jackson to install his own guy at the top – and he probably won’t have that opportunity for many years to come unless his pick crashes and burns. When Jackson is deciding from the club’s perspective at the end of the season, this has got to give him pause.
That being said, if Jackson is as good a leader as his reputation says, he’s got the integrity to realize that perhaps what’s best for the team is to stick with the status quo, even if Holland was not his hire but Nicholson’s. Good leaders don’t let ego make decisions for them.
Just because Holland wasn’t Jackson’s hire, it doesn’t mean he should be automatically pushed out the door. It doesn’t mean he should automatically stay, either, but he shouldn’t be ushered out the door without serious thought as to what the club is giving up.
Here’s a variation on this:
3) Holland decides to voluntarily step aside and retire
At 68, Holland must see this as at least something to think about. By the end of his contract, he’ll have made $25 million from the Oilers alone, not including the wages from his days in Detroit.
Money is certainly no object, and unlike in his latter days in Detroit, he no longer has a meddling owner forcing him to keep the team at a certain place. Darryl Katz is well on board with whatever his people on the Oilers want to do. So we know from history that when this team’s window to win slams shut, Katz will support the team’s direction on the next rebuild and not be like the “old white guys” club that comprises Flames ownership, who are only worried about the bottom line and not the team’s success.
Only Holland knows if he’s ready for this or not – if the Oilers do end up winning the cup at the end of this season I could see this being Holland’s number one option, as he’ll have accomplished his goal of bringing the cup back to Edmonton. If the Oilers don’t win the Cup, I could see him being more inclined to come back.
On the other hand, maybe he’s not ready to retire regardless of team success.