Ken Holland Admits He Isn't Sure About His Future in Edmonton: But Wants a Cup Now

Published May 20, 2023 at 7:09
BY SKY
     
Edmonton Oilers' General Manager Ken Holland faced the media following a season that fell short of expectations, despite promising prospects. With concerns about roster gaps and inconsistent performances addressed in previous years, the Oilers seemed poised for success. However, their journey ended prematurely in the Stanley Cup Playoffs' second round against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Holland's one-year contract remaining and the team's playoff exit sparked speculation about a potential reduced role for him in the organization. Yet, the determined 67-year-old dismissed such notions, expressing a desire to continue the pursuit of unfinished business.

When asked about a contract extension, Holland remained non-committal, citing his age and uncertainty about the future. He humorously remarked, "I don't invest in green bananas because I don't know for sure if I will be around to see them ripen."

During his tenure, Holland has made significant additions to the Oilers, including Zach Hyman and Evander Kane. Although the team hasn't captured the Stanley Cup yet, Holland acknowledged the fierce competition in the league and emphasized the collective effort required for success.


Reflecting on changes implemented since joining the team, Holland acknowledged that Jack Campbell's performance did not meet expectations following a substantial contract signing. However, he expressed confidence in Campbell's ability to rebound, citing examples of players who improve in their second year with a new team.

Despite the disappointment of an early playoff exit, Holland highlighted the positive aspect of having a majority of the team under contract for multiple seasons. The Oilers possess a talented roster, but the pressure to achieve success mounts with the limited time remaining on the contracts of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Perhaps this disappointment will serve as motivation for the team to rally and reach their goals in the upcoming season.

«I feel we have unfinished business,» Holland told reporters when asked about his future.

That said, he didn't want to commit to the possibility of an extension.

«I will honour my contract, but at my age, I don't invest in green bananas because I don't know for sure if I will be around to see them ripen.»

«I'm trying, we're trying. Other teams are trying,» Holland said. «That's why it's the Stanley Cup. It's hard. We're there, we're banging away, we're pushing. Our guys came out here, they're devastated. I'm devastated, the fan base is devastated. Why are we devastated? Because we went 14-0-1 headed into the playoffs. We had the second-best record in the National Hockey League behind Boston since the first of January. Boston's devastated.»

«Some players who sign long term, big deals often struggle the first year with their new team as they put a lot of pressure on themselves,» explained Holland. «I've seen many have a better second year, and I expect that will be the case.»
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