GM Ken Holland reveals the Oilers true problem early this season

Liam McCormick
January 8, 2024  (10:38)

Ken Holland answering questions for the media.
Photo credit: Edmonton Oilers X

Earlier today, Pierre LeBrun of the Atheltic released an in-depth telephone interview with Oilers GM Ken Holland. In the interview, Holland was very open and honest about his evaluations of the team and the directions they could be heading in moving forward. Holland even answered what the true problem was with the Oilers early this year which led to the firing of Jay Woodcroft.

In describing the early part of the season, Holland said the team entirely lacked confidence. Losing begets more losing, and Holland clearly thought the team fell into a classic bad mentality.
We were reeling, the confidence was shaken When you're down, you go to the rink and you're hoping to win, it's a game of adversity, and when bad stuff happens it plays with your head I think that's what was going on when we were on that 2-9-1 run.

With the team in shambles and showing no signs of life nearing the end of that run, Holland described the firing of Woodcroft as a hard, but necessary change that he needed to make to shake up the team.
How deep of a hole were we going to dig and were we going to be able to dig out of it? We felt that we waited as long as we could. We ended up doing a coaching change because we were in a deep hole and if you waited you might have been done.

When pointing at a direct time when the Oilers season turned around, Holland identified the back-to-back wins against New Jersey and New York just before Christmas.
Two huge wins right before Christmas, down going into the third period in New Jersey and down going into the third period in New York — and we win both to get to the break at .500 Those two wins in New York were character wins.

Finally, Holland didn't show his cards much when asked about trade activity as we approach the trade deadline, as the Oilers still haven't absolutely solidified themselves a playoff spot. The Oilers will likely buy assets at the deadline, but it seems their play will dictate how much the team will pay. In addition, Holland commented that he would explore Jack Campbell trade offers, but it would likely wait until the offseason.
GM Ken Holland reveals the Oilers true problem early this season

What should the Oilers trade for at the deadline?

Forwards389.6 %
Defence9824.7 %
Goaltending22957.8 %
Nothing, they should be sellers317.8 %
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