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Former Oilers general manager Ken Holland speaks on leaving the team


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Ryan Hall
July 8, 2024  (7:09 PM)
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Former Oilers GM Ken Holland
Photo credit: NHL.com

During a recent interview with Pierre Lebrun of the Athletic, former Oilers general manager Ken Holland broke his silence and explained why he decided to part ways with the organization.

I just think it's time to see what the future holds.»

Holland was well entrenched in the Detroit Red Wings organization for many years and even though he was well respected and liked by many, including the Ilitch family, he said the opportunity to become the Oilers general manager was too much to pass up.
Steve Yzerman came in. Steve asked me to stay. The Ilitch family asked me to stay. But when the opportunity came up to go to Edmonton, I thought it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

During his five years with the organization, Holland turned the Oilers into a perennial playoff team and had gone deep into the playoffs including a conference final and the Stanley Cup finals this year.
After their disappointing loss last season, Holland made it clear that he and the team had unfinished business and made it a goal to make it to the Stanley Cup finals which they achieved.
The start of the 2023-2024 season was less than ideal as the Oilers were 31st out of 32 teams in late November and appeared to be doomed for a terrible season. Holland made the choice of firing Jay Woodcroft and Dave Manson and brought in rookie head coach Kris Knoblauch of the Hartford Wolf Pack and legendary Oilers defenseman Paul Coffey as the assistant coach.
This decision was his best in his five years here and the team skyrocketed in the standings throughout the season and were right behind the Vancouver Canucks for the first in the Pacific division. Unfortunately, the team came up short in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, but Holland felt they accomplished much this past season.
His managing decisions were met with mixed feelings by fans as some moves were great like the Zach Hyman deal and some blunders like the Jack Campbell signing who was bought out this offseason.
«I'm all good,» Holland said. «I'm in a good spot. I loved my five years here. Now we'll see.»

As for the future, Holland feels that he still has what it takes to be a general manager in the NHL. Even at 68 years old he feels great with his health and his mind and would still be a benefit to any team that would want to hire him. He did mention, however, that may be a reduced role as a senior advisor to a team may be more for him.
«Do I think I have the energy and the passion and the desire to be a general manager again? Yeah, I do,» Holland said. «I'm 68 years old, but I feel like I'm a young 68. But do I also think maybe it's someone else's time and maybe there's a reduced role for me like senior adviser? Yeah, that could be interesting,

Holland gave Oilers fans a great run this year and now his interim successor Jeff Jackson is carrying on that success with some incredible moves and brilliant trades thus far this offseason
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Former Oilers general manager Ken Holland speaks on leaving the team

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