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GM Ken Holland Taking Criticism for Edmonton Oilers Play

Published December 22, 2022 at 4:43 PM

Let's face it, when your team has stars like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the fanbase expects results. Taking a look at the Oilers record thus far this season, it's apparent why fans are wondering where their team... who was in the Conference Final is just barely in a wild-card spot.

As the GM, Ken Holland did what he thought would keep his team competitive. He signed free agent goalie Jack Campbell due to criticism that the team was weak in net.

It certainly seemed like a great decision... at the time. Campbell was 31-9-6 last season with a 2.64 GAA, and a .914 SV%. Yet, this season for some unexplainable reason he is failing miserably. He has just a 8-6-1 record and a horrible .876 SV%, with an even worse 4.02 GAA.

Wait... Campbell was brought in to be starting goalie, and now the team has been using Stuart Skinner as their starter. That has to diminish Campbell's confidence... and it shows.

Yet, Holland must assemble a team capable of winning. That is always expected by the fans.

Besides having goalie issues, Holland has been hearing it about the weak defence as well. The Oilers allow 3.41 goals a game, ranking them 23rd in the NHL. They attempt to make up for it with the third best offence tallying 3.65 goals a game.

Then, Holland has to wonder about his signing of defenceman Darnell Nurse to a hefty 8-year, $74 million deal. He was expected to be better than he's shown this season. So, along with a disappointing performance from Campbell, Nurse is kinda following suit, although he is averaging 0.53 points a game compared to 0.49 last season.

If Holland listened to the fanbase, they would more than likely be in worse shape. They want players who help you score, when in reality Edmonton needs to get better at preventing goals than scoring them.

When you look at the Oilers offence, four players dominant the scoring. McDavid (29), Draisaitl (21), Nugent-Hopkins (18), and Hyman (15) have 67 percent of the goals on the team.

Of course, fans LOVE scoring, but in the real world a Stanley Cup caliber team MUST defend! Being a top-10 defensive team won't guarantee you will win the Cup, but it's a good starting point.

Holland has heard it about acquiring Jakob Chychrun. While he may be just adequate defending and has a terrible -38, he is on a mediocre team. He would most assuredly excel more on the Oilers.

Yet, fans don't understand that making a trade isn't quite easy. Especially now that the NHL has announced that the salary cap won't be going up but another $1 million again.

Holland may continue to hear it from the fans, but he must make wise decisions to get his team to where they want to be.

Even with poor performances from his starting goalie and top D-man, he must make prudent decisions. Going after Chychrun would cost him draft picks and a good prospect. At this point, Holland is rejecting that premise.

He knows Defence wins championships.
December 22   |   275 answers
GM Ken Holland Taking Criticism for Edmonton Oilers Play

Do you think Ken Holland is doing a good job as GM?

Yes11642.2 %
No, he needs to go!6624 %
Not sure yet5821.1 %
If they don't win it all, he's doomed3512.7 %
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