The Oilers Lose Long-Time Potential GM Candidate

Published September 30, 2023 at 6:12

It wasn't a secret within the Oilers organization and among the fan base that former Oiler's special adviser Steve Staios was rumoured to assume the general manager's role from Ken Holland. Holland was expected to remain as the president of hockey operations.

During the summer, rumours continued to gain momentum, indicating that this change was imminent, particularly when the Oilers shifted their direction by hiring Jeff Jackson.

Jackson, a former agent of McDavid and the former general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, took on the role of CEO for the team, leaving little room for Staios to advance.

Today, it was announced that the Ottawa Senators, who have recently acquired a new ownership group led by Michael Andlauer from Toronto, have appointed Staios as their president of hockey operations.

Staios's departure leaves the Oilers without a potential internal candidate who could step into Holland's shoes if he decides to step down as general manager after this season. This season marks the final year of his contract, and it appears that Holland may either retire or continue solely as the team's president.

Two potential names come to mind, each with strong ties to the Oilers, both past and present.

Keith Gretzky, who has served as the assistant general manager for the past seven seasons with the Oilers, would make a logical choice as a potential general manager shortly. He possesses an in-depth understanding of the organization and has had ample time to familiarize himself with the responsibilities of a general manager.

This choice would also maintain a connection to the Oilers' legacy, as Keith, the younger brother of Wayne Gretzky, would uphold the family name within the organization and its reputation.

Another potential candidate is Brad Holland, the son of Ken Holland, who was promoted to assistant general manager just last season. His innovative approach, emphasizing analytics and a modern understanding of 21st-century hockey, could bring a fresh perspective to the Oilers, particularly in talent evaluation and player drafting, aligned with the demands of the contemporary NHL.

While his tenure with the Oilers is not as lengthy as Gretzky's, he remains a viable candidate.

How Ken Holland manages the upcoming offseason, and whether he continues to lead or relinquishes control, remains uncertain.
September 30   |   39 answers
The Oilers Lose Long-Time Potential GM Candidate

Who could become the next GM of the Oilers?

Keith Gretzky3179.5 %
Brad Holland820.5 %
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