Fantasy Take: Holland Hired In Edmonton

by Ian Gooding on May 7, 2019

As first reported by TSN on Sunday, the Edmonton Oilers have hired Ken Holland to be their their new general manager. He is expected to receive a five-year contract worth $5 million per season.

Holland's track record as the general manager in Detroit is unparalleled, having won multiple Stanley Cups. However, his recent record leave something to be desired. The Wings have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons; however, this result may have been inevitable with the Red Wings unable to acquire high first-round picks in the draft for many years. His current roster doesn't scream success either, but being at the top of the list in terms of cap space might be misleading, as the Wings have $15 million in salaries that they can move to LTIR next season.


Holland will have his work cut out for him in Edmonton. He will be blessed with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Yet there will be questions to be answered such as the following:

What will happen with the "old boys club"? It sounds like he will be given full autonomy to make decisions, but does that mean he will clean house? We don't know how much old Oilers such as Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish affect hockey decisions, but the perception in the fan base is that they need to be removed from the organization completely. Also, will current interim GM Keith Gretzky stay on the with the Holland regime?

What will Holland do with the massive Milan Lucic contract? The power forward still has four more seasons left at $6 million per season, and a buyout wouldn't save the Oilers a lot of money. Perhaps Holland will be able to creatively orchestrate a trade somehow. That may involve parting with a young player or a prospect as incentive for the acquiring team, so the downside is that the Oilers' already iffy prospect base would be further depleted. Would Holland actually consider changes to core pieces as well? This is a team in need of some major changes. 

Finally, who will Holland hire as his head coach? Dave Tippett is believed to be in the mix of potential candidates, and there are numerous other names making the rounds. This won't be the final chapter of the Oilers’ story this summer, so we won't speculate the fantasy impact of a coaching change until that happens.

This is shaping up to be a very important summer for the Edmonton Oilers, as they attempt to build a successful roster and ensure that franchise player McDavid doesn't request a trade sometime over the next few seasons.