Oilers GM believes his job is not done

Oilers GM believes his job is not done

Oilers GM believes his job is not done

Ken Holland will return as Oilers general manager to honor the last year of his contract.

Ken Holland is entering the last year of his contract as general manager and president of hockey operations for the Oilers and he does not intend to give up his place.

The 67-year-old has said his job as general manager is not over, putting to rest rumors that he will hand over his GM spot to Steve Staios next season.

I will honor the terms of my contract, he said, but I am no longer at the age of investing in green bananas, he added, hinting at a possible contract renewal .

The Oilers general manager believed this season was the right one for his team.

Recognized as a GM who does not like to trade draft picks, he recalled that this season he had moved to try to improve the team.

I traded two first-round picks (Reid Schaefer, 2022 first-round pick and the Oilers' 2023 first-round pick) to get [Mattias] Ekholm at the trade deadline.

I traded a second-round pick last year for [Brett] Kulak, traded multiple picks, got Evander signed to a four-year deal Kane…I'm trying [to improve the team], but I'm not the only one trying, 31 other teams are trying too.

Ken Holland adds that he was not the only one to believe it, the whole organization believed in it, which is why the early elimination of the team is more difficult to digest than last year.

I spoke with the players, they are devastated… they are devastated. I'm devastated, the team fans are devastated. Why are we all devastated? Because we entered the playoffs 14-0-1 in our last 15 games. Because we had the second-best record in the NHL since January 1.

The general manager does not intend to change the face of his team during the offseason. I believe in this team, I believe in the group of leaders, I believe in the talent of the players, I believe in their will, I believe in their character, he said.

If we were millions of miles away from winning, I'd be here talking to you about rebuilding, we're not millions of miles away, we're here.

Ken Holland says he speaks from experience. While with the Red Wings in 2006, his team finished first in the season standings before being eliminated by the Oilers in the first round of the playoffs.

At that time I didn't panic, I knew we had a good group of players. Of the 23 players in that group, about 20 were still there two years later when we won the Stanley Cup.

Ken Holland's summer shouldn't be too busy. Only a handful of players will be free agents on July 1.

Free Agents as of July 1

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Type of autonomy

Salary 2022-2023

Derek Ryan

< p class="content">unrestricted

1,250,000 $

Mattias Janmark



Nick Bjugstad



Evan Bouchard



Devin Shore



Ryan McLeod



Klim Kostin



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Source: https://www.capfriendly.com/

The most intense negotiations will be those with Evan Bouchard's agent. The defender has had quite the end of the season. From when he was named the team's quarterback on the power play on March 1 until the end of the season, he had 19 points in 21 games.

In the playoffs, he had 17 points in 12 games.

Ken Holland says the defender will definitely get a good raise. The main question is rather to know how long the contract will be.

Will it be a long-term contract or a two-year bridge? Ken Holland said he had a preference, but wouldn't reveal it.

Last summer, Holland agreed with goaltender Jack Campbell on the terms of a five-year contract for five million dollars.

The former Maple Leafs goaltender did not have the success hoped for in Edmonton, when he was snatched from his starting position by rookie goaltender Stuart Skinner.

Often when a player gets a big raise with a new team, they want to play up to their contract and they put tremendous pressure on themselves to perform, Ken said. Holland.

I think that's what happened with Jack. I have confidence that he will be able to bounce back next season, he added.

Head coach Jay Woodcroft also had to answer questions about the team's goaltenders.

Stuart Skinner was the Oilers' starting goaltender in all 12 Oilers games, despite some underperformance.

The 24-year-old goalkeeper was substituted four times in one game for Jack Campbell and although he was brilliant in each of his outings, he never never had a chance to get a start.

Stuart Skinner's story is one of the best things to happen with the team this season, Jay Woodcroft said. His presence brought a certain calm in the more tumultuous moments, he helped us to fight for the first rank of the conference, he added.

He is young and he is able to cope with a heavy workload, I could personally see it, also affirmed the head coach.

Woodcroft admitted, however, that his decision to give the young goaltender all the starts will be among the decisions that will be analyzed over the coming weeks.

During the season, Skinner had never played more than six consecutive games.

Regarding the elimination of his team, Jay Woodcroft again asserted that no player was personally responsible, because, you win as a team and you lose as a team.

He believes that the team could have played better at certain times in each game, for example during the appearances following an Oilers goal. He recalled that his team had the lead at least once during each game.

He also returned to the good times of the season. He highlighted the successes experienced in the second half of the season, especially in January, a traditionally difficult month for the Oilers.