After a couple weeks of conflicting reports on this very topic, it appears that Ken Holland has finally made a decision in regards to the general manager position in Edmonton: he’s going to accept it.
Holland expected to get back to Nicholson today with his answer, and indications are he will be willing to accept the job.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) May 5, 2019
Despite signing a multi-year contract extension to remain with the Red Wings organization, Holland has decided to part ways with the organization that’s been his home for the last 32 years. It comes as no surprise. Holland has made it clear that he is not ready to stop being a general manager in the NHL. He could tell that his time in Detroit was naturally coming to an end, and so facilitated the transition to Steve Yzerman. Yzerman was hoping that Holland would stick around to act as his counsel, but it’s clear now that Holland’s intentions were never to stick around.
Holland has been the Red Wings general manager for the last 22 years and has led the franchise to much success, including three Stanley Cups and four President’s Trophies. He maintained the team to a record-long playoff streak, re-tooling on the fly to keep them competitive. His run finally came to an end three years ago when the Wings missed the playoffs and they very clearly had to begin a rebuild.
Since then, Holland has done an admirable job in setting the franchise up for future success. He would have kept going had Yzerman stayed with the Lightining organization and that’s why he’s accepting a new challenge in Edmonton. And what a challenge it will be. Not only do the Oilers have a mishmash of talent on their roster, all of their failures from lost trades to talent mishandling have been the subject to very public humiliation. No doubt Holland is going to put an end to all of that, though. As we know with the Red Wings, Holland runs a very tight-lipped ship. And he’s been promised full control over the team, which means the old boys club will supposedly back off.
Holland’s contract is reportedly a five-year deal for $5-million per year. He’s expected to bring with him Tyler Wright, Detroit’s Director of Amateur Scouting, which will leave an opening for Yzerman to bring his own guy over from Tampa Bay. The Red Wings front office is going through a lot of change right now, but that’s a good thing. The time for change is now.
Kenny will have his work cut out for him in Edmonton, but I really do wish him all the best. He brought us so many good times in Detroit and he will always be remembered for that.