Published: Thu, May 09, 2019
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Oilers name Ken Holland as GM, president of hockey ops

Oilers name Ken Holland as GM, president of hockey ops

Ken Hitchcock will not return as head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, new general manager Ken Holland announced in his introductory press conference Tuesday.

"The team's made the playoffs once in 13 years", Holland told reporters at a news conference at Rogers Place. It became clear to me what we needed.

Holland led the Detroit Red Wings to 25 straight playoff appearances and four Stanley Cup titles.

"When it comes to hiring someone with the experience, credibility and authority to make an immediate impact, which is what we need, nobody else comes close", Katz said.

"We didn't hired Ken because of what he has done in the past, we hired him because of what he can do right now and in the years ahead", Katz told the media on Tuesday morning. They finished seventh in the Atlantic Division standings this past season with a 32-40-10 record. "I felt that this was a great opportunity for me, personally, and I have great respect for the history of the Edmonton Oilers and the passion of this fan base".

Holland, 63, has been Red Wings general manager since 1997 and has been part of the franchise since the early 1980s, first as a player and then as a scout.

"I will get to that", said Holland, who will first watch the Oilers' Bakersfield playoff series in San Diego. "My wife is really excited".

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But fortunately for Holland, he has a great list of potential candidates to choose from.

"As the process went along for me and I knew Steve Yzerman was going to be taking over, the owners in Detroit gave me an unbelievable offer to remain with the Red Wings in a senior vice presidency role". Katz's cousin, Michael Gelmon, was captured on a leaked phone call telling Santo that she would "never work in Hollywood again" if she did not acquiesce to his demands. The next one lasted three hours.

Hitchcock took over on an interim basis after the Oilers fired head coach Todd McLellan in November. Fans were shocked to see how different he looked since the last time we saw him publicly a few years ago. "It's my job to determine what people on the ice and off the ice I bring in. I've got to come in and I've got to change the culture".

Katz says Holland will have full autonomy to make decisions for the team, and will report to Bob Nicholson. "You have to build around that core", he said.

Holland said he had initially settled on helping Yzerman.

Katz purchased the Oilers hockey team in 2008. "I talked to other general managers in the league for names, talking to them about philosophy and how they run their teams". I'm coming from the outside.

"I got restless sooner than I thought". I haven't been around for the glory days. "You can only live in the past for so long".

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