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An Improved Situation For Ken Holland In Edmonton

from Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press,

“It’s strange being a visiting manager,” Holland said Tuesday night, before the Oilers played the Wings. “To come back and see all the people, life is about people. I’ve been a Red Wing for 36 years; I’ve lived in Detroit 25 years. There are so many special people. It started with Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch and now it’s Mrs. Ilitch and Chris Ilitch, it’s a family.”

Holland was in a strange situation on Tuesday — back home, even though he was a visitor.

And the two teams couldn’t be facing more different circumstances.

The Wings came into the game struggling through an eight-game losing streak. (This rebuild, which started under Holland, is ugly and painful.)

But Edmonton is heading in the other direction, despite losing to the Wings, 3-1, on Tuesday. It has started off the season in first place in the Pacific Division (8-4-1, 17 points).

It’s like Holland lost his job in Detroit, but fell up, defying gravity, into a better situation, at least in the short term.


Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ken+holland


Steeb's avatar

I think KH is just not interested in (or maybe just not good at) rebuilding teams. He came into Detroit to GM a team that was already on the upswing, and then did a remarkable job of keeping them there. There were a lot of factors involved, of course: An owner who was willing to spend money, a fantastic reputation as a destination team, the best captain in the league (even when he was surrounded by Brett Hull sized egos).

But when the years of success started to take their toll (largely in the form of late draft picks), it was time for a rebuild. I give him some leeway, assuming ownership was adamant about keeping the playoff streak alive, hence some questionable moves bringing in aging vets for picks and prospects. But then when full rebuild mode was an inevitability, he wasn’t sure how to handle that. He used his mid/late draft picks about as well as could be expected given the crapshoot that is the draft. And he made some pretty deft moves at the end (Tatar trade for one).

But now he’s in Edmonton, which suits him far better. They’re on the upswing, with the best player in the league and a burgeoning supporting cast. There are definitely holes to fill, but that’s where his strength lies. I expect the Oilers will be contending for Cups in the next 5 years.


Posted by Steeb on 10/30/19 at 04:02 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Yep Steeb, Yzerman, Fedorov comparable to McDavid and Draisaitl.  Just missing his Lidstrom.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 10/30/19 at 04:04 PM ET

Steeb's avatar

He’ll probably need an Osgood/Hasek before they take it all, too.

Posted by Steeb on 10/30/19 at 04:28 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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