Ken Holland is the new general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. Fans and observers got a look at him yesterday (he was energetic, engaging and forthright) but the real work begins today and all the days that come. This is going to be an insane run through May, June and early July. This team has been running in place for some time, and now every minute that passes is burning daylight. It’s go time.
The Athletic Edmonton features a fabulous cluster of stories (some linked below, some on the site). Great perspective from a ridiculous group of writers and analysts. Proud to be part of the group.INSANE NEW OFFER IS HERE!
- New Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ken Holland steadfast that buck stops with him as new Oilers GM.
- New Eric Duhatschek: Why any talk of Ken Holland being yesterday’s man should be put to rest.
- Lowetide: How will Ken Holland proceed in Year 1 as Oilers general manager?
- Jonathan Willis: What does the arrival of Ken Holland mean for the Oilers coaching search?
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Prioritizing the roster issues that await Ken Holland in Edmonton.
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s Bakersfield production line: Elevating Jones and how long will success take?
- Lowetide: Ken Holland’s procurement list for his rumored move to Edmonton will include front-office personnel
- Jonathan Willis: A Milan Lucic trade is at the top of the to-do list for the Oilers’ next GM.
- Lowetide: Should Oilers practice more patience in adding Evan Bouchard to the roster?
- Jonathan Willis: Is Ken Holland yesterday’s man or the ideal GM candidate for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Jesse Puljujarvi and his uncertain future with the Oilers
- Lowetide: ‘I see something special’: Are Oilers prepared to make Caleb Jones a fixture on the roster next season?
- Jonathan Willis: Gritty comeback performance sends Edmonton’s farm team to the second round of the AHL playoffs.
- Lowetide: Dylan Cozens might be ideal fit for Oilers at No. 8 overall in the 2019 draft
- New Lowetide: Is this the season the Oilers take the plunge and draft a USHL player in the first round?
- Lowetide: Red Wings front office shuffle could impact Oilers’ future.
- Daniel Nugent-Bowman: Ten prospects likely to be available when the Oilers make their first-round pick
One of the major areas Holland will focus is the draft. Detroit selects No. 6, the Oilers go No. 8. We’re through the U18’s now, so lists are coming into view. Here is my updated top 10 (I’ll have the complete update on the weekend) with NHLE’s:
Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko will go 1-2, and it’s a good bet Bowen Byram and Alex Turcotte will be chosen inside the top-5 overall. After that, things get interesting. Los Angeles could go any number of ways, I’ll suggest one of Dach, Cozens or Zegras land in California.
Detroit has chosen from the QMJHL (twice), USHL, BCHL and WHL in the first round over the last five seasons. They could go anywhere. Let’s predict LAK take Dach and the DRW choose Zegras at No. 6 overall. Buffalo is No. 7, I think the Sabres might choose Cole Caufield. He’s one dimensional but goal scorers are beyond the moon valuable.
That leaves Cozens, Krebs and Kaliyev available among my top 10. Edmonton isn’t likely to choose Kaliyev but the other two men are attractive options. Here’s my updated 11-20 just for the fun of it.
Connor McMichael, like Valiyev, should get top-10 consideration but I don’t believe either man will be chosen that high. I can see Alex Newhook being drafted by the Oilers, but they could trade down to get him. The NHLE I use doesn’t project Boldy as the offensive equal of the men in my top 10 (Bobby Brink is the next man up in NHLE for the USNDTP).
You may look at those NHLE’s for Swedish defensemen and wonder if I’ve gone mad. Call it the “Klefbom rule” but the Swedish blue have more offense than their boxcars imply, especially the teenagers.
If the Oilers are offered a young NHL winger for the No. 8 overall pick, is it worth more to Ken Holland than Cozens or Krebs? We don’t know the new general manager well enough to say with any authority. We can say the last time Holland dealt a first-round pick was 2016, when offloading Pavel Datsyuk’s cap money to move down four spots.
Word is he was already heavily invested in this draft (in terms of scouting). Holland may want to trade down, adding more picks. He did exactly that in 2013, dealing No. 18 to San Jose so the Sharks could draft Mirco Mueller. Detroit received the No. 20 (Anthony Mantha) and No. 58 (Tyler Bertuzzi). Suspect Edmonton picks at No. 8.
The problem with handicapping the coaching competition is Holland knows the hockey world, so shopping for a coach is a global enterprise. Tippett would lead a word cloud easily based on media mentions, we’ll assume he is the front runner until further notice.
One name that may make sense: Jay Woodcroft. I read a rumor yesterday that he would be joining Todd McLellan’s staff in Los Angeles, and if you’re the Oilers that’s someone you don’t want to lose. Ideally Woodcroft would percolate on the farm for two more years but Edmonton may not have the luxury. Todd Nelson is the early, popular choice, and for good reason. He was effective in Edmonton the first time, but lost to a more famous Todd.
He stood and delivered. He took ownership of the past, and did it in a way that no one could doubt his sincerity.
He also looked far different than the last time we saw him, to the point of concern. When a media avail occurs, I listen to the radio and make copious notes (three full pages of typing yesterday). So, the television was on in the room but I didn’t see Katz until someone drew attention to his appearance.
It was a stark difference and alarming, in my opinion. I benefited from not seeing him (only hearing audio) when he gave his opening comments. When I checked twitter, there was of course a lot of positive, negative and cruel content.
After John Shannon’s tweet, lots of previous content disappeared and people tweeted regret, acknowledging the inappropriate tweets. This was followed by a series of “I’m disgusted by all of you who did this!” verbal and twitter was off and running on about 20 levels.
Here’s my take on the behavior yesterday. No one knew. It was shocking. I was working but reacted with shock and concern (we talked about it on the Lowdown right after the avail). I can understand why people would be alarmed, and further accept that some of us as a group would post things beyond what is considered good taste. Let he/she who has never done it cast the first stone. I can tell you there are several moments in my past that bring me shame when I think of them, doubt it’s unique to me.
The people who posted those things online felt bad, pretty much 100 percent sure it was universal. WHO would deliberately tweet something so cruel? Here’s the thing: They didn’t know, they were alarmed, they tweeted beyond the pale content. Before you shame them, understand they’re already there. If you did shame them, I would encourage you to think through your own past, to those moments in time I mentioned above, where maybe you did something hurtful and offensive.
We’re all learning together, friends. We all are susceptible to mistakes, going beyond the boundaries of good taste, feeling shame, learning about ourselves. Next time, my guess is that a lot of good people will think better of it, but a lot of other people will need to experience that moment of regret again, or maybe for the first time. What the world doesn’t need is someone to drop by with a “for all those losers out there…” to make people feel bad. You know why? They’re already there, and the person calling them out has no moral high ground based on their own past. Maybe Mother Teresa, after that we’re all equally prone to a misstep. Pretty sure.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
At 10 this morning, TSN1260. The thing about a day like yesterday is so much happened we’re still digesting it. That’s why having Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal at 10:20 is a gift. We’ll discuss the key points in yesterday’s avail and what it means for Oilers fans. James Herbert from CBS Sports will drop by to talk Raptors and NBA playoffs, while Jon Campbell from OddsShark talks Ken Holland, the Kentucky Derby DQ plus NHL and NBA playoffs. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!