Sports

NHL's Oilers fire Hitchcock, name Holland general manager

NHL's Oilers fire Hitchcock, name Holland general manager

The Edmonton Oilers have officially named Ken Holland as their new general manager and president of hockey operations.

That means new general manager Ken Holland will be tasked with handpicking his own head coach now. Holland announced that Ken Hitchcock will not be back behind the Oilers bench next season.

The Oilers, on the other hand, had a lot more negativity and pessimism behind their playoff-less year that saw both Todd McLellan and Chiarelli lose their jobs.

Edmonton has made the playoffs just once since advancing to the Stanley Cup final in 2006, and the Oilers hope Holland is the GM who can finally build a contender around superstar captain Connor McDavid.

The Oilers have missed the playoffs in 12 of the past 13 seasons, despite picking first overall for three straight years from 2010 to 2012 and again in 2015. He was promoted to director of amateur scouting and then assistant GM for three years before taking over as GM following the Red Wings' 1997 Stanley Cup victory, succeeding Jim Devellano. Yzerman, a former Red Wings great, had previously served as the general manager in Tampa Bay. For now, Gretzky is running the Oilers draft, but Holland has also scouted juniors a good deal this winter and will want to see if he's on the same page with Gretzky as to what the Oilers need and what style they want to play.

Stephen Moore Withdraws From Fed Consideration
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That's why Holland is destined for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Holland has the responsibility of building a team around McDavid that can make the playoffs and win within the next few seasons.

The search for a new GM started after the team fired Peter Chiarelli earlier this year.

At the time Hitchcock was hired, the Oilers were sixth in the Pacific Division (9-10-1) and lost six of their past seven games while allowing 3.30 goals per game.

The organization made the announcement Tuesday morning.

Katz says Holland will have full autonomy to make decisions for the team, and will report to Bob Nicholson. "For me professionally, you have great young players, you have a hockey market and there is great opportunity and potential".


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