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No contract extension for Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland

Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers are parting ways.

In a statement Thursday, Jeff Jackson, the Oilers’ CEO of hockey operations, thanked Holland for his time as general manager of the National Hockey League club.

“The Edmonton Oilers and Ken Holland have mutually agreed that his contract will not be extended beyond the end of its current term,” Jackson said.

“Over the past five seasons as general manager, Ken has not only built the Edmonton Oilers into one of the NHL’s best teams, he has also established a deeply rooted foundation of success and a culture of winning that will continue well into the future.”

“We wish Ken, Cindi and his entire family the very best and thank him for his leadership and contributions to the Oilers organization and the City of Edmonton.”

Holland, 68, has been Edmonton’s GM and president of hockey operations since May 2019.

Before joining Edmonton, Holland spent 22 seasons as GM of the Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit won Stanley Cups in 1998, 2002 and 2008 under Holland.

The Oilers lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final Monday to the Florida Panthers.

WATCH | Oilers fans reflect on a storybook Cup run: 

no contract extension for edmonton oilers gm ken holland

Oilers fans reflect on a storybook Cup run

2 days ago

Duration 2:09

The Edmonton Oilers may have lost the Stanley Cup to the champion Florida Panthers, but fans are looking back joyously on a run that seemed unbelievable. Travis McEwan spoke with them about the highlights that brought a different feeling to the city for months.

Building around superstar captain Connor McDavid and elite forward Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers finished the season looking like the potential champions many expected to see when Holland, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category in 2020, took over from interim GM Keith Gretzky on May 7, 2019.

But Edmonton’s rise to the top came in fits and starts, with Holland coming under fire over much of his tenure for building a top-heavy roster and failing to solve the team’s goaltending woes.

The Oilers lost in the qualifying round of the playoffs in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season, then were swept by the Winnipeg Jets in the 2020-21 post-season.

Edmonton appeared to turn a corner when it advanced to the 2022 Western Conference final before being swept by Colorado, but regressed the following season by losing in the second round to eventual Stanley Cup champion Vegas.

Faith in Holland’s ability to build a winner in Edmonton was shaken to its core earlier this season when the Oilers stumbled out of the gate with a 3-9-1 record.

However, after Jay Woodcroft was replaced as head coach by Kris Knoblauch, the Oilers transformed into one of the league’s best teams, punctuated by a 16-game winning streak that was one shy of the NHL record.

And by the time the Oilers headed into Game 7 of this year’s Cup final, the team was getting solid goaltending from Stuart Skinner and contributions throughout the lineup, addressing two of the biggest criticisms levied against Holland.

Now the Oilers have a major hockey operations role to fill as they head into the off-season looking for a way to make the final step toward winning their sixth Stanley Cup title, but first since 1990.

Jackson will speak with the media today at 11:30 a.m. MT.

More to come.

This article is from from cbc.ca (CBC NEWS CANADA)

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