Oilers Writer Suggests Surprising Candidate for GM Role after Ken Holland

Sam Jones
June 4, 2024  (1:59 PM)

Oilers Writer Suggests Surprising Candidate for GM Role Post-Ken Holland
Photo credit: David Bloom /Postmedia, file

As the Edmonton Oilers gear up for a tense battle in the Stanley Cup Final, discussions about their future leadership are quietly percolating in the background.

Despite the playoff buzz, the question of who will take over from General Manager Ken Holland, who is rumored to be considering retirement after this season, remains a pivotal topic for the team's future.
Yesterday, Oilers president Jeff Jackson, in a conversation with Pierre LeBrun, made it clear that while the team's immediate focus is the playoffs, plans for Holland's successor are in the works. «We're not dealing with any of that until we're done the playoffs,» Jackson emphasized, aiming to keep the team focused and free from off-ice distractions.
Among the names floated for the GM position are internal candidates like Brad Holland and Keith Gretzky, both of whom have significant roles within the organization. However, Allan Mitchell, a respected voice on Oilers matters, dropped a surprising name into the mix—Paul Coffey.
»Paul Coffey's bio and photo is right next to Jeff Jackson's on the Oilers hockey ops page . . . I think he might be the next general manager of the Edmonton Oilers. It's absolutely an Oilers style hire. If Edmonton wins the Stanley this month, owner Daryl Katz is going to want to reward the people who got them there . . . I can see Paul Coffey as the next general manager of the Edmonton Oilers.»

Beyond these discussions, Holland's potential retirement adds another layer of urgency to the decision. The 68-year-old has been at the helm through significant periods of the team's recent history, and his departure could mark a new chapter for the franchise.

Mark Hunter is also in contention, bringing a robust resume from his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the London Knights, but it's Coffey's direct involvement with the team that could edge him forward in this race. Coffey, a legendary figure in the NHL and now an assistant coach, has been actively involved in improving the team's on-ice performance, making him a candidate who not only represents the Oilers' rich history but also their current ambitions.

The Oilers are at a crucial juncture, with key player contracts upcoming and the potential to build on their current playoff success. The decision on their next GM could very well influence whether this team can transform its current potential into a lasting dynasty. As the playoffs unfold, Oilers fans and the hockey world alike will be watching closely, not just for the games, but for the off-ice strategies shaping the future of the franchise.