Ken Holland says farewell to Detroit, officially hired as GM of Edmonton Oilers


By @StefanKubus – 

After more than two decades as general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, Ken Holland is moving on.

The Edmonton Oilers officially introduced Holland as the team’s general manager on Tuesday.

“The Edmonton Oilers are excited to welcome Ken Holland to the organization,” said Oilers Entertainment Group CEO Bob Nicholson. “Ken’s experience as a hockey executive and NHL general manager is unmatched, and his arrival is an important step to the Oilers achieving the success we all want for the team. I look forward to working with Ken and he will have full autonomy over all aspects of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.”

Holland, 63, completed his 36th season with the Red Wings in 2018-19 – 22nd as the team’s general manager. He led Detroit to four Presidents’ Trophies, 10 division championships, five regular-season conference titles and four Stanley Cup championships, the last three as GM.

“Another person I want to recognize back in Detroit is Jim Devellano, who was my role model and mentor when I got into the business in 1985,” Holland said. “He was the general manager of the Red Wings, he moved me up the ranks of a western scout to chief scout to assistant general manager, and he recommended to Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch in 1997 that they hire me as the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. I’d like to also thank the Ilitch family for their support through the years in allowing me to fulfill my dream of being a NHL general manager, and we went on and won some Stanley Cups.

“I am very happy to be joining the Edmonton Oilers. I believe we can build something special in Edmonton and I look forward to putting a plan in place to make the Oilers a consistently successful team.”

Holland, who said the team has some solid core pieces in place with the likes of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, said Nicholson and owner Daryl Katz have given him an important opportunity to establish a culture early on in his tenure.

“To me, culture is the people you bring in on the ice and off the ice, people that care about the logo… and you’ve got to go to work every day and respect that jersey,” Holland said.

Holland added that he spoke to interim coach Ken Hitchcock and informed him he will no longer be the team’s head coach heading into 2019-20. Veteran NHL coach Dave Tippett is a rumored frontrunner.

A statement from Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman:

A statement from Red Wings governor, president and CEO Christopher Ilitch:

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