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GM WATCH: Nicholson On To Second Interviews

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Mark Hunter gets a second interview. Is Pat Verbeek a dark horse candidate?

2016 NHL Draft - Round One
Pick a winner, Bob.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

May 1st is right around the corner!

Bob Nicholson has pulled in former Leafs assistant GM Mark Hunter for a second interview, which would suggest that he’s moved on past the first cut of candidates. The question now? Who’s been interviewed from the original list of ten-ish candidates? Who gets another crack at the plate?

  • Mark Hunter has had a second interview
  • Pat Verbeek (woo!) has had an interview
  • We can probably assume Keith Gretzky has had a twice-over

Anyone else? Mike Gillis? Bill Guerin? Kelly McCrimmon?

I doubt that this is a conclusive list of candidates. If it is, I think fans would receive one of Hunter or Verbeek quite well instead of Keith Gretzky. A fair bit of ink has been written about Keith Gretzky already, and the Oiler fan in me figures that he’s probably Nicholson’s top choice for the job. Mark Hunter receives quite a bit of adulation for his drafting ability while with the Maple Leafs. While there might be some smoke to that fire, I’m fairly certain both you and I could have picked Auston Matthews with the first pick in 2016. Like McDavid in 2015, anyone can shoot fish in a barrel.

With less than a dozen days until the arbitrary date of May 1st, the Oilers look to have moved into the next round of the GM process. Can Bob Nicholson make the right choice for the organization?