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Time to fire Holland?

2017 NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
Still my first choice.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I know the title seems like ‘clickbait’. It’s not even my intention to be honest so I apologize if that is why you clicked. I literally am going to present an argument that the man should be fired NOW. My reason? I’m not sure I trust him to turn this around with this golden window coming up. To be clear, I’m positive Katz is not even considering this option but maybe he should?

Things I like about Holland:

He’s eroding the Old Boys Club

He’s not rushing anyone (our previous 3 GM’s would’ve had Broberg and Holloway with 9 games each by now)

He brought back JP on a 2 year deal (some were very opposed to this and no one was talking a 2 year deal). A lot of GM’s in the same spot didn’t get a resolution OR a winning trade.

He resigned Mike Smith (I was outraged, I was wrong). Please note when he resigns him again I will still be outraged!

He got some great deals on Turris, Kahun, Smith, JP and Barrie. Sure, Turris didn’t work out but can you remember the last time 10 million got you a near Vezina goalie, a leading D scorer in the NHL and 2 Top 6 wingers? That is one heck of a haul.

He got rid of Lucic (sidenote: the value of that trade was to buy out Neal. That hasn’t happened so we’re actually probably losing that trade right now. Lucic even waived his NMC for Seatle expansion)

He got a lot of our prospects gigs in Europe during Covid

He brought in Tippet (who has been outstanding in regular season and has helped a lot of young players including Bear and Jones)

Excellent drafting

He’s the ONLY GM to get Oilers to playoffs 2 years in a row since 1843 (jokes aside, it does feel like we are well out of decade of darkness territory)

He is not Chia!

Holland is actually the best GM we’ve had in awhile.

So why on Earth would I suggest firing this guy?

The argument that I’m reading consistently is that we need to give Holland a chance because he hasn’t screwed up yet. Fine, but he’s at 2 and a half years now (about 12.5 Million in salary by the way).

It’s the ‘yet’ part that is concerning to me. He could Chia the hell out of us in the next month or so. Handcuff us to bad contracts (like Kassian and Turris).

Eg. this morning I can’t get the ‘we need to be more like the Jet’s’ quote out of my head (sweep) OR the fact we are resigning Smith AND Shore.

As a starting point for team direction, those 2 signings concern me. His views on analytics terrify me. The mess he left in Detroit terrifies me. The fact he likes older players and term terrifies me. He’s paid Chiason, Kassian and Turris. In fact, we have an over 30 pile I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a fan of. Here are the over 30 guys we have for next season:

Koskinen (Chia)

Stalock (Holland)

Turris (Holland)

Kassian (Holland)

James Neal (Holland)

Kris Russel (Holland)

People will get mad and explain to me that 30 year old's don’t suck and you can win with them. I agree, there are probably fifty 30 year (and older) players in the NHL I’d love on my team. Not one of those is on the list above. Nor is Smith (who we’re bringing back). Nor is Barrie (who I think is not coming back).

I’m also not a huge fan of paying Lucic and Sekera 2.25 million next season (also a Holland move).

Fears aside

If you were to ask me the best time to be a GM of the Oilers it might actually be right now.

25 million coming up in space

Connor and Drai in their primes and locked in

Pacific Division may be the easiest division in the NHL next year

Tonnes of value in guys like JP, Bear, Jones and Yam

Some awesome players coming up (Bouchard, Broberg, Samorokov, Holloway, McLeod, Benson, Marody, Skinner, Konovalov and Lavoie)

Great D depth (especially LD which is a organizational strength for now)

Are we sure Holland will have this ship righted by the start of next season? Are we sure he’ll sign the right guys? Trade the right guys? In many ways, this summer is do or die. If he does it right then we should be competitive (for the Cup, not round 1) for at least the next 5 years. If he doesn’t then get ready for the next GM to sit on his thumbs for 2 and a half years and say ‘nothing I can do, still evaluating, the previous GM did this’.

Maybe Holland is the right guy. His former team is still bottom of the NHL. Remember, he was replaced by a younger and brighter GM.

I am POSITIVE that a GM could walk in and make us instant contenders this summer with the right moves. Just not sure Holland has those qualities?

If the plan is to resign Smith, keep Koskinen, keep Tippet, resign Shore and look into keeping Barrie then I’m positive this summer will go up there with ‘if a potato was our GM’ status.

Questions I have:

Is the plan to have our 2 goalies be Smith and Koskinen (that combo will never win a cup)

Is the plan to have our D core in playoffs be Nurse, Klef, Larsson and Russel? That simply hasn’t got it done.

Was he okay with how Bouchard, Bear and Jones seasons went?

Can he tell me who Connor’s wingers are?

What are you doing about RNH? Resign or use money to replace him?

Who’s our 3C?

Who’s our goalie to start the season after this next one?


Not sure if anyone noticed but the team that swept us is already swept. Holland also said he’d like us to be more like the Jet’s. While teams lose and things happen. Our playoff record is now 1 win and 7 losses. The teams that demolished us in round 1 (and BS qualifying round) have gone on to win 1 game combined (Hawks last season). We’re not losing to the Av’s or Bolts here. We are losing to teams that are note even close to winning the Cup themselves.

We’ve been ‘3 players away’ for a LONG time. This is the time to make trades, get creative and bring in the right guys (if we had Caufield, would we have even played him?).

Also, please remember Holland said that this isn’t a great year to go all in. We’re in how many years of Connors career? We are in a weak division and didn’t see it worth it to make a move to get out of the North? How do Connor and Drai feel about this?

Good luck Mr. Holland. I’m starting to be skeptical.

(please note: I will not be using his precovid deadline trades against him. No way he saw a pandemic coming and I like that he went ‘all in’ at the time)



Do you trust Holland to fix this and get us to a cup?

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