It has been rumored for quite some time now, but this report comes as no less of a shock.
On Sunday morning TSN National Hockey League insider Darren Dreger broke the news that former Detroit Red Wings general manger Ken Holland appears to be set to depart the organization that he has run for longer than most modern day hockey fans can even remember. As all of our readers will of course know, Holland was replaced in Detroit following the conclusion of another season. The proud Red Wings general manager was forced to step aside when the organization made the decision to bring in one of his former players, Red Wings superstar Steve Yzerman, to take over the general manager position that was currently held by Holland.
To his credit the now former Red Wings general manager was there was Yzerman was introduced and he smiled and shook Yzerman's hands in front of the cameras, something that was no doubt incredibly difficult for him to do. Although I have no doubt that Holland was genuinely proud and happy for his former protege it is now clear that he was not happy to lose his power as a general manager in the National Hockey League. According to Dreger Holland has informed the Illitch family today that he is done in Detroit.
"My understanding is, Holland is informing the Ilitch family and the Red Wings today," wrote Dreger. " And as has been speculated all week, the Oilers offer is believed to 5 years at $5 million per."
It sounds like not only will Holland be headed to Edmonton to take over as the next general manager of that struggling organization, but that he has also secured himself considerable power within the organization before doing so. According to Dreger Holland will be autonomous as general manager of the Oilers, a huge deal for a franchise known for having issues with it's "Old Boys Club."
"The paperwork still has to get done," said Dreger. "Provided all of that is managed today, expect the Oilers to introduce Holland as the new GM in the next few days. Holland will have autonomy and Nicholson could take on a bigger role as well."
According to Dreger it sounds like being pushed out for Steve Yzerman may have been what led to Holland's decision to leave a team he has been with for so long.
"Holland and Nicholson had a friendly discussion a couple of weeks ago, but more about Holland’s job change in Detroit. The veteran GM still wants to be a GM and needed time to think things through."
This is of course blockbuster news for both the Red Wings and the Oilers franchises, and only the future will tell if Holland has made the right, or the wrong, decision here.
Update: Still only a rumor but there is talk that Holland may be bringing his own coach to Edmonton as well.