Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland earns some unexpected praise

The Oilers GM is being put through the ringer, but not everyone is against the moves he's made.


The legacy of current Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland can't be questioned, as during his time in the Motor City, he earned the right to have his name engraved on the Stanley Cup a whopping four times, three as Detroit's GM. 

But prior to Steve Yzerman's return to Detroit in April of 2019, Holland had fallen out of favor with Detroit Red Wings fans for numerous regrettable trades and exorbitant free agent signings for aging and underperforming players that the team continues to deal with today. And he's dealing with plenty of wrath from Oilers fans after acquiring past-his-prime 38 year old defenseman Duncan Keith in deal that sent young Caleb Jones and a 3rd round draft selection back to the Windy City. 

Additionally, he inked defenseman Darnell Nurse to a massive eight-year contract extension worth $9,250,000 annually, gave Ryan Nugent-Hopkins a full no-movement clause in his recent eight-year extension, signing Zach Hyman to a seven-year contract, and bringing back Tyson Barrie on a three-year contract worth $4,500,000 annually. 

However, not everyone is giving Holland a hard time. ESPN NHL analyst Greg Wyshynski had some good things to say about Holland's offseason, giving them a B+ in his recent report card for every squad's moves. 

"The Oilers’ offseason had some moves that are going to make this team potentially better in the short term and other moves that were, for lack of a better description, very Oilers.”

“Bringing back Barrie at $4.5 million AAV was a strong move.”  

“They were flirting with an A-minus here if they didn’t run back Mike Smith and Mikko Koskinen as their average-at-best goaltending duo, and hand Darnell Nurse a $9.25 million AAV on an eight-year term with significant trade protection, which was a very ‘won’t be my problem’ contract from GM Ken Holland. Speaking of that: Trading Caleb Jones for what’s left of Keith so the Blackhawks can then acquire Seth Jones, hand him a contract that resets the market and jacks up Nurse’s price tag? Very Oilers.”

Meanwhile, the analytics teams at Sportlogiq had this to say: 

“The Oilers’ top-nine is much better with the additions of Hyman and Foegele, and Ryan is a good defensive forward who makes their bottom-six better. The defence is… different. A right side of Barrie, Ceci and Evan Bouchard might frighten some Oilers fans but time will tell if Ken Holland made the right moves.”

Are you in agreement with Wyshynski's opinion regarding the offseason for the Oilers? He's certainly trying to make the most of the careers of superstars Connnor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but is he doing it the right way, or is Edmonton in store for another Red Wings-esque cap collapse?