As the Oilers’ playoffs have diminished, the focus is now on the new chapter in franchise history as the organization turns the page on the Peter Chiarelli era to look for a great replacement to get things going in Edmonton.
CEO Bob Nicholson’s search continues, but for now Keith Gretzky has temporarily assumed most of the GM duties. Interviews are said to be in motion however it seems like Nicholson could feel pressured to ignore one great candidate because of an old feud.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman believes that Nicholson would love to give former president and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks Mike Gillis a shot at the vacant spot in Edmonton.
However, it is believed that some people in the organization are still upset about a feud that took place more than 10 years ago.
In the summer of 2007, the Oilers thought they had locked in free agent centre Michael Nylander - yes, William’s dad. However, Nylander, who was represented by Gillis at the time ended up signing a four-year deal, $19,5 million deal at the last minute with the Washington Capitals.
Kevin Lowe, the Oilers GM at the time, had said that Gillis confirmed in writing that an agreement had been reached. The Oilers cried foul and made this statement at the time:
“The Oilers can find no precedent for such conduct in our history,”the statement read. “The Oilers are examining and pursuing every course of action available in the best interest of the team and our fans.”
So it seems like there is still a grudge. Should they get over it and think of the future? Or did Gillis rob the Oilers and should never get the job?