Report: Ken Holland could return to Eastern Conference

One NHL Insider believes this has a real possibility of happening.



The Columbus Blue Jackets endured another tumultuous season in 2023-24 that began in disaster before the team even hit the ice for training camp with the failed experiment of hiring controversial bench boss Mike Babcock. As the team struggled after having quickly named assistant Pascal Vincent as his replacement, they parted ways with longtime general manager Jarmo Kekalainen. 

And based on the report of one noted NHL Insider, they could already have their eyes on Kekalainen's permanent replacement. According to Andy Strickland, rumors of current Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland heading to Ohio won't settle down. 

He writes on X (formerly known as Twitter): 

"Ken Holland to CBJ rumors don’t seem to die down anytime soon. Maybe a long run to the Final would change things but there are many who feel he’s headed to Columbus to fill their GM vacancy."

Once regarded as one of the best executives in the NHL, Holland began facing intensifying criticism during his last few years with the Detroit Red Wings for trading away young talent within the farm system in exchange for over-the-hill veterans in an effort to keep the playoff streak alive. Whether or not this was done at the behest of team ownership hasn't been made clear. 

Current Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman had his work cut out for him upon his return to Detroit in 2019, as he had to completely restock the prospect cupboard that Holland had left almost completely bare. Not wanting to cease work as a GM, Holland departed Detroit a week later and took over the Oilers, where he has been for the last five seasons. 

This potential move, however, could be seen by many as just the latest example of the NHL's notorious "Old Boys Club", especially considering the fact that John Davidson remains at his post after he himself returned to the franchise after being terminated by the New York Rangers.

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Source: Twitter