Report: Oilers zeroing in on GM hiring

Are we finally about to witness a new era of Oilers Hockey? Or is it “same old, same old” in Edmonton?

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It’s been nearly six weeks since the Edmonton Oilers fired former general manager Peter Chiarelli and there’s still no timetable in place for hiring his replacement. Interim GM Keith Gretzky looks likely to guide the team down the stretch and into the offseason, but who will be at the helm when this team enters the 2019 NHL Entry Draft? Free agency? This is a team that requires a LOT of work, so getting a quality GM onboard as soon as possible is perhaps the most important thing for this franchise at this particular juncture.

Well, according to a report from NHL insider Darren Dreger of TSN, the Oilers have their sites set on a few candidates and have begun the process of narrowing down their list. 

“We know Kelly McCrimmon,” said Dreger on Edmonton’s TSN 1260 radio station yesterday afternoon. “We know Dave Nonis. Obviously Keith Gretzky is going to be on that list, and deserves to be on that list. There are some other interesting ones. Sean Burke comes to mind. I believe he’ll get a sit-down interview. Mike Futa from the Los Angeles Kings is another one. Of course Mark Hunter, he’ll be contacted. And on and on it goes.”

“I expect that the timeline is probably the next 10-14 days where Nicholson starts to finally reach out, seek permission, from some of the candidates, and there could be as many as 10 on this list,” added Dreger.

Let’s get real though… the name that keeps coming up when discussing the Oilers GM position is McCrimmon. The Vegas Golden Knights’ assistant GM has earned a shot at the big time after having helped successfully guide Vegas through the expansion process. He’s a western Canadian with ties to Alberta and is seemingly the perfect fit for the Oilers. 

The only problem is that Vegas GM George McPhee has requested that the Oilers, or any other interested party, hold off on negotiating with McCrimmon until the offseason. After all, the Golden Knights have Stanley Cup potential yet again and McCrimmon is desperately needed to help make decisions down the stretch drive and into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Sit tight, Oilers fans. While Dreger reports this could all be resolved within the next 10-14 days… I’m not holding my breath.