Even though Ken Holland said recently he was ready to stop being a general manager, it was easy to conclude he was not.
Holland has always lived for the game. Short conversations become long conversations when you talk to Holland about the NHL.
The Edmonton Oilers are hiring a future Hall of Fame general manager, one of the league’s best hockey minds, a man who believes in skilled teams, structured organizations and giving young players time to develop.
At 63, he was not ready for the rocking chair. Not by a long stretch. He was never going to say no to the Oilers’ job even after he stepped aside to become an adviser to new Detroit GM Steve Yzerman.
Not with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl there.
While the Oilers are rightfully viewed as a managerial mess, there are a handful of desirable players to build around. This is a better situation than Lou Lamoriello (now with the New York Islanders) inherited when he joined the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2015, and he had that team headed in the right direction quickly.
Comparing Holland to Lamoriello is workable in this case because their…