RUMOR: Could Ken Holland soon find himself in Vancouver?

The Vancouver Canucks began play in the National Hockey League in 1970, and since then, they’ve been one of many teams to have never drank from the Stanley Cup.

One Vancouver newspaper put forward a rather explosive solution – could current Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland be the one to fix that drought?

The Vancouver Sun recently put out a piece suggesting that maligned Canucks GM Jim Benning could be succeeded by Holland, who would bring championship experience to British Columbia. The Canucks have qualified for the Stanley Cup Finals three times in their history (1982, 1994, 2011) and lost each time. Meanwhile, the Red Wings enjoyed 25 consecutive years in the playoffs with four championships in six trips to the Finals.

Both men are currently in the last year of their contracts with their respective teams.

From Ed Willes:

“As of this writing, the most popular scenario is Detroit GM Ken Holland, who’s also on the last year of his deal, moving to Vancouver as the hockey overlord in a restructured organization. That would leave a role for Benning in player personnel. It would also add that thing which has been missing from the Canucks’ front office since Trevor Linden and Benning were hired: the experienced voice of an executive with championship experience.”

“Now, we can argue the relative merits of this move from now until doomsday but if the Canucks continue to hover around 28th-place in the NHL change would appear to be inevitable. This has become less about the plan and more about consumer confidence in the brand. Bringing in Holland would go a long way toward calming the masses.”

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet also weighed in on the potential major shakeup to the Canucks front office.

“Vancouver’s going pretty crazy with the Ken Holland rumours, but, if he wanted to go there, wouldn’t he want to report directly to the owner? That’s his setup now.”

Friedman is referring to Trevor Linden, the former Canucks legend who now serves as president of hockey operations. Should Holland be brought aboard as GM, he’d have to report to Linden rather than directly to ownership, as he does now in Detroit.

There are few figures in the world of Detroit sports who are as polarizing as Holland. While he’s been part of Detroit’s legendary success, he’s also earned the mistrust and disdain of fans due to his handling of Detroit’s salary cap situation.


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Written by Michael Whitaker

Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.

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