By now, every Detroit Red Wings fan knows the infamous phrase that former general manager Ken Holland would use.
“Kicked the tires”.
He used that phrase multiple times during his tenure in the Motor City in reference to potential moves he could have made that would have acquired talent for his team, but for whatever reason, decided not to go through.
Of course, the infamous “We like our team” phrase continuously burns in the minds of fans as well.
But all of that is in the past. Ken Holland is now the GM of the Edmonton Oilers, and he’s got considerably more talent to work with than he had in his final few years in Detroit. The NHL’s top player in Connor McDavid and a 50-goal scorer in Leon Draisaitl are only two portions of his playoff-worthy team in northern-Canada.
Holland was reportedly involved in trying to re-acquire Taylor Hall, the 2018 Hart Trophy winner who played the first portion of his career with the Oilers before being dealt to the New Jersey Devils. Hall was dealt, but to the desert – the Arizona Coyotes acquired Hall in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick (top three protected), a conditional 2021 third-round pick that could become a first, and forward prospects Nick Merkley and Nathan Schnarr, and defensive prospect Kevin Bahl.
Hall is slated to become an unrestricted free-agent this summer, and the former Red Wings GM wasn’t willing to mortgage the team’s future on a potential rental. As The Edmonton Journal put it, Holland “couldn’t stomach giving up first-rounder for rental Hall”.
“Yes, I did talk to them a few times,” Holland said.
Holland’s Oilers are currently 19-13-4 on the season.
—-Quote courtesy of Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal—-Link