Ken Holland, GM of the Edmonton Oilers
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Former GM Criticizes the Oilers for their Inaction at the Trade Deadline

Published March 21, 2024 at 9:28

While the Edmonton Oilers have managed to go from a team in turmoil to playoff-bound in 2023-24, at least one person believes GM Ken Holland simply didn't do enough at the trade deadline to keep up with other teams in the Western Conference.

Former NHL GM believes Oilers fell behind at trade deadline

Brian Lawton is a former NHLer who played close to 500 games in the league. Following his retirement as an active player, he became and agent, and was eventually named General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008, a position he held for nearly two years. Lawton recently told Sportskeeda he is unimpressed with Holland's trade deadline moves. He stressed it isn't nessecarily that Edmonton has a bad team, but Holland did not keep up with other Western Conference powerhouses.

"When I look around the West I looked at how aggressive Colorado was, but also Vegas, and I would have liked to have seen Edmonton match that, to be honest with you.

They may feel that they did. And it may very well play out that way. But if I was still working for NHL network, like I did for many years, I would say it didn't keep up with the nuclear arms race in the Western Conference at this year's playoff trade deadline.'

There were two moves made by Holland leading up to the deadline. The biggest was a three-way trade that brought Sam Carrick and Adam Henrique to the Oilers. The other was an exchange with the Arizona Coyotes that landed defenceman Troy Stetcher.

"The Edmonton Oilers made a splash at the trade deadline, acquiring both Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick from the Anaheim Ducks, and brought in defenceman Troy Stecher from the Arizona"

Lawton admits the acquisition of Henrique was a smart move, but insisted the Oilers fell behind other teams as the deadline came and went.

With 16 games to go in the regular season, the Edmonton Oilers remain firmly in second place in the Pacific Division, six points behind the Vancouver Canucks but with three games in hand. It's a position few expected the team to be in given the horrendous start to 2023-24. Holland's move of firing head coach Jay Woodcroft and replacing him with Kris Knoblauch in November was certainly a great one. As for what will happen in the playoffs, Holland will simply have to hope that what he did was enough to get the Oilers deep in the post season.
March 21   |   125 answers
Former GM Criticizes the Oilers for their Inaction at the Trade Deadline

Do you agree with Brian Lawton's take of the Oilers trade deadline activities?

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