This was done by John Shannon of the Sportsnet on the Edmonton Oilers plan for his provisional governing group: "Keith Gretzki will take over several Chiarelli duties in the next few weeks, and Vice President Bob Nicholson will be more involved until they find the new GM."
We take it
- Shannon is an insider with many close contacts inside the Oilers organization and the NHL. If he says this is happening, I buy it.
- Keith Gretzki has been credited with many of the powerful Oil plans in recent years. He led plans to enter Edmonton for 2017 and 2018. Of course, it's too early to know if the odds from those years will move, and much could change if Kailer Iamamoto and Evan Bouchard do not make a big deal, but early return is good.
- Gretzki also received credit for storing Boston Bruins with excellent young players such as Jake DeBrusk, Brandon Carlo, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoi. He led three Bruins drafts as the director of amateur scouting.
- Gretzki is obviously qualified to lead the NHL, but is he qualified to be NHL GM? The prudent thing that Oilers Bobsler should do is to appoint a temporary GM or a management team, and then to have full competition for GM's work this spring after the end of the season. Nicholson has one chance to get this right, one chance to make sure that Connor McDavid with Oilers will be much better than the first four years. He can not just go with an internal candidate on this. He must throw a wide net as much as he can.
- Some might argue that Oilers needs GM immediately before the deadline for the sale of the NHL. Obviously, this team should not be the main buyer within the time limit and probably will be the seller, but with only a few smaller items that are moving. The key is not what happened earlier in February this year, but to get the right person in May / June. Edmonton should not be rushing into anything.
- It's not clear how much Gretzki had in recent contracts for Ryan Spooner and Brandon Manning. It's enough to say, the less it had to do with those arrangements, the better. But it is disturbing that he was a key part of the management team that made such moves, with Mikko Koskinen signing something like a prepayment.
- Some will see Keith Gretzki as unclean because Vaine's brother is, and Vaine is a member of the OBC, the Old Bois Club of Oilers. I do not see this that way. Keith is his man. He made harsh calls in various designs.
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