When Ken Holland spoke to the media on Wednesday and told everyone that the Edmonton Oilers won’t be buying “green bananas” this offseason, what exactly did he mean? Noting that he potentially won’t be around long enough to see them turn yellow, was he hinting that his run as general manager won’t be lasting much longer? Or, was he referring to the fact that the Oilers are in a phase right now where it’s not time to be investing in futures, but adding pieces that can help right now?
It might be a little bit of both.
Holland was asked about his plans as GM and noted that he would stick out the rest of next season and then would see what the future holds. He did talk about getting Steve Staois more reps doing the kinds of things GMs do on a daily basis, but Holland didn’t specifically say this next season would be his last. At the same time, he discussed his family, hinted at his age, and mentioned that he’d like to win the Stanley Cup one more time. Everyone was “devastated” that the team didn’t go farther this year and he’s committed to getting the group back and trying again next season.
As for what buying green bananas meant when it came to his tenure as general manager, it’s safe to assume he was hinting that he won’t be running a team in that capacity for the next five-to-ten years. His time to make moves is now.
When it came to the roster, it’s not hard to read between the lines of his banana comment. The idea that green bananas take a long time to ripen suggests that by not buying them, fans and media who follow the team shouldn’t expect to see him go out and add young pieces and prospects that will help in the next three to four or more seasons. Instead, he’s looking at players that will make this group better than it was this season and might, in fact, trade prospects that are a couple of years away for pieces that can help today.
Expect a Busy Summer for the Oilers
Despite the fact the team will bring back most of its roster, this is going to be a buys offseason for Holland who admitted he’s got some salary cap crunching to do. He noted, “but that’s my job” and said he’s not the only GM in the league having to deal with these types of issues. One has to wonder if that means he’ll be looking at players from teams where GMs are scrambling to move money, potentially picking up a useful player or upgrading at a position of weakness in the process.
Next: Latest on Rumors of a GM Change for the Edmonton Oilers
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