History of Edmonton Oilers GMs – Who will be next?

Finally Oilers fans, finally.  Lots of heat on the NHL’s most northern team these past few weeks culminating in the firing of General Manager Peter Chiarelli on January 22, 2019.  What’s next for the Edmonton Oilers?  Well Bob Nicholson will be conducting a search for the team’s next GM.  Hopefully he will take his time as he really needs a home run this time out.

Here’s a look at the press conference of Bob Nicholson discussing moving on from Peter Chiarelli:


History of Edmonton Oilers GMs

Here’s a look at the past GMs for the Edmonton Oilers. Quite honestly there is one man who we can say had the team performing at the top or near the top of the NHL year in an year out. Table courtesy of Wikipedia.

No. Name Appointment Departure Accomplishments and events during this term
1 Bill Hunter November 1, 1971 1976 Founding franchise of the WHA and began play for the 1972–73 season
2 Bep Guidolin August 1, 1976 1977
3 Brian Conacher 1977 1978
4 Larry Gordon April 26, 1978 Jun-80 Acquired Wayne Gretzky in a 1978 trade
Team entered NHL for the 1979–80 season
Selected Mark Messier and Glenn Anderson in the 1979 Entry Draft
1 playoff appearance
5 Glen Sather Jun-80 09-Jun-00 Selected Paul Coffey and Jari Kurri in the 1980 Entry Draft
Selected Grant Fuhr in the first round of the 1981 Entry Draft
Won Stanley Cup five times in six finals appearances (1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1990)
Won Presidents’ Trophy two times (1985–86, 1986–87)
Traded Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988
6 conference titles, 6 division titles, and 16 playoff appearances
6 Kevin Lowe June 9, 2000 July 31, 2008 1 Stanley Cup Finals appearance (2006)
1 conference title and 3 playoff appearances
7 Steve Tambellini July 31, 2008 April 15, 2013 No playoff appearances
8 Craig MacTavish April 15, 2013 April 24, 2015 No playoff appearances
9 Peter Chiarelli April 24, 2015 January 22, 2019 Selected Connor McDavid first overall in the 2015 Entry Draft traded Taylor hall for a bag of pucks
1 playoff appearance


Potential Candidates for the Edmonton Oilers next General Manager

The Search for the next general manager of the Edmonton Oilers begins now.  This is not something they can take likely.  If I’m Bob Nicholson, there is some specific criteria that I am looking for in my next GM and President of this hockey franchise.  I would be looking for:

  • someone who is a strong hockey person with the ability to construct a competitive product on the ice
  • someone who has a strong understanding of statistical analysis.  They have to be able to be strong with data.
  • someone with exceptional people skills who can deal with (and associate with) the players and youth of today
  • someone who wants to win
  • someone who is patient with youthful talent and can nurture younger players until they are ready for the NHL

With that, here is whom this hockey fan would be considering for the next general manager of of the Edmonton Oilers.

  1. Kelly McCrimmon – While he’s currently the Vegas Golden Knights’ assistant GM, McCrimmon played an integral part in building the league’s most recent expansion team so well that they came within three wins of earning the Stanley Cup in their inaugural season.  It’s clear that McCrimmon knows how to help construct a roster efficiently and can build a team from the ground up.  This is what the Oilers need right now.
  2. Mark Hunter – all of you people in Ontario know his resume yet Mark Hunter has yet to have a GM job in the NHL.  Hunter’s experience as GM of the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights lends itself to knowing when a player is ready to take that next step to the Show.  He’s a hockey guy who understands the modern athlete is how Doug MacLean of Sportsnet put it.
  3. Ken Holland – if the rumors are true and Steve Yzerman is going to be named the GM of the Detroit Red Wings this summer than where does that leave Ken Holland?  Well potentially as a candidate for general manager of the expansion Seattle franchise or potential as a candidate for the Edmonton Oilers.  Holland is a great hockey man and built a winner in Detroit.  He’s well respected and is someone I could see Nicholson considering if he becomes available.
    The next two candidates are for fun as I know the fanbase wants to tap into the Oilers Old Boys club…
  4. Glen Sather – If he is up for it, the man who built the Oiler’s dynasty of the eighties is the most successful GM in the history of the team.  I know what you’re saying “enough with the old boys club already”.  Well the one person who kept the old boys club in line and kept them winning was Slats. He’s now 75 and while currently President of the New York Rangers, you have to think what would Slats do with the mess that Chiarelli has left here?  He was once the GM of the world’s greatest hockey player for a decade in the eighties, could he do it again with today’s best player in the game?  Due to his age it’s probably not the best fit, but if he was ten years younger I wonder if Sather would consider the gig?  He’s yet to build a champion with the Rangers, but there was always been a mystique with Slats ability to motivate the Oilers.  He wouldn’t do any worse than Chiarelli did. #NuffSaid.
  5. Jari Kurri – ok I know that the old boys club is not what the fanbase or quite frankly anyone wants to hear, but what about considering Kurri?  He’s currently the general manager of Finland’s Jokerit team from the KHL.  Jokerit is currently in second place in the Bobrov division of the Western conference  with a 31-19 record.  It’s unlikely that Kurri would come back to North America but he’s got a strong hockey background and would be great for Jesse Puljujarvi and Mikko Koskinen.

There are a few other names that will probably be floated around including the like of Ron Hextall, Dave Nonis, Bill Guerin, Craig Conroy, and Dean Lombardi.  Regardless this is a crucial decision for Bob Nicholson and the Oilers to make.