Holland eager for Oilers to take a step: 'The time is now'
Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland believes his club will blossom from playoff hopefuls to Stanley Cup threats this upcoming season.
"The time is now," Holland said, per Sportsnet's Mark Spector. "In my mind, the time to try and take a step. We've been 12th in the league, 11th in the league. But the aspirations are far greater than that."
He continued: "The Stanley Cup doesn't just happen. You evolve, you grow. You have multiple chances. You have disappointments.
"In '93, '94, '95 we couldn't get it done in Detroit. By '98 we had the blueprint and the recipe."
The Oilers finished second in the North Division last season, but were stunned in a first-round sweep by the Winnipeg Jets. A year prior, Edmonton was eliminated in the play-in round by the 12th-seeded Chicago Blackhawks.
Holland had a busy offseason trying to rectify the club's playoff woes, bringing in Zach Hyman, Warren Foegele, Duncan Keith, and Cody Ceci to reinforce the lineup. He also re-signed Ryan-Nugent Hopkins as well as Tyson Barrie and gave Darnell Nurse a lucrative eight-year extension.
"I wanted to bring in some people who have won before," Holland said. "(Zach) Hyman is 29, Foegele is 25 - they're in the prime of their careers. Duncan Keith is going to have a lesser role (than Chicago), but he's bringing in his resume. He's played in lots of situations at the international level and National Hockey League level. He's been brought in for what he can do on and off the ice."
NHL training camps open next week. The Oilers' regular season commences Oct. 13.
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