The Edmonton Oilers have decided to retain Keith Gretzky despite not giving him the job as general manager. The team announced Tuesday that Gretzky will remain with the organization as an assistant GM, taking over control of the Bakersfield Condors. Gretzky served as interim GM for the Oilers when Peter Chiarelli was fired, and was a finalist for the job before it eventually went to Ken Holland.
Gretzky, 52, has been with the Oilers since 2016 when he came over from the Boston Bruins, but has long been a respected scout in the NHL. His plan is likely still in place for the upcoming draft, given Holland’s relative inexperience with the Edmonton organization, though it will obviously be tweaked by the former Detroit boss. More notes on the Oilers:
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reports that the Oilers won’t sign Hayden Hawkey given their numerous goaltending prospects already in the system. Hawkey was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens last summer in exchange for a fifth-round pick, but returned to Providence College for his senior season. The 24-year-old posted a .921 save percentage for Providence this season and will become an unrestricted free agent in August. The Oilers, with Shane Starrett, Dylan Wells and Stuart Skinner already under contract, likely didn’t have a place for Hawkey to play next season and thus not much to offer him in terms of opportunity.
- Matheson also tweets that the Oilers are excited about third-round pick Dmitri Samorukov, and quotes Gretzky who believes that the young defenseman will be on a second pair in the NHL one day. Still just 19, Samorukov had an incredible playoffs with the Guelph Storm of the OHL, recording 28 points in 24 games and being a driving force in their Memorial Cup run. The team signed Samorukov to his entry-level deal way back in 2017, but it slid twice and will now run through the 2021-22 season.