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Vernon BC Boy, Holland Hits the Hockey Hall of Fame, Canucks stories

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In a special for Vancouver Canucks fans, we spoke at length with Edmonton Oilers General Manager Ken Holland as he prepares for induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame this month. The Vernon, BC native shares some wonderful stories about his background as a goaltender, a scout, and successful hockey executive.

Holland brings up those who have provided important influence on him, and past playoff series between his then Detroit Red Wings and the Vancouver Canucks.

By the way, this is only part one. Part two is coming along shortly.

— Holland was drafted as a goalie out of Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League in the 12th round, 188th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1975. He played four NHL games with the Hartford Whalers and the Red Wings between 1980 and 1984.

After his playing days Holland landed a job with the Red Wings as a scout in Western Canada. He earned the position of Director of Amateur Scouting, a job he held for seven years, before taking over for and three years as assistant general manager.

On July 18, 1997, he was promoted to general manager, executive vice president and alternate governor of the Detroit Red Wings. Holland won the Stanley Cup four times with Detroit: 1997 as assistant general manager and goalie coach, and the latter three as general manager in 1998, 2002 and 2008

As GM the Red Wings won the Central Division ten times, the regular-season Conference title five times, the Presidents Trophy four times, and the Stanley Cup three times.

In the spring of 2019 when it was apparent that former Red Wings playing hero Steve Yzerman would be taking over as the franchise’s General Manager, Holland was “kicked upstairs” and handed the position of Senior Vice President. Still interested in running a club and trying to win as GM, Holland lasted in the job for less than a month, before accepting the GM job with the Edmonton Oilers in May, 2019.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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