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Keith Gretzky (Re)Named Assistant GM/Woodcroft Extension

June 12, 2019, 12:22 PM ET [39 Comments]
Sean Maloughney
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Yesterday the Edmonton Oilers officially re-announced Keith Gretzky as the Assistant General Manager, beneath Ken Holland. Keith Gretzky in addition to his old role, will also be in charge of management of the Bakersfield Condors, the role that Craig MacTavish previously held.

While there have been numerous cases of nepotism and issues with individuals being hired based upon their name as opposed to their credentials, I do not believe that to be the case with Keith Gretzky. Keith has carved out his own career in management, originally in Boston before coming over along with Peter Chiarelli. In Boston, Gretzky was one of the key individuals in the Bruins drafting of players like Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak.

In Edmonton, Gretzky has helped to revamp the Oilers prospects, with the likes of Samorukov, Yamamoto, Stuart Skinner, and Ostap Safin being players he has had a say in drafting. It will always be fair to question what say Gretzky had in a number of the pro moves that the Oilers made while Chiarelli was in charge, but Keith has done very well when focused on prospects and development; an area that Ken Holland clearly finds important as well.

In an interview yesterday with Jason Gregor, Keith Gretzky discussed the importance of development, specifically using Puljujarvi and Yamamoto as examples of players that the Oilers rushed to pen into the lineup far too early. Clearly he has learnt from past mistakes and both he and Holland are on the same page moving forward as to how to develop players.

Having Gretzky in charge of Bakersfield in addition to his Assistant GM duties makes complete sense with this same line of thinking. Gretzky will have a great view of how the prospects are progressing, who should and should not be called up up to the NHL, and the areas of strength and weakness moving forward.

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WOODCROFT SIGNS EXTENSION

Today the Oilers announced that Jay Woodcroft has be re-upped as the coach of the Condors. Woodcroft did a phenomenal job with the team last season, finishing the year with a record of 42-21-3-2 and a strong playoff run. Last season saw a number of Oilers prospects flourish such as Tyler Benson who finished second in points of all rookies, and goaltender Shane Starrett who led the team to a 17 game winning streak in which he won 14 of the 17 games.

Woodcroft has been extended through to the end of the 2021/2022 season.
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