Episode 13

Published on:

16th Apr 2024

EP 13 Looking to Strike Oil with Ken Holland

The final week of the NHL regular season is here and the intense competition for playoff spots, particularly focusing on the battle among five teams for the last two spots in the Eastern Conference. 

The episode features an insightful interview with Ken Holland, President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Edmonton Oilers, discussing various aspects of his career, player development, and the Oilers' playoff prospects. 

Neil and Vic also explore whether teams actually need an elite goaltender to win the Stanley Cup, considering recent trends, and share their thoughts on the goalie tandems across the league. 

The episode concludes with The Human Side of the Story: Ken Holland, inducted into the Hall of Fame and former general manager of the Detroit Red Wings, and the tribute to David Carle, celebrating his success as the University of Denver's head coach and his remarkable journey in hockey.


  • [00:41] The Playoff Race Heats Up: Insights and Predictions
  • [01:54] One Timers: Hot Takes on NHL Stars and Playoff Drama
  • [03:57] The Arizona Coyotes Saga: Sale, Relocation, and Future Prospects
  • [07:32] Special Guest Ken Holland GM for the Edmonton Oilers
  • [08:04] Ken Holland's Career
  • [16:52] The Edmonton Oilers' Season
  • [24:17] Reclamation Projects and Building a Competitive Team
  • [28:25] Player Motivations and Team Dynamics
  • [29:49] Playoff Preparations and Strategies
  • [30:53] The Importance of Health and Depth in Playoff Success
  • [34:14] Connor McDavid’s Health Status and Historic Milestones
  • [36:31] Stu Skinner's Rise and Team Goaltending Strategy
  • [42:18] Reflecting on a Storied Career
  • [49:40] The Evolution of Goaltending and Playoff Dynamics
  • [55:33] Human Side of the Story- Ken Holland's Path to Success


  • Ken Holland shares a personal anecdote about his transition from playing hockey to scouting and eventually becoming a successful general manager, highlighting the unpredictability and resilience required in the sports industry.
  • The Oilers aimed to bolster their roster depth, particularly upfront, and on defense, through strategic acquisitions like Adam Henrique, Sam Carrick, and Troy Stecher, alongside earlier signing Corey Perry, to enhance their playoff prospects.
  • With only Corey Perry having won a Stanley Cup on the current roster, and a few others having played in the finals, the Oilers recognize the value of playoff experience and leadership, aiming to build a well-rounded team capable of making a deep playoff run.


Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgBj1LV0-DMfBhcRPSJZLjA

X: https://twitter.com/NHLWraparound

Neil Smith: https://twitter.com/NYCNeil

Vic Morren: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vic-morren-7038737/

NHL Wraparound Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/nhlwraparound/

NHL Wraparound Tik Tok:https://www.tiktok.com/@nhlwraparound


MeiGray is your source for Game-Worn jerseys. Head to MeiGray.com to get your collection started today. Get real, get it from MeiGray.



NHL Wraparound guests can take 10 percent off any hockey jersey when they order at meigray.com and use the COUPON CODE WRAP10

DUER: Upgrade your wardrobe and order your own pair of DUER jeans today!

20% off code- https://shopduer.com/NHLFAN


NHL and UBS Financial Services Inc. are not affiliated. UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS) is a sponsor of The Human Side of the Story.  No other affiliation, relationship or endorsement is made, suggested, intended or should be implied or inferred between UBS and Produce your Podcast, or any of the individuals or businesses, and/or their respective products and services appearing in this program.

The Nintzel Wealth Partners:  https://advisors.ubs.com/nintzelwealthpartners/

What is the primary focus of The Nintzel Wealth Partners? You, and what matters most to you. We see our relationship as an ongoing, ever-evolving collaboration. We make no assumptions about your wealth until we thoroughly talk through your priorities and your concerns. As a multigenerational team, our advice is relevant to clients at any age. Each of us brings the knowledge we’ve gained from every type of market. Looking back, we believe our experience offers our clients the benefit of perspective. But we are also modern thinkers whose guidance reflects today’s realities.

We recognize that you place your trust in our ability to help you achieve your goals, to create the right opportunities for you and your family and to plan confidently for the future. To us, there’s no greater honor. And without question, there’s no greater responsibility.

Our mission is to provide quality strategies customized to your needs. Our goal is to be your primary source of financial advice. To this end, we concentrate our efforts on developing long-term relationships through a commitment to quality client service.


Ken Holland was named President of Hockey Operations and General Manager of the Oilers on May 7, 2019. Holland joined the Oilers after serving as General Manager of the Detroit Red Wings for 22 seasons, capturing four Presidents Trophies (2002, 2004, 2006, 2008), 10 division championships (1991, 2001-2004, 2006-2009, 2011), five regular season conference titles (2002, 2004, 2006-08) and reaching 100 regular season points in 13 of his last 18 seasons.

A native of Vernon, B.C., Holland helped the Red Wings capture four Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008), the most recent three while serving as GM. Holland was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builder category as part of the Class of 2020.

#NHL #Hockey #Podcast #Sports #Broadcasting #StanleyCup #Coaching #Media #Management #ESPN #TNT #Playoffs #Championships #NeilSmith #VicMorren #KenHolland, EdmontonOilers #ConnorMcDavid #DetroitRedwings #PlayoffHockey

Listen for free

Show artwork for NHL Wraparound Podcast

About the Podcast

NHL Wraparound Podcast
Neil Smith & Vic Morren
Breadth and depth.
Contemporary and historical.
Straight-forward and experienced.
The NHL Wraparound podcast features Neil Smith, President-General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers and longtime ESPN/NHL veteran Vic Morren sharing no-nonsense opinions on news and issues around the National Hockey League.

Bringing decades of experience from their respective fields, Smith and Morren create a unique partnership that examines the NHL from multiple perspectives. Additionally, as hockey historians, the pair can delve into any topic in today’s game and enlighten the audience with connections to events from previous years. To truly appreciate where hockey stands today, one needs to understand its past.

With 2024 marking the 30th anniversary of the Rangers last championship season, a special five-part series is planned to commemorate that magical run. Expect fascinating behind-the-scenes stories and special guests with particular focus on the GM who pushed all of his chips into the middle of the table amidst the most pressurized environments – and came out on top.

Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned fan, each episode of NHL Wraparound will leave you entertained and informed.

Neil S. Smith, highly regarded NHL executive, served as the President and General Manager of the 1994 Stanley Cup Champion New York Rangers. During his eleven years with the team, they achieved significant success, including three division titles, two Presidents’ Trophies, one Eastern Conference Championship, and a historic Stanley Cup victory—the franchise’s first in 54 years.

Known for his expertise in professional sports franchise economics, Smith played a pivotal role in management decisions under four different Rangers owners.. His tenure saw iconic trades and acquisitions, including Hall of Famers Mark Messier and Wayne Gretzky, as well as successful drafts and free-agent signings.

Starting as a pro scout, Smith's career highlights include the impactful 1989 draft for the Detroit Red Wings and bold trades that shaped NHL history. He briefly served as GM for the New York Islanders in 2006, later working as a consultant for the Dallas Stars, Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.

A Toronto native, Smith's hockey journey began in junior leagues before a distinguished college career at Western Michigan University. He has received numerous awards and distinctions, including induction into the University's Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.

Vic Morren: Born in New York City close to the Old Madison Square Garden, Vic Morren has had hockey in his blood his entire life as a fan, player and television production manager.

A graduate of William Paterson University, Morren skated for three seasons with the Pioneers hockey club and became the first statistical analyst to apply his craft to telecasts working New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils games from 1984-87. He co-authored two NHL-based statistics books within that span before moving to ESPN in 1987 and working the final season of the original deal the network had with the NHL.
After departing in 1990, Morren worked as a studio producer for SportsChannel America’s NHL coverage and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics before returning to ESPN that fall where he worked all 12 seasons on the second ESPN/NHL deal and the first season of the most recent contract in 2021-22. Morren has also earned a Sports Emmy for his work on Sunday Night Football coverage in 2003.

His relationship with Neil Smith dates back 33 years through their mutual friendship with the late ESPN/ABC commentator John Saunders. Morren looks forward to NHL Wraparound and collaborating with Smith with the goal to provide an experience of contemporary viewpoints, historical spin and an overall enriching podcast experience.