Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland joined Jason Gregor on TSN 1260 Friday and provided an update on rumors the Oilers have been speaking with forward Jesse Puljujarvi about a potential return.
Over the past 48 hours, there have been in-depth coverage of the comments from Pulujarvi towards his conference call with the Oilers and this interview with Holland offers a team perspective that is important for fans who are split on whether or not they’d like to see the former fourth-overall draft pick return.
Holland noted that around this time last year, he was informed Puljujarvi had no desire to play for the Oilers. The agent and the player were keen on getting a fresh start elsewhere. Things have changed in that regard as Holland says of their conversations now, “he is certainly talking a different tone.”
What Holland Told Pulujuarvi
Those following the situation already know that Puljujarvi said, “Never say never” when it comes to an Oilers return, but that he’s potentially looking to re-sign in Finland. The Oilers GM said his decision to do so last year wasn’t a waste.
“I told him on the conference call that in 10 years he will look back at his decision to go back to Finland and play and be happy about it. It allowed him to play a lot and regain confidence.”
That’s a savvy take from the GM.
This situation had gotten public and quite ugly over the past year and that Holland has been able to turn Puljuarvi’s leaving into a plus shows the markings of an astute and veteran GM.
Holland could have thrown Puljujarvi and his agent under the bus, but he didn’t. Instead of suggesting both had made a mistake by abandoning the team before they could get to know the new management and coaching team, Holland suggested this past season would be a great asset to him coming back, should he so choose.
Not Sure What He’ll Get If Puljujarvi Does Return
Holland knows that what Puljujarvi brings could be an asset for the Oilers as they try to navigate their way through a tricky salary cap situation next season. He likes the skill set and the idea of a bigger player on the wing.
That said, he’s not totally sure what Puljujarvi will be able to add or where he’ll play.
“Honestly I didn’t scout him much in his draft year. We weren’t drafting high. He is still a young player, and it is rare to find guys who are 6’4″ with skill. Most players don’t start to live up to expectations until they are 22 or 23 so we’ll see.”
- / 11 hours ago
In a situation that went from bad to good, but now good to worse,...
- / 16 hours ago
Often controversial New York Islanders forward Josh Ho-Sang has agreed to a one-year deal...
- / 1 day ago
The Carolina Hurricanes have swept the New York Rangers, making them the first team...
- / 2 days ago
Jake Muzzin fell awkwardly in Game 2 of the play-ins and was taken off...
- / 2 days ago
The Edmonton Oilers responded in Game 2 with a big win, evening the series...
- / 3 days ago
Despite holding a 1-0 series lead against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Montreal Canadiens are...