Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson says new GM search will be long process

The Hockey Night in Canada panel discuss all the news and rumors around the NHL including some interesting names in the NCAA to keep and eye on.

Bob Nicholson, the Edmonton Oilers CEO, is in no rush to hire a new, full-time general manager for his team.

After relieving Peter Chiarelli of his duties in January, Nicholson seems content to take his time with the process.

“The best way to put it is that Bob Nicholson is still in information-gathering mode,” said Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston during the ‘Headlines’ segment of Hockey Night in Canada. “Down at the general managers meetings he had some lengthy conversations with various people in hockey and it sounds like, if anything, his list is growing instead of shrinking at this point in terms of potential candidates.”

Among the list of applicants Nicholson could be mulling over is Keith Gretzky, the man he currently has at the helm of the Oilers on an interim basis. Gretzky has appeared to impress so far and figures to be a big piece of Edmonton’s future.

“I think the organization is very comfortable with where they’re at with interim GM Keith Gretzky,” said Johnston. “Don’t be surprised if this goes on for some period of time while they work through all the various things that have to happen before they make a full-time hire.”

Added Elliotte Friedman about Gretzky: “I think he will be part of this process and I think the organization does consider him to be a very valuable piece of where they’re going.”

And in case there was any fear that Nicholson might decide to jump ship while the Oilers once again go through a period of transition, have no fear about that, Friedman says — he’s dedicated to righting things in Edmonton.

“There were some rumblings that he was going to potentially move on, maybe look for another position within international hockey,” said Friedman. “He said that that’s not the message he wants to send. He believes this is an important time to be part of the organization and that he wants to be part of the solution. He’s not looking to go anywhere.”

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