EDMONTON — Archie Henderson, the Director of Pro Scouting for the Edmonton Oilers, is retiring.
Henderson came over with general manager Ken Holland from the Detroit Red Wings when Holland arrived in Edmonton three seasons ago. On a team where the pro scouting had become nearly dysfunctional at the end of former GM Peter Chiarelli’s reign, under Holland and Henderson the pro acquisitions have become far more successful. The Oilers have climbed up the standings as a result.
Replacing Henderson will be a task for Holland. On a team with a roster of mostly older pro scouts, the one name that jumps out as a younger more progressive hire would be Brad Holland, Ken’s son.
Brad Holland is uber-qualified, but may be sought after by more than one team. Also, he has possibly reached the point in his career where setting out on his own would be more prudent than continuing to work under his father.
Henderson retires at age 65, a mountain of a man at six-foot-five 220-plus pounds. He was a tenth round draft pick in 1977 who played 23 NHL games in the ‘80s for Washington, Minnesota and Hartford, then went on to scout for the Capitals, Senators, Red Wings and Oilers.
Under Henderson’s watch the Oilers cobbled together a bunch of one-year deals for players like Gaetan Haas, Riley Sheahan, Joakim Nygard and Markus Granlund in Year 1, moving from 25th in the NHL overall standings to 12th. Edmonton finished 11th the following two seasons, but with the additions of players like Zach Hyman, Evander Kane, Cody Ceci, Duncan Keith and Brett Kulak went to the Western Conference Final this spring.
Henderson will stay with the Oilers through the coming NHL Entry Draft.