His late mom wanted him to be a vacuum cleaner salesman if hockey didn’t pan out.
Vernon’s Ken Holland, 64, has told that story numerous times as he worked his way into becoming one the game’s most successful general managers.
His hard work and dedication to hockey at the highest level were rewarded Wednesday, June 24, when it was announced by Hockey Hall of Fame chairman Lanny McDonald that Holland – current president of hockey operations and general manager of the Edmonton Oilers – has been elected to the Hall in the Builder category.
“I am incredibly humbled by this honour,” said Holland in a release issued by the Hockey Hall of Fame. “I am in this game because I loved it as a young man and I am happy to have been able to stay in the game.”
Holland began his post-playing career as a scout with the Detroit Red Wings in 1985. From there he moved up to the post of assistant general manager of the Red Wings, while also acting as GM of their American Hockey League affiliate.
Named the Detroit Red Wings’ GM in 1997, he spent 22 seasons in that post winning three Stanley Cup Championships. During his tenure in Detroit his team won more combined regular season and playoff games (1,044) than any other NHL franchise.
Holland joined the Oilers in May 2019. He was drafted as a goalie in the 12th round of the NHL draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1975. Holland played four NHL games for the Hartford Whalers and Red Wings between 1980 and 1984.
Five players were elected to the Hall Wednesday: Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, Kevin Lowe, Doug Wilson and women’s star Kim St. Pierre.
“The Hockey Hall of Fame is proud to welcome these hockey legends as Honoured Members,” said McDonald. “Their contributions to the game of hockey are well documented and their election to the Hockey Hall of Fame is richly deserved.”
The 2020 Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Celebration is tentatively scheduled on Monday, Nov. 16, in Toronto (preceded by the traditional slate of “Induction Weekend” events beginning on Friday, Nov. 13, including the annual “Hockey Hall of Fame Game” hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs).
Due to the continued fluidity of developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic (including the NHL’s Return to Play Plan, etc.), the Hall of Fame is not accepting ticket orders for the 2020 Induction events at this time.