Edmonton Oilers have their man
Ken Holland named Oilers GM and President of Hockey Operations
Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) announced today the hiring of Ken Holland as General Manager and President of Hockey Operations of the Edmonton Oilers
In this role, Holland will oversee all hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers with full autonomy, reporting directly to OEG CEO Bob Nicholson.
“The Edmonton Oilers are excited to welcome Ken Holland to the organization,” said Nicholson. “Ken’s experience as a hockey executive and NHL general manager is unmatched, and his arrival is an important step to the Oilers achieving the success we all want for the team. I look forward to working with Ken and he will have full autonomy over all aspects of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.”
“I am very happy to be joining the Edmonton Oilers,” said Holland. “I believe we can build something special in Edmonton and I look forward to putting a plan in place to make the Oilers a consistently successful team.”
Holland, 63, was the general manager of the Detroit Red Wings for the past 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, BC, Holland helped the Red Wings capture four Stanley Cup championships (1997, 1998, 2002, 2008), the most recent three while serving as general manager.
Over his time as general manager with the Red Wings, Holland guided the team to more combined regular-season and post-season wins (1,044) than any other NHL franchise. The Red Wings reached the playoffs for his first 19 seasons as general manager, giving the organization 25 consecutive seasons in the NHL post-season (1990-2016).
Prior to taking over as general manager of the Red Wings in 1997, Holland served in a number of different roles within the organization, including as assistant general manager (1994-97), general manager of the Red Wings’ American Hockey League affiliate (1994-97), amateur scouting director (1987-94) and western scout (1985-87).
Internationally, Holland has served on several management staffs for Hockey Canada, winning gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
As a goaltender, he was drafted by Toronto in the 12th round, 188th overall, in the 1975 NHL Entry Draft, reaching the NHL for four games with Hartford and Detroit. Holland retired as a player after the 1984-85 season, transitioning soon afterwards into scouting.
Holland played two seasons of junior hockey with the Medicine Hat Tigers from 1973-75 and later resided in the city from 1985-1994 working as a Western Canadian scout for the Red Wings.
Holland and his wife Cindy have four children: Brad, Julie, Rachel and Greg.
‘It doesn’t feel real’: uneral held in Edmonton for mother, child killed in stabbing
Carolann Robillard, 35, and her child Sara Miller, 11, who had started using the first name Jayden, pose in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vanessa Carlin
By Ritika Dubey in Edmonton
Dozens of people gathered at a church Wednesday to bid an emotional farewell to a mother and her child who were stabbed to death outside an Edmonton school earlier this month.
Carolann Robillard, 35, and 11-year-old Sara Miller, who had recently started using the first name Jayden, were killed in what police said was a random attack outside Crawford Plains School on May 5.
Those who attended the funeral at Sacred Heart Church of the First Peoples, northeast of downtown Edmonton, donned T-shirts with a photo of the mother and child. Attendees embraced each other ahead of the service
Robillard’s sister, Amanda Robillard, said purple was her sibling’s favourite colour. She said a community member donated pins with a purple ribbon for the funeral to honour Robillard and Jayden.
With a blend of Indigenous traditions and Catholic practices, their caskets were carried inside the church as the hall resounded with Cree drums and singing, with the scent of sage lingering in the air.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Amanda Robillard said. “(Carolann) cared about her kids. She was a great mother.”
Robillard was studying to become a teacher’s assistant, the sister said in her eulogy.
“Carolann will be remembered for her continuous dancing, her deadly auntie laugh, her big dimples and her beautiful outlook on life,” she said.
She added that Jayden had a “huge heart” and loved everyone.
“(He needed) to make others feel accepted, he made sure to seek out the new janitor at school simply to tell him, ‘Thank you for what you do.'”
He also aspired to become a professional basketball player, Amanda Robillard said.
She said their deaths “tore our family apart.”
Police have said the man who killed Robillard and Jayden had been facing assault charges for allegedly attacking a man on a scooter. The charges were stayed two days before the mother and child were stabbed.
Officers shot the man during an altercation with him shortly after the stabbings. He died in the hospital five days later.
Police have said the 33-year-old was the sole person responsible for the deaths. Since he was incapacitated in the hospital and later died, police said they won’t be naming the killer or laying any charges against him.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police watchdog, is investigating the shooting.
Investigators have said the killer was known to police, had mental health issues and a record of assaulting children.
After the funeral Wednesday, Robillard’s brother questioned the security at the school.
“We don’t know how long he was sitting at that park … Schools need to change, security-wise,” George Robillard told reporters outside the church.
On the day of the stabbing, Jayden and his eight-year-old sister had walked home from school but could not get inside, police have said.
They walked back to the school to meet their mother when they were attacked. The eight-year-old escaped but witnessed the stabbings.
Robillard was a single mother of three and her two surviving children are being raised by Robillard’s sister and mother.
During the funeral Wednesday, Katti Holmes, Robillard’s best friend, described her as the life of the party.
“The day I found out about her (death) was my birthday,” Holmes said of her friend of eight years.
“She was supposed to be there.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2023.
Suspect in Alberta slaying of mother and child has mental health issues: police
Family and friends console each other at a vigil for a mother and an 11-year-old child who were killed outside a school in Edmonton on Saturday May 6, 2023. Police say the suspect in a fatal double stabbing outside an Edmonton school has a history of mental health issues and has been charged multiple times in the last decade with assaulting minors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
By Angela Amato in Edmonton
Police say a man suspected of randomly stabbing a woman and her child to death outside an Edmonton school has mental health issues and was charged multiple times over the last decade with assaulting minors.
“The system, once again, failed,” police Chief Dale McFee told reporters Monday.
McFee said the suspect had been in and out of custody on various charges since 2009, including the random assault of a 12-year-old at a transit station last year.
He was also arrested last month after a person was attacked on a scooter, said McFee. The man was released on conditions and the charges were later stayed.
McFee said there is no making sense of the killings.
“”Our deepest sympathies are with the families that are impacted by this event. Many communities are hurting today. This happened on a school property where students and families now carry trauma.”
Family members identified the victims as Carolann Robillard, 35, and Sarah Miller, who had recently started using the first name Jayden. Robillard was a single Cree mother with two other children.
They were attacked around suppertime Friday outside Crawford Plains School in southeast Edmonton.
McFee said Jayden and an eight-year-old sister had walked home from school but could not get inside. They walked back to the school to meet their mother, and they were attacked.
The younger child escaped but witnessed the stabbings.
“In no way could the victims have anticipated what would happen to them,” said McFee.
Police allege the suspect had earlier attempted to enter the school but was prevented from doing so.
“We give full credit to the school administration for following protocols,” said McFee. “This could’ve been a larger tragedy than it is today.”
“I also want to give credit to heroic actions of a teacher that may have prevented further loss (of) life.”
Police shot the suspect during an altercation shortly after finding the victims. McFee said the man is on life support in hospital. His name has not been released.
“Regrettably, this incident clearly shows the intersection between health care and the justice system and how gaps in our current services and supports can result in far-reaching tragedy,” said McFee.
“There were multiple intervention points, multiple opportunities to hold the suspect accountable and provide him the professional support required to manage his behaviour.”
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police met with premiers last month about bail reform, mandatory mental health assessments for violent offenders and better co-ordinated justice and mental health supports.
“This can’t continue to go on,” said McFee “We’re lacking accountability in the system, and the reality is these are the discussions that we need to have going forward.”
McFee said police have no reason to believe the attack was racially motivated.
Autopsies for the mother and child are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.
Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the killings are difficult to comprehend.
“My heart is heavy for their family, loved ones, friends and our entire community,” he wrote on Twitter. “I know that it is also frightening for the community to hear that this was a random attack.”
He said the city would be providing support that includes a safe space for community members to discuss what happened and mental health resources.
Sohi also offered support to the Edmonton Public School Board and thanked first responders who took the call.
“I cannot imagine how difficult this was for you, so thank you for working hard to keep our community safe.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2023.
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