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Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland thinks team is headed in right direction

Edmonton Oilers players celebrate the win over the Ottawa Senators during NHL action in Edmonton on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

With the Edmonton Oilers at the halfway point of the regular season, general manager Ken Holland is generally happy with the club’s 17-11 record.

“I like that we’ve found ways to win. I like that we had a tough three-game series against Toronto and then really dug in and found a way to grind out a win against Calgary Saturday night,” Holland explained.

“I think our goals against have come down recently. I feel like we’re trending in the right direction.”

Read more: Leon Draisaitl leads barrage for Edmonton Oilers against Sens

The Oilers have won 14 of 19 games since starting the season 3-6. They’re solidly in a playoff spot in the North Division, sitting second in points and fourth in points percentage.

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However, as Holland referenced, they were beaten soundly thrice last week by the first place Maple Leafs. With the trade deadline April 12, Holland explained what kind of player he’d be looking to add.

“I believe we’re deeper this year than we were last year,” explained Holland. “I feel good about our depth.

“If there’s a player out there that we think can go into our lineup more than depth, probably that would be something I would look at.”

Read more: Leon Draisaitl nets winner as Edmonton Oilers edge Sens 3-2

Holland also has one year on the long-term future of the team, including a potential new contract for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

The salary cap likely won’t increase for the next four seasons, which adds another challenging layer to contract negotiations.

“It’s trying to find a solution that works for the player and also makes good sense for the team,” said Holland.

“I would like to have him as part of our team going forward, but a deal has to make sense for both sides.”

Holland also announced that defenceman Oscar Klefbom will have shoulder surgery in Cleveland later this month, likely around March 20-25.

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