Dreger updates Oilers’ GM candidate search

It has been nearly six weeks since Peter Chiarelli was fired, and the “next phase” for the Oilers’ search for his replacement may take place within the next two weeks.

Darren Dreger had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s TSN 1260.

The Insider was asked about Bob Nicholson’s participation in the NHL General Managers meetings this week in Florida, and continuing to do the legwork that will lead the organization closer to finding its next GM.

Dreger’s cell phone connection for this particular hit wasn’t stellar.

“Bob has an interesting chair at these meetings,” noted Dreger. “Keith Gretzky is not here, so Bob Nicholson is in the meetings. He’s participating in the breakout groups, and he’s representing the Edmonton Oilers. So it’s unlikely that he’s going to hire anyone from this group, although Dave Nonis - who is the assistant general manager of the Anaheim Ducks - is here because Bob Murray is the general manager/head coach of the Anaheim Ducks, so Nonis is here occupying that post.

“But this gives Nicholson an interesting and rare perspective. He can see these guys work in that environment, and he can see first-hand some of the communications and some of the conversations that take place and how much they study and want to improve the game. But away from the meetings, of course he’s picking their brains. He’s looking at the structure of successful organizations and he’s gleaning as much intel as he possibly can.

“I’m going to update this story on Insider Trading on TSN tonight… and I’ll give you a taste here. I expect that the timeline is probably the next 10-14 days where Nicholson starts to finally reach out, seek permission, from some of the candidates, and there could be as many as 10 on this list.

“We know Kelly McCrimmon. We know Dave Nonis. Obviously Keith Gretzky is going to be on that list, and deserves to be on that list. There are some other interesting ones. Sean Burke comes to mind. I believe he’ll get a sit-down interview. Mike Futa from the Los Angeles Kings is another one. Of course Mark Hunter, he’ll be contacted. And on and on it goes.

“... Now whether or not teams grant permission is another issue altogether, but I expect the process will kind of jump into the next phase in the next 10 days-to-two weeks.”