Peter Chiarelli shouldn’t worry much about improving the Oilers for this season

Peter Chiarelli4

This is not the time for the Edmonton Oilers to be looking for a big, season-saving trade. Instead, it’s almost certainly time for Peter Chiarelli to grit the teeth and once more look to next year, as his predecessors in the big general manager’s chair have done before him.

Edmonton currently sits at 8-15-2 on the season. To match the pace of last year’s Calgary Flames—the final qualifier for a playoff spot in the West in 2014-15—the Oilers would need to go 37-15-5 the rest of the way. Even with McDavid, goaltending and a Justin Schultz-for-Travis Hamonic trade, that doesn’t seem a particular plausible.

That’s not to say that Chiarelli should turn his nose up at a good deal if one comes his way, but the short-term ramifications should be secondary. The real goal here is to make Edmonton a better team for next season, and the window for big moves which accomplish that is more likely to come in the summer than at the trade deadline.

For now, it’s all about preparation, clearing away salary and securing whatever assets are available.

Forwards

93-RNH-9

Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are all on pricey multi-year contracts. We can debate the wisdom of dealing any of that trio, but if one or more is dealt it will be in the summer. There isn’t a trade out there that’s going to make sense for Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl is also close to a non-starter.

Benoit Pouliot doesn’t quite make his way into that quintet because his $4.0 million cap hit might be digestible at the deadline, but given his five-on-five scoring ability (like Eberle he’s scored 1.94 points/hour at evens over the least three-plus seasons) and the way his size and aggressive play fit with the team it’s my view that the Oilers would be nuts to deal him.

Players on shorter deals fall into a few different categories. Nail Yakupov would likely have some value, but if dealt again probably makes more sense in the summer rather than as a sell-for-futures move. Matt Hendricks might have value, too, though the Oilers might rather keep him around given what he brings to the table. Mark Letestu isn’t exactly having a banner season and Lauri Korpikoski has been an unmitigated disaster.

16-Purcell-1

Of the rest, the only player who really stands out is Teddy Purcell. He’s on an expiring deal and he’s playing well, but he’s also likely replaceable via free agency. I’ve argued that the team should cash-in on him and feel the same now. Unless fellow UFA Rob Klinkhammer comes back soon and makes some noise, that might be the only deal up front that makes sense for Edmonton at the deadline.

The Back End

77-Klefbom-1

I’d be very surprised if the Oilers had any interest in moving Darnell Nurse or Oscar Klefbom at all, and certainly not at the trade deadline. Andrej Sekera is another pricey multi-year contract and certainly won’t be in play until the summer and probably should not and will not be then either. It makes little sense to trade Brandon Davidson given the likely return, and Griffin Reinhart isn’t the kind of guy buyers are looking for at the deadline (if it even makes sense to trade him).

Of the veterans, most lack real value. Andrew Ference isn’t going anywhere, and if Nikita Nikitin does there won’t be much of a return. I’m skeptical that Mark Fayne’s moveable in-season; he has two years left on his deal after this one at a pretty decent price-point and I’d wager his value as part of the team is considerably higher than his value in trade.

That leaves two names on defence. Eric Gryba is a tough-as-nails veteran depth piece; that always has value at the deadline and given the number of entry-level defencemen currently in the system it makes no sense for Edmonton to keep him.

19-Schultz-9

Justin Schultz is the most interesting name on the list to me. He’s going to cost almost $4.0 million to qualify. He’s an offensive defenceman and a potential No. 4 in the here-and-now, and he’s on an expiring deal, all of which means he’ll have value at the trade deadline. A trade is an opportunity for the Oilers to both rid themselves of a summer salary cap headache, add to their assets in the here-and-now and open up a roster spot for a much-needed legitimate top-four right-shooting defenceman.

In net, we’ll just have to see what happens. Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson are both on expiring deals, with the former unrestricted and the latter restricted; we’ll need to see more games from both to have a good idea of what an optimal Oilers summer strategy looks like.

Trades involving Purcell, Schultz, Gryba and possibly one or two others should stock up the Oilers’ cupboard of picks, allowing them the flexibility to move multiple selections at the summer draft. The loss of those salaries and others will open up cap space for Edmonton to be aggressive in pursuit of both trade targets and free agents, and potentially to take on salary in a bigger deal involving one of the team’s biggest names.

The remainder of this season from a management perspective is all about preparation. The real work of improving the team will be done in the summer.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS



  • workashardasSmyth

    no knee jerk reactions like trading hopkins. #14 maby or davidson (he seems to have value now) but think it through P.C. dealing from a point of weakness is fine but don’t be retarded about it

  • Cain

    The goal is to make us a better team now , not next year ! Chia had ample time to fascilitate trades and rid the team of some bad contracts . He did none of that ! We are still in sight of playoffs in Pacific division if he was faster at doing something to help make team better . He has done nothing ! Why wait till next year , for another first overall draft pick ? Then the team has decided to tank already , and that attitude makes one sick to even contemplate . Patience it seems is just an excuse for incompetence and tardiness.

      • Cain

        If the Oilers win the next 9 games in a row they will be at 0.500 (17 wins and 17 losses). Even then they’re not going to make the playoffs playing .500 hockey. Need to get about 94 points which is over .500. Currently on pace for 59 points. Looks like they’ll miss by about 17 wins.

    • When they opted to absorb Nikitin’s cap hit entirely this year it signaled that this isn’t the year to win. It sucks, but rather than buy out him and our other bad contracts and penalise our cap hit for years PC opted to take our medicine now and just get over all of those bad contracts “quickly” so we can have money to keep our good players.

      It never was about winning now. That’s why all this McJesus talk was a bad idea. McDavid is a great player but he ain’t saving us, even when healthy. The first step to our salvation is removing the bad contracts and management’s, and it is a painful procedure. But… No more old boys club, and soon we will shed the bad contracts. Then we can finally have a level playing field again rather than having over 11% of our cap in Ference and Nikitin.

      And props to Andrew Ference getting that NMC. That was a savvy, savvy move.

    • Hemmercules

      The goal for any GM is to make their team better. Dont think Chia is just sitting there in his office every day not doing anything, trades are hard to make in the NHL, this isn’t trading hockey cards in the school yard at recess.

      Chia basically said himself when he was hired that it would be a process that wouldn’t just flip into a playoff team instantly. Like it or not this is Chia’s time to evaluate the players he was given. Its easy to say “buy them out, they suck” but you have to look at the bigger picture.

      Anyone with half a brain should have known the oilers weren’t going to be storming into the playoff this season so why buy out Nikitin and Ference and handcuff the team with wasted cap space for a couple years?? There was also the possibility that Ference and Nikintin would be decent enough to be depth defensemen or bottom pairing guys.

      I think by now Chia probably has a good idea of what he has with most of the guys in the system and he will start making calculated decisions on each and every one of them. Nikitin will be off the books or traded by seasons end, Ference will likely be bought out or traded be seasons end. Oilers fans hate to hear it, but it takes time. Chia has had about 5 months which really isn’t very long.

      As awesome as it was to hire guys with winning experience like Chia and Tmac, it also signalled somewhat of a new rebuild was coming and thats exactly what we are getting. Changing coaches, Gms and half the team every year isn’t a recipe for success. I want to see most of this team, coaches and GM stay together for a decent period of time for once, even if it means losing of a bit longer. Sucks but life isn’t fair.

      • The Future Never Comes

        Sounds like I could make a lot of money selling you stuff! Sucker born every minute…

        How many moves has Chia made so far? How many have worked out???

        • Hemmercules

          I thought signing Sekera and getting Talbot were good moves. There were other teams gunning for those guys so its not like he took bottom of the barrel players there. Missed out on Hamiton but not for lack of trying, hard to make a big deal with a team that just canned you. I think he tried for Hamonic but settled on Reinhart, not looking like the best move yet but maybe that one pans out down the road. As for the other guys he picked up, not so great but sometimes you take what you can get I guess. The 29 other teams in the NHL aren’t dying to send their best payers to the Oilers for draft picks and depth payers so I’m not feeling too shocked about his moves so far. I do think evaluation time is over and moves will start being made before the deadline.

          As for the Oilers selling me stuff, I haven’t payed a single dime to the oilers via merchandise or game tickets since the very second Mact returned as GM and canned Krueger for Eakins. That was it for me. I have donated only my time since then.

  • The Future Never Comes

    Well the summer months start now I guess, looking to next October again and it’s December 2nd. What lucky fans we are, thank you Oilers this is so much fun!

  • Oilfan69

    When Chia chose not to buy out Nikitin and Purcell last summer he signalled that he was looking toward next year. I think there will be some major moves in the upcoming off season. In season moves of significance re rare.

    • 24% body fat

      How are we to get reasonable value in a trade with our club firmly in the basement all year ? We are not going to get it , and values will only get worse staying as we are over course of year .

    • bradleypi

      So by your logic Chiarelli sat on his hands this summer because he could see into the future and has a whole bunch of trades that are all magically gonna happen because you say so? I’m with madjam on this one. Chiarelli did nothing this summer but hope McDavid would fix this mess and trade our best defensive center for magic beans. What are some of these major moves you see in the future that couldn’t have happened last summer or in season?

        • bradleypi

          I’m not. You blatantly stated that Chiarelli was “looking towards next year”. Those are your words not mine. What did you mean by that? We all know how contracts work. They expire. You made it sound like there’s some master plan and he knows exactly what moves he’s gonna make.

    • bradleypi

      Ya…. cause ference sitting in the press box is the problem that ails the oilers. Yeesh! Give it a rest already. Chiarelli had his chance to buy him out in the summer so complaining about him being here is no one’s fault but the gms.

  • Axiv

    Potential trade proposals:

    1. RNH + Schultz + 3rd Round Pick to COL for Duchene + Barrie (taking on 0.7 million in salary)

    2. RNH to CBJ for Johansen (CBJ will be taking on 2 million in salary, will need to make another move or include a player for draft pick to even up salary)

    For the record, I would only entertain trading RNH if an established center is coming back. I like our new-found center depth, and don’t want to get rid of it. However, I believe our core needs a shake-up. Colorado and Columbus probably wouldn’t be opposed to an equal-value shake-up either.

    Personally, I would prefer to trade Eberle long before RNH, but neither of these deals would happen from the other side’s perspective if Eberle is swapped in for RNH.

    Bring on dem trashes!

  • Anton CP

    Eberle has 3 points in 12 games, Chiarelli’s not gonna get anything for him now. May as well wait until the trade deadline, put him on Connor MD’s line and pump up his stats then trade him for soemone larger and who has some grit. Eberle is the “softest” player in the NHL. Offensively skilled but WAY too soft. I’d keep Yak, at least he knows how to take the body. IMO

      • 24% body fat

        Eberle has never been a winner. His clutch performances in two games on a stacked Canadian team as an overager was so long ago. What has he done since. He will gt destroyed in the playoffs. But we win never know because as long as he is on the team we will not make the playoffs.

        Look at all his years in junior and as a pro. His teams sucks. Losing culture starts with him now that the 08 roster has been turned over.

      • Cain

        Based on junior performances, really?

        That was 6 (six) years ago,against junior skill level players.

        Eberle gets 6 (six) million dollars a year.

        He is a good complimentary player if he has someone to do the dirty work for him.He has great hands, and can finish the play after the heavy work has been done.

        He is NOT a driver and would do well on a larger, more aggressive team. On this small team, he is only part of the problem.

      • Delete

        Where was Mr. Clutch when the Oilers needed a goal against Toronto the other night?

        Didn’t want to use up his goal quota in case those goals are needed come playoff time?

        Does he continue to let everyone else to the heavy work to get him into post-season play so he can unleash the awesome?

    • smith

      Ebs is returning from injury, and probably not 100%. He has proven to be a consistent performer over the years. I think he still has more points than Hall, since they both came into the league. You don’t flush a player when he has a bad 10 games, especially when he is coming off an injury. Hall has gone through the same thing, playing sub par when coming off an injury. I think patience is the key right now, and based on Chiarelli’s interview, I think he agrees.

      This year is not the year we are going to win the cup, so lets give this team a full year to develop, and see where we are at the end of the year, when hopefully everyone is healthy. Then we can assess where we are and what we need going forward. Personally, at this point, I think getting some good 3rd line players would help this team more then anything at this point.

      For defense, Buy out Ference, so we can get Reinhart up full time. We will also need to replace Purcell ( or resign him at 1/2 of what he is making now)

      Hall-RNH-Draisaitl
      Pouliot-Mcdavid-Ebs

      Is good for top 6.
      Bottom 6 is a bit of a mess.
      3rd line
      Hendricks-???-???
      Lander-Letestu-Pak/Klink

      Defense.. We are so weak on the right side it is silly. I don’t really like any of our RD’s. Sekera, Nurse and Klefbom are good enough for me, but I would trade any of the rest of them to bring in some better RD’s. Davidson(love him but we need some better righty’s), Schultz, Gryba, Fayne, Ference(lol), Nikitin, Reinhart. I would package them up (together and with picks) and trade them away to bring in some better RD’s. Reinhart + 1st round pick for Seth Jones? Maybe try shopping Yak + Schultz too.

      Sekera-???
      Nurse-???
      Klefbom-???

  • 24% body fat

    Getting tired of hockey season being over in late November/early December. its like the off season starts now…as in “turn this crappy game off”

  • CMG30

    Depressing but logical argument. PC made the decision last summer to clear away dead wood to enable big moves in 2016. We said in the summer that there was no way he could get it all done in one season. Still, I didn’t think we’d see the Oil in last place again.

    In no way do I feel that the Oil should tank this season. The rest of this year needs to be used to get experience to the young D, and to get McLellans style embedded throughout the lineup. Besides, as Drisitle shows, there’s plenty of talent in the bottom 5-10. No need to finish last. Grow a culture of winning!

      • At the point when a general manager actually has a competent summer.

        Peter Chiarelli’s hands were tied somewhat this past summer, but look at the newcomers and tell me which is moving the needle right now:

        • Sekera
        • Talbot
        • Gryba
        • Reinhart
        • Letestu
        • Korpikoski

        Of that list, I count one guy – Sekera, who was necessary just to replace Petry. Maybe Talbot turns it around. Maybe Reinhart pays off down the road. But this team didn’t really get better last summer. That was the window to make a move.

        My guess at the time was that Chiarelli was looking at the bad deals that would be coming off the books and viewing this season as a reset year. That’s still my suspicion.

    • Harry2

      I agree. It makes me sick. Its bad enough that the wroters are preaching this garbage but when I read that fans agree with it I just want to jump of a bridge.

      My favourite quote from the article is “there isnt a trade out there thats going to make sense for Connor McDavid”. Unfreakin believable!! Is that even worth writing?

      First the Reinhart gem yeaterday now this. Your on a roll JW

      • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

        You’re saying you’d trade McDavid? THE Connor McDavid? You saw how he singlehandedly dismantled entire teams before he was injured, yes? After 13 NHL games?

        JW is correct here. There is no player out there I’d trade McDavid for. Hall, Nuge, Ebs, sure. I’d trade Nurse and Leon before trading McDavid. Crosby, Weber, Price, Malkin, Keith, Toews. I wouldn’t trade McDavid for any of them.

        All that being said – in my eyes, the core now consists of McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse and Klefbom. Hall is right there as well. I’m a huge Hall fan, but if Hall+ gets you a #1 D man, I’d pull the trigger.

        McDavid? Never.

      • bradleypi

        I agree with it only because I knew at the end of preseason when Chiarelli assembled at best an ahl defense, that he wasn’t serious about competing this year. And the trade of gordon for korpikoski was a clear sign that he felt no urgency. Not sure why everyone is surprised they are where they are especially after McDavid went down. Did you actually think McLellan was gonna raise this team out the ashes like a phoenix? This was easy to see coming right off the bat.

  • forsoothed

    I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said here. Problem is, the same thing has been said each year and the ‘big trade that can only happen in the off-season’ never comes.

    My cynicism is showing, but I don’t see how the Oil break out of their endless cycle of draft-high-then-cant-trade-young-players-with-such-huge-potential. Like, at SOME point the scales have to tip? Right???

  • Cain

    Time to talk draft seeing as we are throwing away season . I would like the two towers of power at 6 ft .4in. on RW and LW . That being the Finns P.Laine and Pujujaarvi . I see we have no second rounder again for next season due to changes .

    • JDP

      This organization has no balls…..they can only pick #1 overall in the draft but can’t pull the trigger on a decent trade. So many comments about the teams losing culture but yet you want the bacterial waste just to progress for another long year!

      • JDP

        My point here(which was obviously missed by you when taking your pills) is that the appropriate people are to make decisions. Not armchair GMS like we have been used to.

  • Danglishish

    Agree 100% with this post.

    As depressing as it is to acknowledge that the rest of the year is basically a waste, at least this year we’ll be able to watch #97 come back in January and produce jaw-dropping performances on the regular. That’s more than we’ve had here in a long, long time.

    Looking forward to summer…. again.

  • A-Mc

    Totally crazy article.

    The ONLY goal of a professional sports team is to win the next game. If the management is not committed to that, stop going to the games there is LOTS of entertaining hockey played in local arenas all around Alberta.

    If we have a culture of not doing everything possible to win the next game, what good pro hockey player will give up his one chance at free agency to come here without an overpayment?

    If we have a culture of not doing everything possible to win the next game, what good pro would waive their no move clause to come here?

    Why would our best players ride out their prime hockey years in this culture?

    • JDP

      Exactly…..its so much fun to lose. This article duplicates the past and hopefully not current management style. Lets just sleep on it…..no frigging thank you.

    • cpetruk

      The goal isn’t to win the next game—the goal is to win the Stanley Cup. THAT is the only goal, for the players, coaches and management.

      To do that you need to build a team. Chiarelli has been handcuffed with terrible contracts from the previous management team but a lot of that dead weight is gone next summer. Cap space will open up. Roster spots will open up. Many of the overpays of MacT/Lowe will be gone.

      While it’s important to win “the next game” that is a shortsighted view.

      • Danglishish

        Wanna know how you win the Stanley cup?? By winning the next game!! If you win the next game enough, eventually you win the cup. It’s called learning how to win

      • Cain

        PC made lots of free will choices this off-season, and the league rules allow him many options to free the team of bad contracts.

        I agree the goal is to win the Stanley Cup… I would like to point out the evidential Stanley Cup winner are the last team “to win the next game”

  • vetinari

    Let’s be realistic for a second and not treat the real NHL like a video game: a new GM always wants time to evaluate his current roster and farm team before making any “bold” moves.

    Chiarelli’s only fault with player contracts, in my opinion, is that he didn’t rid himself of one or both of Ference and Nikitin in the offseason by any means necessary. If he can somehow trade one or both of them this season, even if it is only for a 7th rounder or another like valued expiring contract expiring at the end of the year, would be a bonus.

    Bringing in Talbot and Nilsson were reasonable gambles with Scrivens battling them both.

    He’ll likely do what you would expect over the next few months:

    1. stay the course and let McLellan get his systems set up with the current core group of players;

    2. dump contracts at the deadline (Purcell, Schultz and any other expiring UFAs and RFAs) for picks;

    3. collect our likely top 5 pick for the draft;

    4. go shopping at the draft and on July 1st for trades and UFA that make sense.

    By September 2016, I expect 3-4 new faces in the forward ranks; 1-2 new faces on defence; and at least one new goalie.

    I also expect two out of Schultz, Eberle, RNH or Yakupov to be moved for help at defence and for physical forwards. Sorry if it is your favorite that gets traded but if Gretzky and Messier can be traded, then damn near anyone can be on the block.

  • Chaz

    Something tells me Six rings and Mac have to much say in this team.Many people are tuning out this team .Daryl should be hiding his head in the sand like an ostrich.Tying the league record for playoff futility completely unacceptable. Slats had balls to trade.Two months in and were talking next season already Really?
    Bobby Orr group better do AN INTERVENTION ONCE AGAIN.Orr has Hall and Mcdavid in his stable I am 100 % positive he doesnt like what he sees.The only reason we had changes was April 18 and Mr Orr.Daryl wakey wakey .The Eskimos made us proud time for the Oilers to follow suit.

  • Mike Krushelnyski

    When will this cycle stop? Every Summer the team makes some small moves and everyone raises expectations that “they will be better”.

    December comes and the team still blows but articles such as these come out suggesting “focus on next year”. Over and over and over again its been the same thing.

    It’s time to focus on this year, not next. Stop thinking of Auston Matthews, make a trade to improve this season so the team has something to build on for next year.

  • bradleypi

    Hey JW. Im with you that it’s time to look to next year as well. What are your thoughts on if the oilers trade nuge that the plan would be to replace him with Austin Mathews? I mean I know it’s voodoo to talk about another 1st overall pick around here but doesn’t it make sense that IF you can fill one hole by trading nuge, you could fill the hold left by nuge with a guy on an entry level contract for 3 years? And I hear that Mathews kid is supposed to be pretty good with size. Kind of Chiarellis type? Or no? I mean I know thd last thing the oilers organization and fans don’t want to pick 1st overall again but really this would be Chiarellis 1st true 1st overall that he earned….

    • AJ88

      I am actually to the point of dealing next years #1 pick even though it could easily be #1 overall. It should land you a top Dman from somebody like Nashville and it may save some face when the league institutes an “Oiler” rule on number of #1 overall picks a team can have. I truly believe the Oilers are going to trade it when teams realize they have a good shot at Mathews.

      • bradleypi

        Is it honestly possible for the league to make such a rule tho? I agree that trading the pick would be ideal but can’t nuge also be packaged for that dman? Would definitely save the oilers some cash in the here and now (meaning next year) to add to the bottom 6…

        • AJ88

          Yep, I think the league would have to implement some sort of rule if the Oilers were again lottery winners. They need the marquee players in the big markets to ensure growth. You have jumped on the trade RNH bandwagon, based only on this last road trip? Do you honestly think Drai is a better keeper than RNH based on less than 20 games in 2015? Huge, huge gamble….Maybe Drai fetches you more on the trade market.

          • AJ88

            Never ever want to trade Nuge. I believe RNH would be one of the most respected players within his peers, those are not the guys you get rid of. Nuge would be the guy I would be asking what the hell is going on if I were GM. There is obviously something much deeper in that dressing room that needs rectifying. And that includes Tmc as well. Can you imagine having the number of coaches they have had, different styles, different systems, different linemates,etc. I can see why players may have trouble buying in, it is going to take some more time to get the ship in order after years of mass confusion.

  • smith

    I’m so, so tired of hearing that the Oilers will/should fix their problems at a later date (ie. the summer)…and then summertime comes and deadening silence follows because the latest iteration of management has fallen in love with their hot young talent.

    JW, not saying you are wrong…just saying its the same movie over and over.

    Anyway, enough bellyaching from me. My question: I’m curious to get your thoughts on the comparison between Davidson and Schultz. To me, they represent similar players. If the choice is to move the one with more upside (but as we see on a nightly basis, less “heart”), or the relatively unknown (who seems full to the brim on “character”), the choice is obvious.

    Am I wrong in seeing the two as similar players (size, skill set, position in the depth chart)?

    • bradleypi

      You clearly don’t see them as “similar players” tho. Why would anyone want the heartless,cowardly jultz as you pegged him when they could have the full of character Davidson? Seems like a pretty easy choice to me….why is it even a decision for the oilers who to keep if Schultz is such a waste of roster space? Yeesh. Classic oilersnation.

      • bradleypi

        I do, in fact, see them as similar players. My post is pretty obvious in that regard.

        I was curious if Willis viewed them as similar, since I would consider his knowledge of hockey as superior to mine.

        You’ve also misinterpreted my post as claiming Schultz is worthless (“why would anyone want the heartless, cowardly jultz”)…which, again, is a misread on your part.

        I am, however, saying that the two players are similar and given a choice, I would move the one with potentially more name name recognition.

        Try not to make mountains out of molehills.

        • bradleypi

          Lol. I’m not the one making a mountain. You did by claiming that Schultz has no heart and Davidson is full of character. Do you know these guys personally to make such claims against them? Just getting tired at people taking personal shots at players on here and making accusations just to get cheers. Pretty classless.

  • TKB2677

    I wasn’t foolish enough to think the Oilers were going to make the playoffs this year. What I hoped for the team was for them to climb the ladder and be “in the hunt”. Being in the hunt means having enough points where there is a chance, even if it’s a small chance to make it so games after Christmas mean something. Not the situation they have been in for years and seemingly falling into that that same situation this year where it will literally take an act of God for them to even get in the race.

    So it boggles my mind when seemingly smart hockey people that cover the team continuously put out articles that say “They shouldn’t do anything this year to improve the team”. How the hell can they say that and have ANY credibility? I am not calling for the Oilers to try and “go for it” but they should be looking to improve the team. WHY? If they continue how they are going and end up 20 or 30 points out of the playoffs, there is no way they can make up that many points in one season. They should be taking steps towards it. So this year they improve by 10-15 points so when next season comes around it’s actually realistic for them to maybe make the jump. Plus after every season, the Oilers go into an offseason having 5 or 6 holes to fill before they get competitive. It’s physically impossible for any GM to fill that many holes in one offseason. So does it not make sense if you can do it to try and strike a couple of those needs if you can do it off the list?

    I just don’t get how media people can sit there and pick apart the roster, pick apart the GM’s moves, point out the glaring holes, complain about the teams performance in one breath, then in the next breath say “well now’s not the time to improve the team, you can’t trade this player or that player, you can’t trade this player because he’s value is too low, the Oilers can’t make a trade because they are in a position of weakness” etc.

    Here is a question that I would love answered. The Oilers shouldn’t trade players when their value is low or when the team is at a position of weakness. Valid points. BUT how does a team increase their players value and get out of trading from a position of weakness if they lack enough good players to get better? Is it not an endless circle? Either you have to bite the bullet and make a trade for better players and probably “pay too much” to improve your team or you continue to wait and hope that miraculously the bad players on your team suddenly get better. If the decision is to wait, the you can’t really complain about anything can you?

  • Spiel

    Why should PC get a free ride for a year? That type of thinking has helped to get us into this ten year sh!t show in the first place. His job 1 is to improve this hockey team and should be judged on the results on an annual basis.

    While I am at it, why on earth are Kim Jong and MacT still in Oil management? They are largely responsible for this decade long gong show. No one in their right mind would retain these losers let alone pay them big bucks. They need to held accountable once and for all.

    If Nicholson has any balls he will make an attempt to be transparent and explain to loyal fans the master plan for this organization. The status quo is not acceptable by any standard.

  • camdog

    There are 2 main types of Oiler fans, those that have a loyalty to the logo on the front of the jersey and those that have a loyalty to the names on the back of the jersey.

    JW has admitted on radio he’s not an Oiler fan, but from his articles it’s obvious he is a fan of certain players. As a fan of the Oilers logo I don’t believe in closing any doors without exploring all options.

    Peter Chiarelli is the first GM the Oilers have had since Glen Sather that will manage the team based on what he believes is best for the Edmonton Oilers. Lowe and Mact often would get blinded by the names on the back of the jersey and this negatively influenced their decisions.

    Change is coming, and I have no idea who will be moved and nobody does, because nobody writing about the Oilers knows what’s going on in that dressing room. PC and Mclellan are just in the process of figuring it out, it may take until summer to get the deal done, or it could happen before Christmas.

    • bradleypi

      If they are still in process of figuring it out they should be fired! Same players are the problems every game and yet the continue playing them instead of shipping them out of town…

  • Big Cap

    Hey Jonathan Willis

    The summer you are refering to never seems to happen with this joke of an organizatioin! I am sure everyone but you apparently would agree that every gm the Oilers have had in the past 10 years never seems to want to trade anyone of value so of coarse they won’t get anything decent in return. The time to make changes is now so they will be prepared for next season when it comes and they can further evaluate the remaining players during the rest of the season to see if they are worth bringing back.

  • Hemmercules

    I’m thinking this team maybe makes the playoffs in 2018-2019, maybe. If they are last place now, the likelihood of them making it next season is very slim.

    Another big summer ahead with way too many holes to fill. They will need new goaltenders and probably 4 defensemen and a couple forwards with grit, not an easy list to fill. I’m guessing they ditch a couple vets at the deadline and in the summer, replace them with similar mediocre vets no other team really wants. Sign a couple cast off 5-6 defensemen and make them play in the top four. Keep one of Nilsson or Talbot. Finish bottom 5, draft another smallish forward with skill. Rinse, repeat in 2017-2018.