TSN Insider, Darren Dreger, appeared on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg yesterday to talk a little bit about what Peter Chiarelli could be up to as we head into the new year.
It hasn’t necessarily been the year anyone expected in Edmonton, and you have to wonder what their plan will be moving into the back half of the season. Will Chiarelli try to improve the roster to catch up or will he start moving out expiring assets? If the Oilers keeps playing as they have been (last night’s loss aside), then there’s no reason they could crawl back into the race. The start may not have been what we wanted but that just means that the final sprint for a playoff spot will be that much more exciting.
When asked about the Oilers season, Dreger stated the obvious.
“This is more of the Oilers team that we expected. And they’re not anywhere near where they hoped they’d be at this stage of the regular season. But they’re headed down the right path, and that’s all Todd McLellan can hope for at this stage. I mean, it’s baby steps getting into full stride.”
With the roster freeze ending last night at midnight, it made sense for hockey insiders to hit the radio circuit to talk trades and roster movement. This time around, Darren Dreger offered his thoughts and guesses as to what Peter Chiarelli is looking to do.
“That (slow start) puts a little bit of heat on Peter Chiarelli as the general manager. I believe that the Oilers are looking for some type of improvements or upgrades.”
Sorry, Dregs, quick detour here but we’ve been putting heat on Peter Chiarelli since the summer. His lack of moves, overpays, and strange roster choices were head scratchers for a lot of us. The slow start only amplifies it. Anything you’re seeing that we’re not?
“Their power play hasn’t been nearly as good as it needs to be. The penalty kill is just okay, but their power play is an area of concern.”
The penalty kill is “just okay?” Do you even watch the Oilers play? Like… ever? Their PK is at the very bottom of the NHL rankings. How is that okay? I guess there’s a lot of participation ribbons handed out at your place, huh? Whatever, we’ll agree to disagree on this one (even though I’m right). What else?
“We’ve talked about the fact that the Oilers look like a slow team this year. That doesn’t sit well with anyone who is employed by the Oilers.”
LOL! Remember when the Oilers beat Montreal and the Hockey Night in Canada panel was talking about them playing with speed? Dreger not watch that game either or what? I’m starting to think you he doesn’t really watch the Oilers play all that much so we’ll move back to Chiarelli. What is he going to do, Dreger? Tell us what you’re hearing.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Chiarelli kind of amp it up a little bit in terms of trying to upgrade in some fashion here in the foreseeable future.”
It’s funny how the idea of Peter Chiarelli making a trade is both exciting and scary as all hell at this point. At first, I’m like, “hell yes let’s do the thing” but then as I think about it that excitement turns into, “holy hell how are we going to get screwed this time?” If it’s a small move, then there’s a good chance Chiarelli will do well. If it’s a big move, there’s a good chance he’s going to one-for-one his way to even less skill and more unused cap space, but I digress. What’s he looking for?
“I think that he’s interested in adding a defenseman. Somebody who, again, can build on their transition game and have some pace to his game and can make that man advantage count more often than it has to date.”
Interesting that he’d be looking for a defencemen when you consider that the D is just now getting healthy for the first time all season. Wouldn’t he want to see what that group looks like with Klefbom and Sekera before making a move like that? Is it depth he wants? A top-four guy? What’s the end game here?
“But wanting a player like that and finding a player like that and getting the fit that makes sense for both clubs is another thing.”
Or you just overspend like crazy because “that’s the price you pay.” I mean, Chiarelli had all summer to try and improve the defence and did absolutely nothing so why try and force something through in season when it’s way tougher to make deals? Then again, maybe making deals in the summer is something that only a Yale man would have done.
What do you think, Nation? Does it make sense for Chiarelli to be out fishing for d-men? Who do you think would be the trade chip? Personally, I’d guess that a guy like Pat Maroon will be the next to go but whether or not he(+) lands you a defenceman is another story altogether. What say you?