WWYDW: You have one question for Peter Chiarelli

Peter Chiarelli made his way through the gauntlet this week as many fans in Edmonton are calling for his head due to the Oilers’ incredibly disappointing 2017-18 season. He faced questions from multiple reporters in regards to why the Oilers season has gone the way it has and how he plans on moving forward.

On Monday, he spoke with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now and Ryan Rishaug on TSN, on Tuesday during the first intermission of the Oilers’ game against Nashville he spoke with Gene Principe, and prior to all of that, he sat down with Mark Spector of Sportsnet. Good content boy Baggedmilk dissected both Stauffer and Rishaug’s radio interviews earlier this week and other good content boy Nation Dan clipped down Principe’s video segment for us.

But after all of that, we didn’t get a hell of a lot out of the Oilers General Manager and President of Hockey Operations. Such as you’d expect from a lawyer with a degree from Harvard, Chiarelli managed to sidestep most questions without revealing too much detail, both about the decisions from the past and the choices to be made in the impending future.

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What we did get, though…

  • He feels the heat and believes that Oilers fans deserve better.
  • He has full confidence in head coach Todd McLellan. That extends to the assistant coaches too, as the staff, to him, should be viewed as a unit.
  •  He didn’t admit to having regrets about how he handled the off-season.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday question.

10 in 1: Who has Toughest Schedule, Trades and Cap Space

Let’s say you have an off the record one-on-one interview with Peter Chiarelli in which you can ask him any hockey-related question. You can’t publish the information and it won’t be televised or put on the radio. You can’t even tweet it out. But you get one question and it’ll be answered.

What do you ask? What questions did the reporters who grilled (and, in some cases, lobbed like it was a friendly game of slow pitch) miss? What do you want to know about what the guy running this team has going through his head?

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    • Peter Chyareally

      Rhetorical question. Everyone knows that players selected in the first round have a much higher likelihood of playing in the NHL than those selected in other rounds.

    • Boom76

      THere totally was if I recall, and as a new GM he listened and deferred to Oilers scouting team who publicly stated how bad they wanted him and what a player Reinhart (Oil Kings). He’s not gonna throw his scouting team under the media bus, but it’s frightening they advised the new GM so hard that way

  • A Little Less Concerned

    I’d ask what he thinks he could have done better. He knows he screwed up banking on internal growth. I am sure there were deals or at least talks going on… what did he pass on that he knows now would have been a better choice?

    • Peter Chyareally

      I haven’t looked into KHL job opportunities, but I’ve heard that it is run very similarly to the NHL so I wouldn’t have a problem fitting in if I were so inclined.

  • btrain

    Pete, in a crazy hockey market like Edmonton, emotions run high. The mood of fans who are incredibly loyal to this franchise, literally rises and falls with the success of the team. Because folks are so emotional, they are vulnerable to jumping to all sorts of conclusions on what needs to be done, who needs to be traded, how so and so is lazy and worthless, etc. Media plays the role of pot stirrer and next thing you know the environment becomes toxic and lynch mobs form. As a GM, its critical that objectivity remains regardless of the pulse of the fan base and media, that decisions are made carefully and methodically. Where would you rate yourself on your ability to remain objective and patient in this demanding market; In other words how well can you filter our the distractions, keep yourself neutral on hot topic issues, and avoid making emotional driven decisions fueled by, timelines, hunches and hopes rather than logic, evidence based evaluation, and facts?

    • Peter Chyareally

      Thank you for your thoughtful question. It’s through contact with patient and level-headed true fans like you that I find the energy and resolve to focus on our ultimate goal, bringing the first round pick to this great city.

  • Odanada

    If there was only one more cup of coffee left in the urn and both Nicholson and Wayne Gretzky asked you to get them a cup, who would you serve the coffee to?

  • Boom76

    If there was one thing you could successfully communicate to the annoying Chicken Little fans on this site and on the radio about what it’s like taking over a franchise that suffered to redeiscover its identity after years of scorched earth mgmt policy, what would that be?

  • Supa Fly

    With Connor McDavid’s entry level deal expiring this year, how to do plan to supplement cheaper yet productive players into the team and how do you go about evaluating these types of players before signing?

    • Peter Chyareally

      You clearly understand the importance of picking very high in the draft, to bring in talented bodies on entry level deals. Thanks for your question.

  • Connor McFly

    I wonder why Chiarelli didn’t take a shot at Anthony Duclair? He’s young, fast and on a value contract. He had a 40+ point total previously and is eager for a new start. He could easily replace any of the Oil’s 4th liners. It’s Chiarelli’s do- nothing approach that makes me nuts. But I suppose when you look at his career trade record it all becomes clearer. I think Chiarelli’s ineptness and TMac’s stubborness (Letestu) et al qualifies them both for a good firing IMO.

    • TKB2677

      My first question to you when you ask why Chia didn’t take a shot at Duclair is do you work for the Oilers or are you a close friend of Chia to know that he didn’t? I don’t work in pro hockey but I think it is pretty rare that ANY players availability is not known by all GM’s. I have heard that a lot of GM’s will send out a blanket email to all his rival GM’s saying this player is available. It’s been widely known that Duclair is available for some time now. So how do you know Chia didn’t inquire about him?

      Second question. Taking your Oilers colored glasses off and looking at the roster objectively. Since it was 2 players going each way, it looked like it was Panik for Duclair. A slightly older, more established player for a younger, more unknown. Panik realistically is a top 9 forward but he had 22 goals last year. So in looking at the Oilers roster, who is a comparable player to Panik that the Oilers can actually afford to give up?If I am Arizona, I don’t need more dmen. I know that McDavid,Leon, Nuge, Puljujarvi won’t happen. Lucic has a no move and I wouldn’t take him anyway. I am not taking a UFA or anyone over 30. So that eliminates Cammalleri, Letetus, Maroon. So given it looks like Arizona wanted an NHLer back for Duclair, that leaves Caggulia, Kassian, Khaira, Slep and Strome, as forwards on the Oilers current roster. If I am Arizona and the problem I had with Duclair is consistency and I don’t know what I am getting from him night to night. Am I taking an even more unproven, can’t stay in the line up Slep? Not a chance. Am I taking an unproven, can’t stay in the line up Caggulia? Not a chance. Do I want Khaira? Maybe but he’s just in the process of maybe establishing himself as a full time NHLer, not sure if he is a top 9 or 4th liner and if I am the Oilers, I don’t trade him yet. If I am Arizona, do I want Strome who’s an inconsistent player, probably not. Do I want Kassian who’s probably a 4th liner but also isn’t overly consistent.

      So who do the Oilers have to trade for Duclair that Arizona wants? I am having a hard time seeing a guy that jumps off the page if I am the Arizona GM. This coming from a die hard Oilers fan. Would I as an Oilers fan have no problem if the trade was Slep/Caggulia for Duclair? I would have no problem with that and would applaud the trade. But I wouldn’t give up another asset to get that trade done. Would you? What if the trade was Caggulia + to get Duclair. Would you do that trade? I wouldn’t.

      So I think people need to realize before they complain about “why the Oilers weren’t in on a certain trade” is you have to give something to get and you actually have to have something the other team wants.

      • Klef abs

        I’ve heard that GM’s have a shared site where they can put up players they are willing to trade and all other gms can see and take part. Not sure if true.

  • polarcap

    Watching the world juniors I was blown away by the maturity and vision of Conner Timmons.this kid could run a power play. He was picked 30. No oiler pick stood out. Bakersfield in near the bottom of the ahl.there is no depth on the main team. There’s only interest in the oilers top 5. With minimal marketableassets, trades to fill holes only create new holes. Whats the plan

  • Joy S. Lee

    I have two questions, so I’ll try to work them into one:

    Do you believe the Oilers can win a Stanley Cup in the next two years by building and strengthening the youth (and speed) on the team?

  • madjam

    How is it possible to screw up a generational talent like Connor with a less than an adequate offense to surround him , and a very porous defence over 3 years at the helm ? Why should anyone believe you can turn it around now , or in the future ? The Gm is in charge of quality control , but yours seems more out of control , as time goes on . Explain to us in specifics just how and whom you are turning to fix this sad situation around .

    • madjam

      Less offensive help for Connor since you have been here , and defence frankly no better . 3 years of simply not being good enough to surround and flourish with such a generational talent such as Connor . How is that acceptable to Oiler fans , etc.?

    • camdog

      No, but we did know that it was likely Talbot, Maroon, Letestu were coming off of career years. We knew we wouldn’t Go through another season injury free (Sekera). Coming into the season we knew we had lost 3 wingers that were near the top on team in goals per 60 at 5 on 5 -Eberle, Pouliot, Pitlick. We knew Strome was down grade on a Eberle. We knew Caggiula was one of the lowest 5 by 5 scoring wingers on team, so there was no reason to expect that to change. We knew penalty kill would suffer with loss of some veterans (sekera) and addition of younger forwards (not this bad though). We knew the Sekera injury was going to be tough on team. We all were also worried about back up goalie. I don’t think anybody thought Yam would be ready before season started.

      That said we all thought Klefbom, Larsson and Talbot would be better, powerplay would be at least as good as last season. I know people don’t like it when I use splits home/road to analyze the penalty kill. But on home ice it’s killing them, you can’t be competitive with a penalty kill in the 50%ish percentile at home. It changes the way they think and play, it’s got to be in their heads. For those that say the percentages at home/road don’t matter, that’s not true. At home they have had about a dozen bad games on road it’s like 3. And 2 came in last week when the pressure was really getting to them.

      This team is better than their record, but between what they lost in off season, luck with injuries last season and a few career years they were never a playoff team. They lacked depth last season, but were lucky with lack of injuries.

      Huh maybe it was a one off? There’s a lot of work to do here and no prospects ready for next season. Having a GM that doesn’t win trades is a big problem, other GM’s know he’s weak and this team can’t bleed anymore assets.

  • BobbyCanuck

    Peter I had a dream last night that a terrorist was chasing my wife and I around Roger’s Place. You showed up out of nowhere and took a a blast from what looked like a space age ray gun too save my wife, I am not kidding the dream was real, would you actually risk your life to save a stranger?