With the Trade Deadline come and gone, the Edmonton Oilers will now look to play out the stretch by giving their younger players more minutes and figuring out their approach as they head into the summer. Peter Chiarelli had some housecleaning to do and he took a minute to speak to the media to recap the day and go over what happened (or didn’t happen).
To start things off, Chiarelli went over his approach to the deadline and what he was hoping to do.
“We went into this deadline to try and get returns that would assist our organization immediately.
Ah, yes, the ol’ warm body approach. Go on…
We did it in one transaction, we didn’t in two others. It was a tough market out there.”
Davy for a third-round pick – ✅
Maroon for a third-round pick and a dude(k) named JD – ✅
Letestu for a real boy – ✅
The math checks out.
“It felt like more resistance this year.”
Viva la Resistance! Wait, no that’s a bad thing. We don’t want resistance. That’s bad. BOOOOOOO!
“We’re happy with what we did. It’s not pleasant to be a seller but we felt comfortable in our returns.”
I’m glad you felt comfortable about it because I don’t think I do. With that said, I know I’m not the biggest Chia guy around these parts so I’ll just shut my mouth and hope that things will work out, or that there’s some kind of plan moving forward.
“We’ll try to use those picks in the summer to try and acquire a player in the summer.”
Well, if a fourth-round pick lands you Mark Letestu (CBJ trade) then I wonder what a third will get you?! Steve Stamkos, no doubt. Jokes aside, I would really like to see the Oilers using these magic beans to try and get some actual humans in return because their drafting in later rounds is… ehhhh… not so good.
On the return for Pat Maroon
When asked about the return for Pat Maroon, Chiarelli talked again about the tough market and how his yearning for live human beings made things even more difficult. From the horse’s mouth:
“I was trying the whole time to get a prospect. We did get a prospect.”
Who is he again? I’ve never heard of this dude(k) until just now. Tell me something about him.
“JD is a good college player. He’s got speed, plays with intensity, and we’ve seen him quite a bit.”
Wait, that sounds like he’s NOT going to play for the Oilers. I mean, you can level with me here, Pete. Don’t worry, no one is reading this. Between you and me, there’s no way you actually expect JD Dudek to do anything, right?
“I would have liked a prospect that was closer to playing but it was a tough market.”
*inserts Devan Dubnyk “oh” face.jpg*
“Maybe part of it was our players, just in general, weren’t as good as they were before. That was part perception, part reality. At the end of the day, it took to the very last second to get it done.”
Ah, I get it. Other teams looked at the guys we had available and didn’t think they were that good, but isn’t that where you come in to sell them? I mean, someone sold you on Louie Eriksson being a major piece in the Seguin trade so surely you have someone to sell your guys for other teams, no?
No, wait, I’ve got it. Maybe there was some fluctuation in the offers you were getting because of who was still available or who wasn’t?
“No fluctuation. It was just kind of that we were fourth or fifth on the chart and most teams have the same chart.”
That’s not what Ray Shero said. He said your ask came down quite a bit in the last 10 minutes. Maybe your ask didn’t fluctuate? Either way, he waited you out, bro. Seems to me that a guy that’s on pace for 20 goals again on a contract that is basically free (in terms of NHL money) should have been worth more than a 3rd round pick and a dude that won’t ever play, no? Maybe just take the pick in this case.
“It’s a different process when you’re asking for prospects.”
Alright, I’ll buy that. Can you run down the process for me a little bit?
“You have to sort through them with your own scouts and then their scouts. It’s harder. You get something that’s more readily available to you so it’s a harder process.”
Ooooookay… You’re not being honest with me here, are you? I believe that it’s a tougher process to get a prospect than a pick but if the “prospect” you’re getting has no chance at ever playing then what was the point? Why not just take a higher pick in that case?
“Maybe I would have liked a little bit more for Pat, but we’re happy with what we got.”
On why Mike Cammalleri was not traded
For me, one of the most interesting parts of the presser came when Mark Spector asked why Mike Cammalleri was not traded. According to Chiarelli:
“There was not a lot of interest nor did I actively shopping him.”
Wait, what? What do you mean you weren’t actively shopping him? The guy is a UFA at the end of the year and is playing some of his best hockey of the season and you didn’t think that getting an asset for the guy would be a good idea? Well, I guess they’ll be re-signing Mike Cammalleri then because that’s the only way that this sentence makes any sense.
On moving toward the draft and summer
When asked about what comes next for the Oilers, Peter Chiarelli didn’t offer much aside from some vague plans that most people would have expected anyway.
“In this next segment, I want to see progress so it’s a period of evaluation.”
I want to see progress too. There are 20 games left and I’d like to eat beets in less than half of those. Progress!
“Once we’re through the season we’ll look through the list and make moves from there.”
Not Nuge, though, right? I mean, if Draisaitl is going to play on McDavid’s wing all the time then you’re going to need a capable second-line centre. That’s Nuge. You know it. I know it.
“I’m not going to project on any current players to see what I’m going to do with them.”
Of course you’re not. I guess I’ll just save my disappointment for whenever #OperationBrownBananas is initiated.
On Pontus Aberg
Lastly, Peter Chiarelli was asked about Pontus Aberg, the return from yesterday’s trade that temporarily sent Mark Letestu to the Nashville Predators.
“He’s got some speed, he’s got a good shot, and he competes. We feel he’s an NHL player.”
Personally, I liked the Letestu-Aberg trade because he was a guy that has some actual talent and NHL at-bats under his belt being added to a very shallow prospect pool. If you take a look at the Condors’ roster, you’ll see a team that has next to nothing in terms of skilled wingers and Aberg would instantly become the best player on that team. I assume that he’ll finish the season with the Oilers to see what they’ve got there, and it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Any idea where he’ll play, Pete?
“He’ll probably start on the lower lines and work his way up.”
Makes sense to me.
At the end of the day, I’m not overly surprised that Peter Chiarelli wasn’t all that busy on the trade front. What does surprise me, though, is that there were pending UFAs like Mike Cammalleri that he didn’t really try to shop that much. I mean, why wouldn’t he shop a guy that will likely walk away for nothing two months from now? How does that make sense? Anyway, it also wasn’t surprising that Chiarelli didn’t say much in his presser because that’s the way his interviews always seem to go, so expecting enlightenment is a fool’s errand at this point.
For the Edmonton Oilers, this was another deadline where they got objectively worse on the ice and that’s a tough pill to swallow. For a team that had playoff (and Stanley Cup?) aspirations back in September, being a seller at the deadline can be described as nothing short of a failure, a plaque on the Wall of Shame that Peter Chiarelli will have to answer for eventually. When will that day come? We’ll have to wait and see, but what we do know for sure is that there will be plenty more changes between now and when the puck drops on the 2018-19 season in October.