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Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The case for removing Peter Chiarelli

‏This is part two of a two-part series examining if the Oilers should keep Peter Chiarelli as general manager. We’ll look at why the Oilers should fire Chiarelli here.

In part one, I made the argument why the Oilers should keep Chiarelli. It’s a difficult choice to make but boils down to general managers usually getting more than three seasons, especially if they haven’t made a coaching change yet. The Oilers have changed general managers and coaches a lot in the last decade, which should ultimately work in Chiarelli’s favour.

Still, Peter Chiarelli’s seat has to be warm after an unexpectedly tough season. That’ll happen when you have Connor McDavid and miss the playoffs.

He hasn’t made a coaching change and general managers usually get at least one before really feeling the heat. But the Edmonton Oilers aren’t normal. Having McDavid in his prime means there should be more urgency than your typical team.

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The Oilers will have made the playoffs once in three years with a generational talent on the roster, although McDavid was injured for 37 games in his rookie season.

Most of Chiarelli’s big additions have come at a significant price.

Andrej Sekera might be his best signing, his cap hit and term are fair for a top-four defenceman signed in free agency, even with his tough season returning from injury.

Adam Larsson, however, was acquired for current Hart Trophy-candidate Taylor Hall. The Oilers need for defenceman, especially right-handed ones, was great, but Chiarelli traded down and gave up the best player in the deal while still needing a puck-moving d-man. A common theme of his trades.

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Milan Lucic is still a useful player but signed to a buyout-proof contract that already looks incredibly poor. Lucic is on pace for 39 points, which isn’t good enough for his $6-milllion cap hit. Lucic’s contract is a real problem for an Oilers team needing value deals around McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Ryan Strome is a competent NHL player who can play wing or centre on a third line, but he’s not worth Jordan Eberle. The Oilers could use a scoring winger pretty badly. This trade was described as a salary dump, but the Oilers never put that cap space to use. They’ve been one of the teams with the most space available all season.

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Kris Russell is a useful NHL player, but he’s a third-pairing defenceman signed to an expensive contract with no-trade and no-move protection. The Oilers defence still needs to improve, but money is locked into veterans Russell and Sekera. $4 million is too much for a bottom-pair defenceman.

Dec 4, 2017; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers goalie James Reimer (34) makes a save against New York Islanders right wing Jordan Eberle (7) in a shootout at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Chiarelli has sent away a lot of talent as Oilers general manager. Mathew Barzal is on track to win the Calder Trophy with Charlie McAvoy and Brock Boeser fighting for second place. Sure, the Oilers never picked Barzal, but Islanders general manager Garth Snow said they don’t make the trade if Barzal isn’t available at 16. Barzal aside, the Oilers still gave up two high draft picks in a very good draft for Griffin Reinhart, a declining prospect that didn’t fill a need. Their prospect pool would much better today had they kept those picks.

The Reinhart trade might be the most lopsided deal in terms of pure value going one way. You can find a similar trade each summer during Chiarelli’s time in Edmonton. Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson in 2016. Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome in 2017. The Oilers can’t keep trading down and expect to improve, but that’s the way Chiarelli operates going back to his time in Boston. He traded Tyler Seguin and Blake Wheeler and gave up the best player in both deals.

The Oilers’ cap situation is even more difficult next season when McDavid’s cap hit jumps to $12.5 million per year. They’ll need to improve the roster with few tradable assets. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Oscar Klefbom are often brought up as trade candidates to acquire a right-handed defenceman and a skilled winger. Given Chiarelli’s track record, getting full value for those players seems unlikely if he’s making those trades.

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Chiarelli’s lack of activity last summer contributed to this season’s failures. Wasting the last year of McDavid’s entry-level contract should be a fireable offence. Chiarelli didn’t improve the roster in the offseason but arguably made it worse by trading Eberle for Strome and not doing much else.

The Oilers need for a puck-moving, right-handed defenceman is still present, as it was when Chiarelli was hired. Chiarelli’s traded away two high picks in 2015 (one of which became Mat Barzal), Taylor Hall, and Jordan Eberle, and the Oilers’ defence still isn’t good enough. Now, they have less assets and more money tied up while still needing to add significant pieces. Nurse is a restricted free agent and needs a new contract, so a bridge deal might be necessary with four $4-million defenceman already signed.

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There’s also the significant lack of prospects in Bakersfield. There’s not one NHL-ready forward prospect and Bakersfield still sits at the bottom of their division, even with all these AHL veterans playing big minutes.

Feb 22, 2018; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (29) celebrates his second period goal against the Colorado Avalanche at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and Vice-Chair Bob Nicholson talked about this season in an interview on Sportsnet 590 with Bob McCown in February. He correctly spoke about goaltending and special teams sinking their season and said they’ve had lots of focus groups say they can win the Stanley Cup in the next three to five years. It’s hard to see the same general manager who couldn’t build a supporting cast around McDavid when he made $3.75 million do it when his cap hit jumps to $12.5 million.

The Oilers still have elite talent, but all precede Chiarelli’s arrival. His task was to surround McDavid with the right support to win but built a slow, expensive team around the fastest player in the game.

Of the current roster, Chiarelli’s additions include Lucic, Mike Cammalleri, Jesse Puljujarvi, Strome, Pontus Aberg, Drake Caggiula, Larsson, Sekera, Russell, Matt Benning, Cam Talbot, and Al Montoya. Patrick Maroon and Mark Letestu were also Chiarelli additions but sent out by the trade deadline. Chiarelli’s group isn’t good enough.

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Nicholson’s interview with McCown preached continuity and confidence in Chiarelli. The Oilers have had six coaches and three general managers since 2010. But that’s no reason to continue with a poor one.

These are crucial years, and McDavid’s entry-level contract is already gone.

The Oilers were right to look outside the organization for a new general manager, they just hired the wrong one. Chiarelli came into one of the best jobs in hockey and has continuously bled talent and added tough contracts in free agency, making their cap situation difficult going forward.

The Oilers have changed general managers four times in the past decade. That shouldn’t stop them from firing Chiarelli.


  • Jnizzle

    Peter has done a good job making this team relevant again. Couple hiccups here and there. Next year all will be forgotten when we are back in a playoff position. Give the man a chance to continue his plan.

    • How are they relevant? Other GMs laughing and using him to improve their teams is not relevancy, it is poor management. Players playing over their heads, injury free seasons, and other teams taking them lightly caused them to enter the playoffs last year. This year is looking more like the norm than last year. Chiarelli should have been fired after the Hall and Reinhart debacle.

    • Oiler Al

      Jizz…… “couple hiccups”…more like a couple of barfs! If relevent means :loosers then you are correct.
      I think this disaster has to be taken upstairs, thats one floor below The Ivory Tower, and that would be Nicholson.He signed off on Chiarelli,Mclellan and the assistants,none of whom could handle adversity, thus the downfall.Adding to the confusion is all the “hanger on’s” Lowe,Gretz,Macct,Coffey,Howson etc, its like having xmas lights on a tree and not plugging them in.
      In the meantime the guy in the Ivory Tower has his hands on the rudder as the goodship Lollypop is adrift at sea.

    • hammer313

      Jnizzle, are your initials PC?! If not, ask yourself, ‘Do you trust him to make another and perhaps, what could be his most important trade, and not get hosed?’. I know I do not, and he should be fired before more damage can be done.

    • A-co

      Jnizzle..crack and or crystal meth..which ever you are smoking is hard on your gums which will lead to tooth decay…also it does not help with a person’s thought process..thanks

  • russ99a

    It’s really tiresome that it comes back to Hall, Eberle and Barzal, who weren’t going to pick. Would like deeper analysis than crying over spilled milk.

    Would also prefer evidence as to how the old boy hires are having Chia work with one arm behind his back. Howson’s AHL signings this summer are particularly shameful.

    • Christian Pagnani

      It’d pretty odd to not include three of Chiarelli’s most significant moves that were very poor when I’m examining whether the Oilers should keep Peter Chiarelli.

      There’s no evidence former Oilers management is interfering with Chiarelli. Chiarelli is general manger. He is responsible for what happens.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        On paper, you are right, based on his title. However, this is not a normal situation in that Katz & everyone below him call the shots. I said it before, that Chiarelli is a puppet. I WISH they would let him do his thing without interference.

        • Marshall Law

          Don’t waste a wish on that. You’re already seeing it happen. He wasn’t employed by Katz when he traded Seguin for an Arby’s coupon. Every trade he’s gotten thoroughly trounced on in Edmonton perfectly fits with what he’s done in the past. He’s not a puppet. He’s been handed the keys to his parents’ lamborghini and has backed it out of the driveway and driven it off a cliff.

          • Glencontrolurstik

            There is a pretty self explanatory You-tube video out there showing Pete being pressured to get rid of Seguin by Cam Neeley & his Croonies. I think Chia was chosen because he does what he is asked?

      • I will believe that when we no longer see them at the draft table, scouting meetings, management meetings etc,etc,etc. There is no proof that they are not involved. Only one way to be sure. Name one other team that ever forced the new GM to retain a failed regime! Hasn’t happened ever in any sport. Beyond ridiculous and keeps us as a laughing stock.

      • Oilerchild77

        100% disagree with every syllable of your suggestion tbat Chiarelli has complete control. There’s PLENTY of evidence to suggest he doesn’t call all tje shots, starting with the Reinhart trade. I promise you he didn’t call that one Christian.

    • Oilerchild77

      How Howson still has a job is absolutely baffling. And I’m 100% sure that wasn’t Chiarelli’s call. You can bet Lowe had a hand in that. He still cslls some of the shots because he’s friends with the owner.

      This isn’t all on PC. That Reinhart trade was an old boys call ALL the way. Take a look at the draft footage. You can practically see Chia saying “ok, you better be right about this guys!”

      • The Dave

        I always assumed the Reinhart trade was mostly in place, as it happened early in Chia Petes tenure, and it also overlapped with Bob Green being brought in as head scout, and he was Reinhart’s number one fan in Junior… and honestly *that* is more indicative of what is wrong with this team than anything else. Yeah, Chia tends to win the little trades but lose the big ones, and that sucks, but that’s not the reason Bakersfield is in last place with almost zero prospects. Bakersfield being terrible and having no good players does have something to do with the Oilers being terrible though.

        This team *should* have call-up options, and we don’t. They’re all called up already. Benning and Cagiula are both undrafted players Chia picked up, so that’s masking some team depth issues that would be even worse, and I appreciate that Chia has shown a savvy for shoring up our terrible drafting by targeting college players.

        Think about the fact that we have two RD on the team Benning and Larsson, and both of those are Chia additions. Without those moves we have literally zero natural right defencemen on the team. That’s super messed up on an organizational level. To me that means there are *major* developmental problems that he hasn’t even gotten a chance to approach yet, not to mention the people who built those flaws into the team and failed to address them.

        The Oilers management is utterly incompetent, and I honestly think it starts with Daryl Katz and him hiring people based on their merits in the 80s rather than today. I’m not so sure that’s Chiarellis fault. Or, to put it a different way: as long as we keep having to employ Lowe, Howson, Gretzky, and McTavish I don’t see how a different GM can do much better. What pisses me off about the Oilers fan base right now is that they, yet again, think firing someone will fix a problem. Jeff Petry and Tom Gilbert and Justin Schultz (all RD) were the reason the team sucked. Trading them made RD depth on the team worse and we are still reeling at that position, but whatever. Steve Tambellini was a terrible GM and needed to be fired. But his firing led to the firing of Ralph Krueger and the hiring of MacT, Eakins, and Howson. You *ONLY* fire someone if they can be upgraded. If you are going to replace a defective part with an even more defective part, what’s the damn point?

        I mean, who here believes hiring Paul Coffey was Chia’s idea? I promise you that’s the crap that is sinking this team in the long run, and preventing us from meaningful improvement in a decade. Every GM loses a few trades. The reason the Oilers can never get away with it has way more to do with terrible management leading to terrible assets.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          You, my friend Dave, have “sadly” hit the nail on the head…
          The saddest part of all this is Katz seems totally OK with everything going on.
          As long as he has his buddies to mingle with, he is set. Who says you can’t buy friendship?

        • Smuckers

          This is precisely the problem – If Katz really wants to employ his buddies he should have them clean his house in Edmonton or better yet, wherever he’s living now. Nicholson sadly does not have the power to veto these wretched hires.

        • Bp123

          There might be some truth to this, but you’re being awfully dismissive of Chiarelli’s trades. They have done an enormous amount of damage to this team and he needs to be removed before he does any more.

      • Consultant

        Chia was the GM during the Reinhart deal, sure listen to your scouts but he made that move, he pulled the trigger so it is on him. Plus he said he had watched him out east that year. Putting that move on the old boys club is bull. He was GM, he pulled the trigger, he owns it.

      • russ99a

        The thing that I come back to is that this was really relevant for this season. We should have signed some NHL players who could have competed with the kids and if the kids played well, mentored in the AHL. Instead we got a dozen AHL Howson specials and Lowe’s kid.

    • puckle-head

      I’m pretty sure this article spends as much time on the signings as the trades. But also, Crying over spilled milk? What on earth do you evaluate a gm on if not for his past moves? And I know that chia wasn’t going to pick Barzal. That’s not a mark in his favour.

  • Before Pete the Oilers couldn’t compete against their decision. He made them heavier.

    Eberle plays well against poor teams. Stats show that.

    Problem is the Oilers can’t compete against rest of the league.

    Need to find the right balance. I’m giving Pete this off season to get it right or he’s gotta go.

    • btrain

      Love to see where those stats show up. Looking at the current season, Eberle has put up points against 26 of the 30 other teams including goals against SJS, NYR, NSH,COL,EDM, CAR, PHI, OTT, VAN, TBL, PIT, LAK, DET, BOS, NJD, CHI, VGK, CBJ, TOR. He also has assists against WPG, ANA, STL who are all pretty strong teams. Only teams he has not produced against are MIN, DAL, CGY, & FLA which are all currently bubble teams batting for playoff spots.

      • Beer_League_Ringer

        Granted, the stats for this year indicate that Eberle is just fine playing with his new team (and I am happy for him, he seems like a good kid)… But I think O&G Hockey may have been referring to Ebs not raising his play/compete level against strong teams, in tough games, and at the right times. We all witnessed this regularly when he played here, it’s not some elaborate fiction, or misrepresentation of the player. Elite players rise to the occasion against the best teams and at the right moments- they bring their “A” game, or even better (e.g. Connor’s game vs. TBL, Leon throwing the Avs D-man aside like a rag doll to apple the OT winner the other night). Eberle isn’t in EDM anymore because he wasn’t able to elevate his game at crucial times, and made too much money to be a passenger when he has the talent to be a driver. He only has two gears: normal and float. Oh, and look at his goal-vs-team stats for last year and some tape of his Houdini act in the playoffs. There is some good info in there too.

        • btrain

          My point is that we need to separate what is our own feelings (right or wrong) from what is actually evidence based stats. Using the small sample playoff data and his worst season, production wise, of his career is just poor use of stats. This is the definition of small sample size and its a flawed methodology that cherry picks the details that support an already drawn conclusion.

          Fact is, its harder to score against better teams for all players, and its not unusual for McDavid, Crosby, and other undeniable talents to also feast on weaker competition. In fact, this makes a great deal of sense if you think about it. So when one brings up “look at his goals vs teams stats” an equally important detail to check is what is typical of all players with around 20 goals on the season? This way you can measure up Eberle vs other players who score at about the same rate. If you just put Eberle under the microscope and ignore normal league wide trends, it tells you little. If one believe Eberle doesn’t rise to the occasion as much as he should, that is completely their right to believe this, but cherry picked stats/assumed stats does not make this true.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Firstly, kudos to Oilers Nation for going out of its way to provide balance on this topic. The editors deserve a lot of credit for making this a two-part series – one story defending Chiarelli, the other making its case for getting rid of him. Good on ya, folks. That said … I think he’s got to stay, at least another year.

    Last week, Oilers Nation ran a story on David Poile, the GM of the Nashville Predators. The story noted that Poile was poised to become the winningest GM of all time … and darned if he didn’t become that after the Preds beat the Oilers last week.

    Anyway, I’m mentioning Poile because there’s a key part of his back story that’s relevant to the Oilers today. Way back when Poile first took over as the GM of the Washington Capitals, he traded Ryan Walter and Rick Green for Rod Langway, Brian Engblom, Doug Jarvis and Craig Laughlin. It was a brave blockbuster – essentially Washington was trading its second-leading scorer (Walter) for a defenceman who was so good defensively he beat Paul Coffey for the Norris Trophy. Twice.

    It was a trade that turned around the Capitals – mostly. They didn’t miss the playoffs for the next, like, 15 years. But they also didn’t get out of the first round more than, like, three times in that span. They were the poster children for underachievement throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

    My point is this: Poile was the Caps’ GM all through that. Washington’s ownership let him continue to grow into the job, making good trades and bad trades, hiring good coaches and bad coaches, drafting good players and bad ones. Never won a Cup. Barely made it out of the first round.

    Then Poile ends up with the Preds. For their first six or eight years under his tutelage, they struggle mightily. They have finally started to blossom, thanks to some decent trades Poile’s made. They haven’t won anything yet, but wouldn’t you know it, Poile’s now the regular-season-winningest GM of all time.

    Chiarelli’s been with the Oilers for less than three years. After missing the playoffs his first year, he traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson in June … and the Oilers clinched a playoff spot the next March. A year after that, the team’s bad – thanks to injuries, slumps, some bad moves by Chiarelli, but also some decent-bets he made that simply didn’t pay off. That’s hockey.

    Should Chiarelli get fired for that? I’ll answer the question with some questions: If you fire Chiarelli, who would come in to replace him, knowing that he’s only a year of bad luck and some decent-bets-gone-bad from being canned? In other words, who would knowingly set foot on such an island of knee-jerk instability?

    You don’t have to answer those questions. Instead, we should send them to David Poile. I bet I’d know what he’d say.

    • Christian Pagnani

      I get the comparison, but Washington was Poile’s first GM job. This is Chiarelli’s 12th year as a GM in the NHL. This is how he operates and it’s unlikely that changes.

      The Oilers aren’t Nashville when Poile came in. They’re not an expansion team, they have the league’s best player and should be winning.

      Chiarelli loses too much value and has put the Oilers in a tough cap situation with his free-agent signings.

      They don’t have time to wait and see if Chiarelli can make good decisions. They need to contact Tampa Bay or Nashville and see if they can hire Paul Fenton or Julien Briesbois. Two successful assistants GMs from well-run organizations.

      The Oilers can’t afford to wait and see if Chiarelli can start winning trades and adding the right support. They have Connor McDavid in his prime.

    • crabman

      Poile would probably say stay the coarse. Followed by never trade your 1st and 2nd round picks unless you plan on making a real run at the cup. Build your team through the draft and from the goal out. and be patient, don’t trade your beat players for less than they are worth. That is his style and that is why Nashville is in the position they are today. Chiarelli obviously has a different philosophy to building a team and therefore what would Poile say is already out the window.
      As for who would want the job? Anyone interested in becoming an NHL GM. There are only 31 of those positions available at any given time and I’m certain anyone currently working as an assistant GM would jump at the chance to run their own team. To be successful in a job like that you must be confident in your skills. And those people always think that if they got a chance they could turn the fortune of a team around.

    • Edmontoncanucks

      Decent bets? Name one?
      It was a decent bet that if you didn’t replace the injured Sekeras with a live NHL veteran player your season would be a fail. It was a decent bet that if you didn’t have a legitimate NHL backup goalie to cover and push the slow starting Talbot your season would be a fail. Everyone knew that Lucic for 7yrs was retarded. Everyone knew Russel for 4m was retarded. Honestly, Chia is an embarassment to Harvard…his mistakes so glaring and obvious a casual fan could of made better G.M. decisions. He needs to be fired. Its just business. He has never won a trade in his G.M. career. Its like hiring a baker who has never vaked a successful cake! Its so beyond ridiculous.

  • GK1980

    Just looking t free agents this year and if Edmonton does have a ton of cap space this summer if Chia is smart and plays his cards right he could turn this franchise around. Grabbing any one of Carlson, Bailey or even Tavares (having to let Drai or Nuge go obviously.). Bailey with McDavid would be fun to watch. Does anyone think Chia can pull this off?

    • T.J.F.M

      Seeing as though Bailey was just extended for six more seasons by the NYI, i would be scared to see Chia negotiate a trade. Would probably cost us Draisaitl PLUS salary retention.

      We cannot afford what Tavares will get in Free Agency.

      Carlson is the interesting one. But again, with Chia’s track record, think about how much money and term it would cost us. Then think about which Dman which we currently have signed will be sitting in the pressbox for $4M+ per season, because there is no way that Nurse will not be extended and Chai has an obvious bias for Benning (his signing) and will extend his contract likely before free agency.

      Speaking of Nurse, there is another scary contract negotiation. While it is mostly obvious to fans and media that we need to bridge him in order to save money in the short term, Chia is likely poised to sign him to a max term deal of at least $6M+ per season. And it will be that contract that will justify his position to trade Nuge for a fringe 3rd line winger.

      He will then completely contradict that statement by qualifying Strome for $3M per season out of pure necessity for a 3rd line centre.

      i wanted to puke while writing this because it is so likely to happen.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    I get that Chiarelli’s moves are perceived as poor, but to his credit, NOTHING is working this season. Again, I need to point out that nothing was an issue last season, but now it is. Are you seriously going go tell me that he lost the Cam Talbot trade too? Yes he downgrades talent by shipping Eberle out and beinging Strome, and yes he overvalued career years, but to suggest that EVERYTHING he’s done is trash doesnt cut it for me. Here’s a short list of what I mean.

    1. Schultz get shipped out and we were happy. Why? Because Schultz couldnt quarterback a PP or defend to save his life. But now thar he’s won 2 cups, now its a bad trade.
    2. We traded the 16th and 33rd for Reinhart. That was a trade that Chiarelli was influenced in making. And even if we kept it, was Peter really going to select Barzal, when he already had Nuge, Draisitl, and McDavid?
    3. Cam is struggling this year, guess that trade sucks huh?
    4. Larsson is a 2nd pairing D-man. Who cares! The Oilers D is BETTER with him in the lineup and we can see it when he’s playing.

    Look, I’m not going to pretend like Chiarelli’s moves are perfect, but if he’s such a “terrible” gm, then how come we made the playoffs with HIM at the helm, and not the clowns who sailed this ship before. Peter isnt stupid. He knows he made a mistake and I TRUST him to fix it. And until he proves me wrong, he has my full support.

    HE WAS RUNNER UP FOR GM OF THE YEAR FOR GODS SAKE!

    • crabman

      as for the argument he wasn’t going to take Barzal, I don’t think that is a good argument. If he wasn’t going to take him in that spot he was leaving a top 10 talent at 16 where it should have been a no brainer to pick him in that slot.
      even if he didn’t take Barzal there was an abundance of talent at 16.
      Kyle Connor at 17, Thomas Chabot 18, Brock Boeser 23, and Travis Konecny 24.
      to a lesser extent, Evgeny Svechnikov 19, Joel Eriksson-am 20, and Ilya Samsonov 22.
      Beyond those players there are still others that are helping their team right now on elc or top prospects almost ready for NHL time. instead Chiarelli made a desperation trade after the Hamilton deal fell through. All he had to do was keep the picks and stock the prospect pool that was awful when he took over.

    • crabman

      we made the playoffs last year because Talbot had a great year, (+ for Chiarelli there). No major injuries so depth wasn’t tested like this year ( came into the season with a top4 D out long-term with no replacement, big – for Chiarelli here). Many players had career highs last year and were expected to continue to play at that level( big – for Chiarelli there ). In actuality Lucic is the only player playing significantly worse than career averages. So to reduce the teams scoring by losing Eberle and replacing him with someone who’s career average is half as much the team was destined to score less. the Oilers are scoring at career averages for almost the entire team. Chiarelli counted on another stellar year from Talbot( gave him no backup with an established backup goalie ) and everyone either continuing career highs or young players all taking steps forward. This team wasn’t good enough to win a cup last year and instead of adding talent he subtracted talent and added cap space he didn’t then use. He didn’t actively try to improve the team.
      The pk was awful last year and he didn’t bring in players to fill that role or force McLellan to make a change with assistant coaches to improve the pk. All this falls on the GM

  • Consultant

    Some of these comments are ridiculous. Kevin Lowe is not to blame for all Chia’s mistakes. Kevin Lowe is the scapegoat that will keep this idiot as GM until we have nothing left. The GM makes the trades, Chia is GM, he is also President of Hockey Operations. When you take that job you take responsibility for mess up’s. This tin foil hat crap about Kevin Lowe pulling all the strings is getting old.

  • Afc Wimbledon

    I’m not sure you can blame Chiarelli as the team is stationary, regardless of coach, regardless of McDavid, regardless of the barn the Oilers are in exactly the same place they were a decade ago, not just missing the playoffs but missing by a country mile and being a draft pick team without even the advantage of a low cap hit after drafting 4 number one picks.
    By God they are only one point ahead of a team that has never drafted first in its whole history and arguably right now might have a better future.

  • lee

    GM’s are put in place to basically make trades, sign contracts and oversea drafts in June.
    Making trades involving high end talent is not PC’s strength, the contracts he signed are not great but they are not terrible. Plenty of worse contracts on other teams in the league.
    The drafts the Oilers have made under his watch are average, but again not terrible.
    For me the only way to build a contender and be good for a long time is top notch drafting, when was the last time a team traded its way to a Stanley Cup.
    My biggest concern for PC is that he knows he has to do something big to turn the tide on all this negativity, this would probably either be trading RNH or trading their 1st round pick.
    The Oilers have been desperate for a puck moving right d man for a decade, well in this draft there are 3-4 top notch such players. Trading the pick would set the team back even further than they already are.
    Trading RNH would be the last of the big 3 (Hall, Eberle, RNH) before PC showed up, the return for him better be huge or PC will be run out of town.
    There are no young right handed puck moving d men that eat up huge minutes and put up big points that RNH will bring back in a trade. No team has more than 1 of these, most don’t have one of these.
    The next bet would be maybe Galchenyuk for RNH and Montreal’s 2nd pick. Montreal are desperate for a center, it would give the oilers something they need, a big strong young left winger and the cap hit is smaller, also getting and a solid prospect out of this trade would help the team in a few years.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    If Vegas has proved anything it is that high end talent is not as important in a league designed for parity. If the Pens have proved anything it is that my previous sentence is completely false. But after seeing the Knights success and the Oilers lack there of, the only conclusion I can see is that the Oil are just too young. Knights have very few player under 25 with less than 300 games played. Oilers especially this post Maroon-Letestu team is very young and inexperienced.

  • AlexTheOilersFanSince2006

    Someone made a good point about the old boys club. It doesnt matter who the Oilers GM is. Hell, we could have David Poille or Jim Rutherford. But as long as Lowe, MacT, and Katz are still around, NOTHING will be fixed. This organizations OBSESSION with nepotism and favouritism are running it into the ground. So no, I don’t think its fair to put all the blame on Peter.

      • crabman

        Motivated sure but who comes into a job because the former employee messed up and then takes that employees advice on, at the time, the most important decision he would have to make. Makes no sense and that lack of judgment is on Chiarelli. Rienhart obviously wasn’t his 1st choice and when the Hamilton deal fell through it came off as a desperation move.

  • The Whispererer

    Some people point at bad trades Chiarelli made in Boston and blame him for those decisions; others say he was forced to trade Seguin ( and maybe others ? ) by Cam Neely.
    Some people point at bad trades Chiarelli has made in Edmonton and blame him for them; others say he is being manipulated by the OBC and blame Lowe, MacTavish, etc.

    There is one major difference between the Boston and Edmonton situations. In Boston Chiarelli was GM and was reporting to his boss Cam Neely who was President Of Hockey Operations.

    In Edmonton Chiarelli is GM AND POHO, in charge of all hockey operations, reporting to the CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group Bob Nicholson. All of the hockey employees report to Chiarelli, he does not work for them. As with any large organization, he has a middle management team who are responsible for different areas of the operation; there might also be an informal advisory group ( eg. Lowe, Gretzky, Messier, etc. ). Their roles involve providing him with advice, not controlling his decisions. He is 100% responsible for all final decisions, including the Reinhart debacle; based on his accumulated knowledge from his prior employment along with having 2 months as GM and POHO to prepare for the draft Chiarelli would have had no reason to accept the recommendation of his subordinates unless he was in full agreement. The same goes for the trades of Eberle and Hall.

    It is my fervent hope that, based on the past 3 years, there will be controls placed on him for any major trade decisions in the future.

      • puckle-head

        This whole “ Don’t blame Chiarelli! it’s the old boys club still pulling all the strings!” argument has gotten out of control. Yes, the old boys club needs to go, but just look at how different the Oilers personnel decisions under Chiarelli have been vs. before his hiring. He’s making the exact same types of moves he made in Boston: undervaluing talent, overvaluing older “character” players, and managing their salary cap situation worse than I manage my finances on payday. This is Chiarelli’s work, through and through. He may have a crappy staff, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that his crappy trades and signings were, well… crappy.

      • The Whispererer

        If you seriously believe that Chiarelli would have accepted this job in 2015 without insisting on having full control over who would work under him…you and several others are keeping Alcan Aluminum in business.
        As to who would place controls on future large trades, there are only 2 people who could…Nicholson and Katz.

  • 2centz

    People here are franked. Start by firing Mac.T,Howson etc… Somebody,anybody,tell me how MacTavish is the VP and still scouting and assessing talent for this team? Only idiot in hockey,to be fired as head coach, fired as GM and still end up as VP and having input on the club. Mac.T probably phones Daryl, crying like a [email protected],everytime Chiarelli won’t listen to what he says. This team is a mess. Start running it like your businesses Katz

  • Oilpepper24

    Oilers didn’t make the playoffs with Hall and Eberle on the same team. Hall got traded, and after his massive pout fest, was told by the Devils management to grow up already. So now Hall is playing unbelievable, and it took a trade and a scolding to get his head out of his butt. As for Jordan “coward of the oil crush county Eberle”, watching him in the playoffs last season drove me and many others up the wall. I welcomed that trade with Strome. He can score all the goals he wants with the islanders but when the playoffs come and the intensity increases 100% he will hide and coward again. Just like the capitals the past few seasons, best team, lots of points but can’t play intense hockey when it matters and step aside for teams and players that get it.
    Those two players played in Edmonton as if the league owed them something and it doesn’t.
    Hall seems to have figured that out this year.

  • Craig1981

    He might be a smart hockey man, but his past dealing with trades is disgraceful. Nichelson hired his from his Team Canada deals, but there are no trades in that. You can’t has a career of that many blunders and keep your job

  • Explicit

    I don’t believe chiarelli is the problem. It goes much deeper. I think chiarelli was brought in and given the mandate to improve immediately because of the decade of suck and years of abject failure of the previous regimes. So they tried to fast track, and completely ruined there chance to be a truly dominant team and set the organizational depth years behind.

    To me, the direction the organization decided to go is the problem. To me, the entire upper management team is rotten. To me, it’s ridiculous to fire another GM without completely gutting the old boys club.

      • Glencontrolurstik

        We have been saying that since 2007 about the OBC (we even have an acronym for them?).
        The problem is that Katz doesn’t hear. I think if they left him, he wouldn’t have much, except alot of stuff?
        Sad really.

    • Hemmercules

      Agreed on the the whole fast track thing. They were in a panic to build a cup team while McD was on his entry level and they went overboard too quick. Chia could have gotten better value for Hall and Eberle but he had this notion that he had to jettison them as quickly as possible for whatever decent player he could get.

      • Gravis82

        you didn’t need to trade Hall and Eberle to win a cup, this is the joke of it all. Just find some sneaky good defenseman for cheap. If you can’t do that, well then you probably don’t deserve to win a cup anyway because in addition to a #1 dman, every cup winning team has excellent 2-6 making much less than they should and who were either drafted or acquired cheaply.