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.

Baggedmilk on #theLOCKERROOM: McDavid's personality, overestimating the Blackhawks, and 50/50 love

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.

Will the Edmonton Oilers Make It Five?

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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

  • Deezy

    After 3 horrible trades that have downgraded our talent in such a big way (Hall, Eberle, Reinhart) and 2 bonehead free agent signings (Lucic, Russell) that have messed up the salary cap for us, it’s time Nicholson holds his GM accountable for creating this mess. Chia and Nicholson inherited McDavid, Draisatl, Hall, Eberle, Nuge, Klefbom, Nurse as first rounders and have managed to somehow screw it up and make us a bottom 5 team once again. It’s indefensible. There is no argument to keeping him.

    • Oilerchild77

      Easy Deezy. Calm down.

      Here’s me doing a typical Chia hater: “He traded my favourite underachiever!? Fire hiiiiim!!! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fiiiiiire!!!”

      Holy Christ, everybody put the pitchforks down and think. Why do you think he made those trades? Let’s calmly consider:

      1) Hall was a pouter who didn’t listen to his coaches and has since admitted as much. Every other GM knew this, which lowered his value.
      2) Jirdan Eberle is a talented, but very one-dimensional player who is greatly overpaid at 6M. Again, every GM knew this, so gis trade value was limited. And by the way, Ryan Strome is a good player, not a top 6 guy, but a good player none the less
      3) The scouting has been much better since Chiarelli has taken over. Yeah, they still have a problem at forward, but that’s because they’re still recovering from years of mismanagement and poor drafting from before PC took over and it takes more than a couple of years to recover from.

      In the end, all I’m saying is Chia’s time in Edmonton, while not being mistake free, really hasn’t been as terrible as you guys suggest.

        • Glencontrolurstik

          Regarding Chia in Boston. Cam Neeley was basically calling the shots. There is a pretty graphic You-tube video out there showing Pete being pressured to get rid of Seguin by Neeley & his croonies.
          Even as far as Chia saying, “are you sure you want to do this, I’m not sure it’s the right move.”
          Check the general feeling towards Cam Neeley & the boys over the years in the Boston Globe from the Boston fanbase. It’s pretty parallel to our feeling of Kevin & Crew.
          When you are going to bombast someone that affects something you care about, be sure to dig as deep as possible.
          You can’t just look at the surface.

      • Hemmercules

        I agree with you to some degree. Going off what Hall has said since he left he does kinda sound like he was an entitled brat when he was here and the Oilers desperately needed a defensive dman at the time (and an offensive one which of course which they still don’t have). He still took a low ball deal and that can’t be overlooked.

        The whole Eberle thing is just stupid though. Can’t trade a guy like that for Strome without getting at least a 3rd or even 4th round pick back as well. Just a bad move if you aren’t using that cap space too. The only reason I can see that move was made was because Chia had something else going, or thought he did, and it fell through. Leaving us with Cammy in the end. I suppose Chia thought he could use some cap to load up at the deadline but that obviously backfired and he was a seller instead.

        I can’t speak a whole lot for the Scouting. I don’t follow the prospects a whole ton. From the sounds of things its pretty bare on forwards and the farm team is in the basement. Seems like they have a few picks this year to grab a few guys or make a trade or two so hopefully they get some players that work out.

        Not a big Chia fan but he’s obviously not getting fired until at least sometime next season if they tank again. I’m just hoping he can fix a few things and get us back in the playoffs. A lot is riding on Klef, Talbot, Larsson, Sekera and Lucic having a rebound season next season.

      • Disappointed

        I’m with you OC on the trade analysis, nobody complained(well a few still did) when we made the playoffs last year with Larson without Hall. Most were quite happy to see that playoff underperformer go, me included, just wish that trade had avfew sweetners added to it and like you the OBC was behind the Reinhart deal. He should get one more year to turn this around. Perhaps he can make a sacrifice to the fanbase and fire the assistant coaches.

      • Rock11

        1)Hall was a pouter who didn’t listen to his coaches and the OIlers performed like a playoff team whenever he was on the ice and they traded him at 23 before he could really mature. For a #3/4 Dman. Brutal.
        2)Jordan Eberle is talented and one dimensional. It happens to be the most important and hardest to acquire dimension in hockey and decent 3C’s are traded away/for 12 times a year and usually for peanuts. Also brutal.
        3)I do like the draft work over the last 2 drafts. More focus on skill. Early days but promising.
        Here’s is what you forgot though.
        4)Lucic contract was awful from day one and somehow only looks worse now and there is half a decade to go.
        5)Kris Russell. Oh vey Kris Russell. There has been gallons of digital ink spilled on this one already but to completely tie your hands with a long term, high dollar, trade protected(though no other GM would trade for the player or contract anyway) for a 3rd pairing D is idiotic. I hope all of the eye-test guys were watching last night cause that was awful. Good luck defending that.

      • Marshall Law

        Stop this. It’s this kind of mentality that perpetuates the cycle of incompetence. Look at the most lopsided trades in the league over the last decade. You’ll notice that the losing end always has a Chiarelli signature at the bottom of the page. Whether we’re talking about trades or contracts, Chiarelli is far and away the worst negotiator in pro sports.

        Scouting has been better? Based on what? The team’s complete lack of prospect depth? I will concede that he’s great at discovering undrafted college players who might one day star in the east coast league.

        I can’t stand how people act like Hall only got good when he went to New Jersey. He had this exact same season as an Oiler in 2013-2014, only his team employed the likes of Potter, Fedun, Ference, Belov and Philip Larsen on defence. You may also remember the goaltending tandem of Viktor Fasth and Ilya Bryzgalov. Hall was one of the only names on that roster that you could look at and be proud that it was associated with your favourite team.

        For anyone thinking that Hall was anything but one of the best players in hockey while he was in Edmonton, I would encourage you to stop eating paste and join reality. You are the problem. The Oilers will continue to suck as long as you continue to buy tickets and make excuses for these members of management who may possibly be the worst individuals at their chosen professions on the planet. Had the Oilers spent the last 3 seasons without a general manager and simply let Katz’s son walk up to the podium and select McDavid, they would be light years ahead of where they are now.

      • Consultant

        I agree they needed to trade Hall, but they did not need to lose the trade so obviously.
        It stunk for value then and still does. Hall for Larsson and a 1st rounder and a prospect or an established player. Fine. But just because a player might be best traded doesn’t mean you just give away your best trading asset. In this cap world you can’t just lose trades over and over again. Chia cannot negotiate, simple as that. He loses his trades. Because of this he has depleted this team. We were so deep with riches when he walked in, now we are nearly back to square one. Fire Chia yesterday. Honestly, the writing is on the wall, with his record there is no way he doesn’t get fired the day after the playoff end. It is the easiest decision Bob has to make. Chia is literally batting about .125 since he came here. Results are results, Oiler fans won’t take it, simple as that, ticket sales for next year will dip huge if no changes occur.

      • GK1980

        Look, Chia is just the face of a group of men deciding on what to do an implementing a “plan”. He or “they” have made poor decisions but I think he will still be around next season like it or not.

  • scott5017

    Didnt we have to compensate the bruins when they hired chia? I feel like we’re the ones owed compensation in that deal, its not exactly working out so far.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • PleaseWinOilers

    The really annoying thing is that we’re bad despite not having to worry about cap space. It’s not going to get much better next year when we don’t have any.

  • Quoteright

    Hendricks and Pitlick would look better than Camellerie and every Hal call up this season.
    Why do the Oilers have no heart?
    The two oldest serving Oilers are now Nuge and Klefbom. Really, they are still developing without any help from veterans, because they have always had to be….
    Now they are on the trade block.
    Loyalty builds loyalty and without any, I’m sure committing to a team that continues to have a high rate of turnover.
    I’m a believer in Nuge and is one of the main reasons I’m a fan still. Klefbom has had a bad year, so we won’t get fair value. Don’t trade low. Stick with this team and let em play their way out. It’s still young and developing.

  • 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.

  • QuitForRealThisTime

    Here is a somewhat unrelated question if the cap where to go to 80 million next year. I figure that the Oil can keep the team as is and still have 5 million. Assuming Nurse is on a bridge deal for the next 2 year. How would you guys spend that 5 mil?

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • RJ

    The Letestu and Maroon trades encapsulate the issue I have.

    On the Letestu side, they were dealing with a team looking to free up a roster spot, and are looking to move a depth player (Aberg). I don’t mind the move since Nashville is one of the top teams in the NHL so it would be a challenge to move up the depth chart. It’s a solid bet for an expiring contract.

    On the other side, according to different news reports, between 5-7 teams are interested in Maroon. They end up settling on a Devils prospect rated 12-15 in their pipeline, and a third rounder two years from now. And that’s without the comments by Shero that Chia buckled in the negotiations.

    Trade is a small trade on the periphery? Chia nails it. Trade with more on the line? Chia buckles and opposing GMs know this.

    Do you really think Chia would get fair value for Nuge or Klefbom? Not based on his Hall, Eberle, Reinhart, Seguin, Wheeler trades.

    And that’s not even getting into the terrible signings and the complete absence of value contracts he is able to negotiate.

    • IRONman

      Look at Toronto June 2015 vs Oilers. They got the better coach. Why did Babcock not come to the Oilers? Look at Toronto GM and Oilers GM. This is totally pathetic management. Worst thing is how long it is going to take to fix it.

  • Butters

    Even if we get rid of Chiarelli, I don’t think it solves all our problems. The GR trade was brutal, but I agree with other posters, that iron was in the fire before the draft. I think MacTavish and Howson have difficulty evaluating talent, defense especially, but they are still around the rinks scouting.

  • Connor McFly

    You are bang-on. The other area is the people Chia inherited. Who fires a GM and keeps him on as the new GM’s assistant? How does that happen? Well how about a meddling owner who handcuffs his new GM. If Chia and TMac are colossal failures so are Kevin Lowe, Bobby Nickers and Craig MacT who pushed Chia to go get Reinhart. Nickers looked like a pathetic deer in the headlights. He was a stumbling bumbling exec who should never be allowed to speak without a teleprompter. If I have to watch another annoying curtain-call of the ‘80’s players I am going to loose it. That’s all the Oilers have is success from 30 plus years ago. It will take a new competent GM at least 5 years to try and fix this mess. Fat chance McD hangs around after his contract expires. What a waste of a superstar person and player.

    • hammer313

      Yup, I give Connor 2 more years. If this gm AND coach are not fired THIS year, we do not improve, stuck in the mud, so to say. The gm gets screwed in 80% of his deals and a coach that cannot set a lineup or a decent system. Both gone, or next year is what you’re seeing now. Makes me sick, just thinking these 2 clowns will be here in the fall.

  • Wolverine_Oiler

    Chia is just not a good GM. Track record from Boston and Edmonton show this. He overthinks value and where the NHL is heading, makes teams worse.

    Griffin for a first and second when the scouting report said he wasn’t a good skater and he hadn’t come close to being an NHL regular. Sure you might make that trade but it has to be for the second only, not a first because even at that stage, he was looking like an overvalued prospect and a tweener at best. And look what happened? Gone for nothing and still not in the NHL.

    Hall. If you make that trade it has to be Larsson plus a first and something else. Hall had showed he was 10x better than Larsson at their respective positions and a couple years later it’s still the same. Larsson is a good second pairing, nothing more. Getting the first and another developmental player at least allows the Oilers to have two more pieces on the team.

    Eberle. Another one that baffles. It has to be Strome plus a first or second. Heck maybe even a prospect as well. Eberle for all his faults is a goal scorer. Top 20 in the league in goal scoring for several years. Strome was not. This is not a one for one deal you can make.

    Maroon. There’s a story that said the day before the deadline Chia was offered a second. He turned it down thinking he could get more. And then NJ comes out and says in the last 10 minutes Chia asks for less and gets fleeced again.

    This is all bad GMing and way overshadow anything good he has done. IMO he is worse than MacTavish and Lowe and Tambellini. The team and it’s parts had gotten better, just needed to start putting it together. And he devastated it again. Chia should lose his job in my humble opinion.

  • Smuckers

    If Chia gets fired, and I’m neither here nor there on that; Lowe, MacT, Howson, Green and all the scouts need to go as well. you cannot fire PC without turfing the nitwits who offer advice and presided over the previous decade of losing. It’s insanity if they all have jobs if/when the GM is fired.

      • QuitForRealThisTime

        13 other teams not including Edm and Buf also passed on this guy, so if you include these 2 teams (assuming Saber fans also think their GM in incompetent) then are there currently 15 incompetent GMs in the league? Starting to seem like finding a good GM may actually be difficult. So hiring one that had previously had success may have been a good idea at the time? Not exactly coming in a great situation was he. Sadly he did not have the advantage of making decisions through a time machine like all you hind site geniuses.

        • crabman

          The only player in the top 5 that is even remotely questionable at this point is Strome, although he is having a great season in the AHL and will probably benefit them slow playing him. and in the Next 5 picks the worse one is Pavel Zachal and Barazal could have definitely been taken in that slot. Picks 11 through 15 , Florida, Dallas and Boston all made mistakes not taking Barzal. If he slipped any further I would say the same of any GM that passed on him. He only fell that far because of injury history. He was regarded as a top 5 talent, and is living up to it.

  • OilersBro

    I really like Adam Larsson but at the time there were rumours of Taylor Hall fetching PK Subban. I feel like a broken record saying this but when we traded Hall and Eberle, we should have had Larsson + Strome + a 2nd round pick (or prospect) for each of them – it makes the deal fair and wouldn’t impact our cap

  • Rama Lama

    Should have been fired after the Griffen Reinhart trade……..it seems that NO one on the Oilers have an understanding of how to assemble a team. Kevin Lowes vision was a small fast team…….we got hammered physically bey every team in the NHL. Steve Tambelleni’s vision was the best kept seceret in the NHL…….he could not identify a NHL player. Craig McTavish vision was making bold trades for which he had little to show for. PC vision is big heavy players that can’s skate.

    Is there anyone out there that thinks we can trade our way to success? I think most fans want us to start drafting and developing players properly………no one is giving us great players without stealing our best players.

    PC needs to go to the light!

    • Connor McFly

      IMO the Edmonton media are brainwashed into putting the blame on the players. So the Oil trade, trade, trade. There is NO accountability for Katz’ buddies. On HNIC Nicker looked like he had been beaten with a sack of rocks. When you have braindead commenters like Lowetide just aching to trade the 1st round pick and skid Nuge out of here. You can tell they are sychophants spewing the party line. Stauffer was a constant critic until they bought his mouth. Absolutely move these incompetents on and start from the top down.

  • 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.

  • crabman

    I had high hopes when Chiarelli was hired, even though he came from Boston who I hate, because he had a history of winning. Three years later my hope of him turning his mess around is very low. I think a coaching change needs to be made. our lack of consistency, poor special teams, slow starts to games and inability to close out games are all signs of a broken system. If a coaching change isn’t made any tiny bit of faith I have left Chiarelli will be gone.

    As far as the trades go, losing 1 trade is forgivable but losing three major trades is a problem. Both the Rienhart and Hall trades stink of desperation. He over paid for Rienhart after losing out on Hamilton and because the Rienhart deal was obviously a bad one come next off season he was still desperate for a RHD he moved Hall for a lower value player. At the time many people, myself included, looked at the Hall trade as Hall for Larsson and Lucic because he wouldn’t have signed Lucic without Hall’s money and roster spot being available but Larsson should still have came over with another prospect or picks to help the system. Better GMs don’t trade their players until they get the pieces they want in return. For a GM that preached patients and a 5 year plan when he was hired he seems to make impulsive, short sighted trades. Same goes for trading Eberle for cap room he didn’t use and a lack of a bigger return. Again picks or prospects coming back as well or hold onto the player until you get the trade you want.

    I think Chiarelli’s best work he has done since arriving in Edmonton has been his drafting. It’s too early to tell on most players but I think he has made some good bets and when we look back in 5 years we will think he had some success in this department. For this reason I think trading away picks for Rienhart and not getting picks back in the Hall and Eberle deals looks even worse.
    I don’t blame Chiarelli for the lack of depth in the AHL because the majority of his picks haven’t graduated to pro hockey yet but I do blame him for not having more of his own picks on the way. The Oilers needing to give up a 2nd and 3rd for Chiarelli and McLellan made the need for Chiarelli to be more conscious of using his draft picks wiser and the need to get more draft picks back. He failed in this department.

  • Spydyr

    The issue with the Oilers is the owner. Need proof look at the teams record under his ownership.

    Hiring your buddies the rewarding incompetence is why the team is such is it is today.

    Having one second round pick in four years is reason enough to clean house. You build through the draft not by over paying for free agents. Find the next one not the last one.

  • DerpSolo

    It sucks because even if oilers do fire Chiarelli, it doesn’t get rid of looch, it doesn’t bring back hall and it doesn’t bring back ebs. It just means someone else gets to come In and make the tough decisions because of the cap hell chia has induced. Hell imo chia is the only reason Garth Snow still has a job, because peter is directly responsible for giving them half of their top 6 forwards

  • “The Oilers were right to look outside the organization for a new general manager, they just hired the wrong one.”

    Oilers needed a new direction after the MacT disaster, that’s for sure. Chiarelli came in and addressed many issues, such as team toughness (remember soft skill?), problems in the room (Taylor Hall pouting), and sub par defense and goaltending. He did all that, and it had to be done, but it came at a price. I find it hard to believe that incompetence is at play here. I thing it’s more market conditions. Other GM’s sense desperation. No one is going to help Edmonton win, they want to win themselves.
    Last year, a winning season, Chiarelli could have ran for mayor. This year, a losing season, fans want his head on a stick.

  • Tru$Oilfan$420

    The worst thing about pete is simply his inabilty to realize that hes been hoodwinked on every hes made barring the marroon deal withbthe ducks. He has consisently come up short. Obviously the Hall and Ebrele trades were attemps to purge the old blood, but in doing so he has bled us dry. Imagine if Mcdavid had secondary scoring to help him along. He can amazing things but asking him to do them solo is ridiculous. If our gm thinks trading RNH is going to make us better we might need a good old fashion coutd’`eta. Im just sick of tatent being shipped to the east coast.

  • Tru$Oilfan$420

    The worst thing about pete is simply his inabilty to realize that hes been hoodwinked on every hes made barring the marroon deal with the ducks. He has consisently come up short. Obviously the Hall and Ebrele trades were attemps to purge the old blood, but in doing so he has bled us dry. Imagine if Mcdavid had secondary scoring to help him along. He can amazing things but asking him to do them solo is ridiculous. If our gm thinks trading RNH is going to make us better we might need a good old fashion coutd’`eta. Im just sick of tatent being shipped to the east coast.

  • Consultant

    No GM will be perfect but to think Chia could have done NOTHING and right now we’d have a top six of McDavid, Draisaitl, Hall, Nuge, Eberle and Barzal (if they just looked at Bob Mckenzie’s list and picked the next guy). Imagine those guys spread over three lines. Sit back and let Hall get hot then quietly allow a bidding war for him, take a year if need be until someone puts together an appropriate value trade offer. Instead three of those six are gone for peanuts. We keep Chia and soon Nuge is out the door too, 4 out of 6 gone for Strome, Larson and probably another “up and coming” dman like Cody Ceci that will end up being another #3/4 dman for us. It’s a sad story that desperately needs to end.

  • 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.


    • 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

    • 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.

  • 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.