Todd McLellan took the fall for Peter Chiarelli earlier this week. Don’t get me wrong, McLellan wasn’t without fault — his line blending made it difficult for the team to find chemistry and stability and he failed to help some prospects take the next step — but it’s fair to say he was set up for failure with this flawed roster Chiarelli assembled.
When Chiarelli spoke after firing McLellan on Monday, he looked like a man sitting on the hot seat. The pitchforks have come out, not just in Edmonton, but nationally as well. Elliotte Freidman pointed out that Chiarelli seemed more stressed than usual on Sportsnet’s telecast of the Oilers and Sharks game earlier this week. Darren Dreger offered a take in regards to Chiarelli’s odd comment about the blueline he assembled not having any good passers. Michael Trakios suggested Chiarelli is the one who should have been fired. Even Terry Jones took a stab at Chiarelli’s work.
That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday (THURSDAY EDITION) question. First, do you think Chiarelli should be let go? Second, if so, who should replace him? And finally, when should it happen? Do you give Chiarelli another chance to salvage this roster and the season at the trade deadline? Or is him making desperation trades too risky for the future of the roster?
1. I don’t think I need to dive too far into why Chiarelli would be on the hot seat. He inherited a roster loaded with assets and has managed to bleed many of them all while creating a roster still loaded with flaws. Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and draft picks have been dealt and the blueline is still mediocre and the team now lacks talent on the wings. That said, he’s also helped replenish a very weak farm with some solid drafting.
2. Who would the replacement be is a question I see frequently in defence of Chiarelli. We went through a long period of time with the old boys club running the show and we finally got an outside perspective. Is there someone better out there? How about Vegas’ assistant general manager Kelly McCrimmon who helped build an insanely successful expansion team? Bill Guerin, the Penguins’ assistant GM, is a familiar face who seems in line for a promotion. Mark Hunter, the prospect guru of the London Knights, got passed over for GM of the Leafs when they went with young whiz Kyle Dubas. There are also veterans Dean Lombardi and Chuck Fletcher who were recently let go from their jobs. You also can’t rule out Keith Gretzky, the current assistant GM. Could Hitchcock grow into a coach/GM role? Pierre McGuire legitimately almost got hired for the Penguins GM role in 2014. Could you imagine?
3. Do we trust Chiarelli to make moves at this point? We’ve seen the deals he’s made in the past, now what would he do while desperate? Also, if you’re going to pull the trigger on a GM change, would you want to it well before the draft and free agency period to give the new guy an opportunity to figure out the roster? Maybe Chiarelli gets the Kevin Lowe treatment and remains President of Hockey Operations and a new day-to-day general manager comes into the mix. Like I said before, there are things Chiarelli has done well.
What say you Nation? Time for a new GM? Who should it be? When would it happen?
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