Peter Chiarelli talks trades for Alex Petrovic and Brandon Manning

This morning, Peter Chiarelli stepped in front of the media and answered questions about yesterday’s bizarre trades that saw him sending out a third-round pick for Alex Petrovic and Drake Caggiula (along with Jason Garrison) for Brandon Manning. How did the interrogation go? Let’s explore it together.

As I was listening to the press conference, I know that the only reason they were making him available is because we all wanted to get Peter Chiarelli’s thoughts on whatever it is he’s doing right now, but the problem is that he never says anything of substance. I’ve transcribed enough of these Chiarelli press conferences now where I was almost going to skip this one, but I know some of you guys are at work and weren’t able to listen so it had to be done.


When the Oilers traded for Petrovic, I could honestly understand why Chiarelli would move to acquire a guy like him that is known as a pure defender. The Oilers are having a really tough time keeping the puck out of their net right now, and they need players that can help prevent that — this all makes sense. I didn’t particularly like that they sent a third-round pick along with Wideman to get him, but okay, it is what it is. Even with the overpay, I’m ready to go into this one with an open mind.

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When asked about why he made the moves he did, Chiarelli looked at the defence as a major hole that needed to be patched up.

When asked if he was looking for defencemen that could bat higher in the order than Petrovic and Manning…

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This is the part of the presser where Chia started to sound notably rattled because guys like Gregor and Rishaug kept pushing on why he added more bottom pairing defencemen to a team that has plenty of them but cannot score goals to save their lives. When asked about who is going to score outside of McDavid, Draisaitl, and Nugent-Hopkins, Chiarelli started to get a little bit testy.

Yeah, but who is the guy that put these players on the roster? Ahhhh nevermind. What’s the point? Go on…

I mean, sure but is adding two more guys that can only handle (sometimes) weak opposition really going to do that or is Hitch going to do what he’s always done and ride them anyway? What happens if Hitchcock doesn’t like playing his two new players? Then what?

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This move, I really do not understand regardless of how much Chiarelli tried to defend it. According to Scott Powers who covers the Blackhawks, Manning was deemed untradeable by many around the league given the fact that he’s a poor defender with a $2.5 million cap hit for this season and next, and that’s without even going into the history he has here. So why Manning? Why now?

As Gregor wrote this morning, Manning played 358 minutes at 5×5 with the Blackhawks and was on the ice for nine Goals For and 26 Goals Against, which eventually led to him being a healthy scratch 10 times. Sooo that’s the coach’s fault? Could it be just as likely that he wasn’t good enough to play there? What if his new coach doesn’t like him either?

Whatever, man, you can defend a bad hockey player as much as you want but I’m going to be highly skeptical on this one until he proves otherwise. Given how Spooner and Wideman worked out after you traded for them, Wideman is already gone and Spooner was apparently on the block as well, I don’t really believe much that you have to say when it comes to pro-scouting.

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When asked about the Connor McDavid angle to this trade, Chiarelli said he spoke to Connor about it last year when they were trying to acquire Manning from Philadelphia and that McDavid gave the okay at that time, but that he did not ask him again this year. Seems like he probably should have given the history, but what do I know about culture in the room?

So this has been the plan for a year now, huh? Happy day.


Since injuries are the major reason these moves took place, Chiarelli was asked about a couple of his defenceman that could be nearing a return. When asked about Russell, who was expected to be back in the lineup last Saturday against the Sharks, Chiarelli was vague with the details.

It also seems like Andrej Sekera will be out longer than maybe was expected.

When asked if there are any other moves that he might be looking at if this slide continues, Chiarelli terrified everyone with:

Holy hell. *buckles seatbelt*


At the end of the day, this presser played out like every other one has when Peter Chiarelli has stepped in front of the media. He says he knows there are issues, he says that they’re working to fix them, and he expects us all to believe that he’s still the man that will be able to do that. The problem is, as Jason Gregor so accurately described this morning, that most of the moves Peter Chiarelli has made for this team have been disastrous, and he can say what he wants about having ideas moving forward but the reality is that he shouldn’t still be here to begin with. He’s had more than enough time to try and build something here and it’s clear that he does not have the ability to do that so we should move on now before he causes any further damage.

The reality is that any other team would have fired him for the nightmarish lack of depth and NHL talent that he’s put around the league’s best player. How the guy can spend up to the cap and only have three players that can score is beyond me, but that seems to be acceptable for the people that run this hockey team. The fact that this team is in worse shape than it was when he took over which is not only an indictment of his work as a GM, a role he will likely never occupy again after he’s eventually fired from this gongshow, but also one on all of those people that surround him in management that are accepting this failure as being okay. I know I’ve personally been hard on Peter Chiarelli over these last 18 months, but maybe it’s time to set the sights a little bit higher. Frankly, everyone involved in this mess should be ashamed of the job they’ve done and I hope it doesn’t take Connor to ask for a trade before some actual changes occur.

  • Hakuna Mcdavid

    There seems to be some confusion on how good the oilers are without making any moves. They are losing, badly. They are being scored against at an astounding clip, and Sekera will never play at the level he did 2 years ago. They moved a bottom six forward for bottom pairing d. Also, how is any oilers fan concerned about moving draft picks? What are the chances that pick even turns into an nhl level player? If you’re losing games at 5 goals a go you’re offense isn’t the freakin problem. Bring in a couple young, cheaper defenders and call up a young guy to get a look in the big club (which has worked out better for the oilers than anything else). If they keep losing, Chia will still be gone. At least now they’ve made a move on the back end to give themselves a chance.

    • Anton CP

      Yes, most of the draft picks won’t be playing for NHL but that is the reason why to have enough of them in the prospect pool just so someone can play in the NHL one day. The current top 50 players in NHL that 12 of them are not drafted out of first round. For a team that is not trending upwards need to have a bigger pool of prospects but with abysmal records season after season that the Oilers somehow never have a big prospect pools. For a team like the Oilers with some very heavy contracts that having a bigger pool of prospects is very essential. This is yet another quick fix which may spark the team to improve a bit in the short run but the entire team in general is failing for years to come. The team of next season will not be better.

      • Hakuna Mcdavid

        The Oilers do have prospects on the cusp. The reason they don’t look better this year is because they haven’t graduated any again in spite of obvious holes that need to be filled. I have a different take on draft picks than most I guess, largely because I’m from our east and watched the blackhawks balancing act when they were in there prime. Draft picks come easy when you decide you want to get some. Most teams are happy to pay picks for rentals if that’s your prerogative. If the oilers ever go into sell mode again there will be plenty, but in win now mode you won’t have that and you really shouldn’t. Oilers are still in win now, and their prospect pool is far from empty. I mean, they just drafted Bouchard and he looks like he is a year out at most. There aren’t many teams that draft a player who can plug in that quick. The joke when I was younger was we should trade for other teams picks, but make them choose the player still because that’s how bad our drafting record was. Looking a bit better now in spite of the Griffon Reinhart gaff. That will continue to be the worst move Chia will have ever made and it just SCREAMS oilers management influence to me

        • RIP

          Yes but how did they just draft Bouchard? Cause they lost terribly and are no where near win now. They are no where closer in 11 years. It is a joke show. For your commentary to make any sense the Oilers would at least need to be a competitive team. They are not even close.

          • Sorensenator

            I get the frustration but that just isn’t accurate. You have to completely dismiss the Oilers winning record two years ago, and then you also have to dismiss their COMPETITIVE record before the losing streak at 18-12-3. And is it also a coincidence that the Oilers recent losing streak has been without two of their best defenders who both went out at the same time? Things suck right now, they really do, but negative attitudes never created positive results.

  • chezzychez

    At the end of the day, manning + petrovic > wideman + garrison. Our bottom 12 forwards are made of a bunch of cagguila’s. With a couple of cagguila’s waiting in the farm. And most of these cagguila’s play better D than drake. We’re a slightly better team than we were a couple days ago.

  • Since 72

    Where the hell are the role players the Oilers used to have back in the day?
    The Ethan Moreaus, Kelly Buchburgers etc, guys that would go through a wall to win! There has to be those kind of players around somewhere.

  • Clayton

    I think Chia is sending a message to Connor with these deals. I think there is truth to the rumors that Connor had expressed his displeasure about the status of the team privately to Chia and this is his response. Chia runs the team, not Connor. He shows this by dealing away one of his best friends on the team (Drake) and bringing in a guy who once targeted and injured Connor. Message delivered! This is Chia’s team…for a short time longer! Just hope that someone regulates his future trades or his next “I’m the boss” trade could likely be Connor being shipped out! Laugh all you want…if there is a GM that would be dumb enough it may just be Chia.

    • Hakuna Mcdavid

      I’ve read this 4 times now and it just gets dumber each time. Him and drake were best friends now huh? That’s a new one. And obviously the gm on the hot seat wants to get into a feud with his star player and make his team worse. Also, GM delivers players but a coach makes the lineup decisions but that doesn’t fit in your narrative. Maybe, just maybe, this was about addressing the fact that the oilers defense allowed more than 5 goals a game. If your offense isn’t showing up, you should still be losing games 2 or 3 to 1 if you have any semblance of buy in and defensive ability. No excuses to loose that badly that consistently

  • TDSM31

    There are nine teams in the league below the Oilers in the standings, yet I don’t see any of them making desperate, mickey mouse moves like Chiarelli. He’s clearly in panic mode and feeling the heat of being fired.

    • Beer_League_Ringer

      If the opportunities arise, I vote tank. Buffalo turned it around in 3-4 years FFSAKES. Eichel was drafted the same year as Connor. Buffalo won the lottery last year and now they are in 3rd place in their division (Behind TBL and TOR). Embarrassing.