The worst of Chiarelli

As Peter Chiarelli and his staff search for scoring around the National Hockey League, I can’t help but shake my head. How does the organization still have enough faith Chiarelli to allow him to make a significant deal?

As TSN’s Ryan Rishaug tweeted early on Monday it seems as though the Oilers are not only aggressively pursuing a forward but are also willing to part with some valuable assets.

So as we all wait for the ball to drop on another Chiarelli deal I’ve decided to give you a look at the five worst deals he has made so far. Once again the management team that pulled the trigger on these five deals is going to be allowed to make at least one more significant change.

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To Edmonton: Griffin Reinhart
To New York: 16th & 33rd overall picks

If a GM was ever going to be fired after making one trade this deal could have very much been the one. There aren’t many trades in the history of the National Hockey League where you immediately identify one team being fleeced, but this certainly fits the bill.

Chiarelli deserves to take the heat for pulling the trigger on this deal but anyone within the organization who told him Reinhart was a good pick up needs to take the blame as well.

I don’t even care who the Oilers were or weren’t going to pick this was embarrassing from the beginning. I know everyone talks about Barzal but the real story is that the Oilers were also going to take Joel Eriksson Ek over the likes of Kyle Connor, Thomas Chabot and Brock Boeser.

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To Edmonton: Brandon Manning
To Chicago: Drake Caggiula

Clearly, this deal isn’t as impactful of a few other moves on the list but it’s so mind boggling I had to put it at number two.

A team full of 5-7 defensemen that is desperate for scoring trades their 5th leading goal scorer for at best a 7th d-man. This deal will never, ever, ever make sense. Even with some of the bigger deals, you can understand what Chiarelli was hoping to accomplish but this trade will never make sense to anyone. Drake Caggiula, who was sent to Chicago, summed it up best, “There were a lot of defencemen in Edmonton already and I thought they might want to bring in another forward but I’m not the one making the decisions.”

In the end, this deal won’t end up making a long-term impact on the club but that doesn’t mean it’s not troubling to see a General Manager do the exact opposite of what the team needs.


To Edmonton: Ryan Strome
To New York: Jordan Eberle

To Edmonton: Ryan Spooner
To New York: Ryan Strome

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I absolutely have to tie these two deals together as Chiarelli somehow managed to lose a deal involving Ryan Strome twice.

Eberle was coming off a playoff campaign in which he scored failed to score in 13 games but the main focus of this move was to save some cap space. The issue for Chiarelli is that he never did anything significant with the added wiggle room not to mention he had enough space to keep Eberle for at least another season anyway.

Strome would play 100 games with the Oilers before Chiarelli traded him for Ryan Spooner, hoping to replace the very offence the team lost when they moved Eberle.


To Edmonton: Adam Larsson
To New Jersey: Taylor Hall

I know I’m in the minority but I still don’t hate this deal, however, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a loss for Chiarelli. After completely blowing it on the Reinhart deal he found himself still desperate to land a defenseman.

Taylor Hall would have never won a Hart Trophy here in Edmonton riding shotgun with Connor McDavid but that doesn’t mean you can’t be frustrated watching him win the award with the Devils last season.

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Adam Larsson is a good NHL defenseman and has become an important piece of the Oilers but he still should have come with another player or draft pick. I still wonder how much Chiarelli shopped Taylor Hall before deciding Larsson was the best return he could get.


To Edmonton: 91st overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft
To Pittsburgh: Justin Schultz

The Oilers have been looking for a d-man like Justin Schultz since the moment they traded Justin Schultz. I understand things weren’t going well for Schultz but to simply give up on him for a mid-round draft pick when you literally had nothing else on the blueline was horrible, and I mean horrible asset management.

Schultz had two 30 points seasons under his belt and did not have a chance to play a full season on the power play with Connor McDavid before being moved.

In his first season after the trade, the once coveted college free agent put up 51 points with the Stanley Cup Champion Penguins


When you look at the deals above how can you possibly have any faith in Chiarelli not screwing up again? If the Oilers come out on the wrong end of another significant deal they have no one to blame but themselves, yet again. Be afraid, be very afraid.

Previously by Dustin Nielson:

  • Guy5354

    Suggestion to Oiler Nation. Please stop with the constant article after article, week after week with the Chiarelli summary of bad trades and contracts. We all know already. It’s so easy to have 20/20 vision and go back and analyze trades from years past. The playoffs are a different brand and style of hockey. We are much better built for the playoffs than we are for the regular season. Obviously we have to get in but if we do then the landscape changes. Everyone on this team, other than probably the core, is available for trade. Apparently Nicolson or Katz are not changing senior management so let them try to get us in the playoffs. Of course giving up a 1st round pick or on Jesse would be sad and in a couple of years you can all write about how bad that trade was too but let’s just get to the playoffs and see what happens. Guys like Kassian and Lucic and Brodziak and Kaira are better built for playoff hockey.

    • Goaltender Interference

      Are you on glue? What part of this team roster gives you the slightest glimmer of hope that this group wouldn’t get swept in the first round?

      Yeah – Connor could haul the whole team through one round on his back by going supernova. But should he have to?…

      Give your head a shake.

      • Guy5354

        What does glue have to to with anything? Why would you say that? I am constantly shaking my head at the non stop negativity. I for one am excited at the opportunity of making the playoffs and am positive about watching meaningful hockey. Your just negative and personally insulting. If they make the playoffs I don’t know how far they would go and neither do you.

    • Peplinski's Thunderbird

      Having players who can score goals is just as important, if not more important, in the playoffs. just look at the last few cup Champs to see why

  • TKB2677

    Did this article REALLY have to be posted today? It couldn’t wait a day or 2? Oilers won 7-2, Lucic got 2 goals, people are feeling good which as an Oilers fan doesn’t happen often but an article like this just takes all those good feelings away. Chia has done a really crappy job as GM but it would have been nice not to have to think about it for 24 hours at least.

      • TKB2677


        There is a link to an article in Oilfans. Someone posted a chart showing where all the shots from last game came from. Yes Buffalo outshot the Oilers but if you look at where all the bulk of Buffalo’s shots came from, lots are coming from the side boards.

        Is the Oilers roster not good enough? They aren’t. No debate about that.
        Is the Oilers defense not good enough? They aren’t. It’s a work in progress for sure.

        But just because a team outshots another teams, doesn’t always mean much. The bulk of the Oilers shots came from high scoring areas. The bulk of the Sabres shots came from low scoring areas. If I am a coach, while I want to cut down on shots, I am OK to give up shots from the side boards all day long because the chances of them going in are slim. Some teams like Buffalo have the Eakins game plan of just shot from anywhere no matter what.

        • Ty Guy

          i think part of the problem is the oilers goaltending allows too many of those “low percentage” shots in. Sure, only 1 in 20 of them go in but thats allowing 2 goals per game from low scoring areas alone then.

  • oilredemption

    At least the difference in the Schultz trade is you gave yourself a chance to equal out the trade. Filip Berglund could become a decent RHD option In the future. I mean it is a big “if”, for a actual NHL defenseman but his hands were tied with that trade. I will give him a pass on that one. The manning trade and Reinhart trade are one of the worst trades in oilers history save trading Gretzky and Messier. They are completely indefensible.
    -the hall trade should have included a depth scorer and one of 2 2nd round picks that New Jersey owned to kind of even things out. The deal should have looked like:
    -Hall for Larsson, Noesen and pick 36 or pick 49 in 2017. Which ever was going to be better.
    The Eberle trade was a salary dump but if you trade the better player regardless of the cap situation, you equal the deal with draft picks. Eberle was the obvious better player.
    -Eberle for Strome and NYI 2nd (pick 41) in 2018.
    Shortly after the eberle trade Calgary traded their 2nd to new York for harmonic so they pretty much knew they were going to have an extra.

  • Rob...

    I think it’s also worth tying the Hall trade to the Lucic signing. It was having Lucic in the bag that gave Chia the guts to lose the Hall trade. It could be argued that Chia lost the same trade twice. Not to be outdone, he then lost the Eberle trade twice. That’s saying something, given that I wasn’t a big Eberle fan.

    • Prairiechicken

      Totally agree. Also the fact that Jesse had fallen to us in the draft. Most “pundits” thought he’d be a first line winger in year two if not one of his career.

      • Oilitsinyoutogive

        At this point, with all the failed kids that other teams turn around it has to be an organizational deficiency in getting these kids the help they need. I stopped blaming the players after Yak. Too many talented kids come here and never get a fair shake. The oilers want everyone to be a number one right away, only McDavid could handle that pressure immediately. This organization needs to learn to let people develop before you throw them to the wolves..

      • Gravis82

        This is true. Trade Hall for defense quickly to free up cap space. Sign Lucic and replace 90% of Halls production. Play puljujarvi on the 1st line and we have another 25 free goals. LOL. End result. 90% reduction in goals.

        Problem is that Hall is a much better player and contribute to his lines success on the ice over what he bring in goals. He creates offensive zone time and creates scoring chances for himself and his linemates. Lucic was trending down and even when on this game was never the impact player offensively that hall was. Never bet on a prospect to walk in to 1st line minutes especially when he is the youngest player in the draft and does not speak the language. They clearly have a perspective on reality that is not actually based on objective facts and a strategy to minimize risk

    • Derian Hatcher

      Moreover, the Reinhart evidence at the pro level was there for all to see, but the stubborn know-it-alls still went ahead forcing the square peg into the round hole. Nothing against Griffin at all, he simply was not and is not at the level the braintrust thought he was or thought they could get him to. They simply cannot evaluate hockey players accurately. Simple as that.

  • The future never comes

    I still find myself questioning the Manning trade every day. Made no sense then, makes no sense now. Just an all around terrible trade when we are devoid of forwards and you grab a defenseman worse than Gravel at $650,000 for a regular healthy scratch at $2.25 with another year and no other team will ever take. Just awful. When Klefbom comes back we will have over 4 million used on healthy scratch D (Benning and Manning). 4 million could get you a descent 2nd-3rd line complementary winter.

  • The Immortal

    Based on the media frenzy (Specifically Rishaug) about trading Jesse and promoting Rattie to the 1st line I have no doubt in my mind that we will sell low once again a 20 year old very large kid (imagine he didn’t score last night playing with offensive guru’s like JJ and Spooner) with a boatload of potential.

    Meanwhile Hitch had no use for Rattie in St Lo or here. Why? Cause he’s a tweener with AHL speed…

    I am absolutely confident PC would get fleeced by an uber driver, much less another nhl gm

  • OldOilerFan

    All those deals you list are horrible, it’s the Brandon Manning one that was the last straw for me. Is the Oiler Mgmt team in such a bubble they can’t see what is going on? The future being sacrificed to give a guy who doesn’t have a good track record more chances at selling the farm? Be afraid? I’m terrified….

  • Gravis82

    Taylor Hall would have never won the Hart trophy playing with Connor McDavid? Probably not, but who cares! You would rather not want 2 players who are capable of winning the Hart trophy playing for your team? This is classic Oiler logic Dusty, I am surprised.

    • TKB2677

      I think the point of Dusty’s Hall trade comment is not that he wouldn’t want Hall. It’s that the trade wasn’t bad. Larsson is a pretty good dman and extremely valuable to the Oilers. Was he worth Hall straight up? No but it wasn’t a bad trade like the others. The Oilers just didn’t get full value for Hall out of desperation.

  • T.J.F.M

    Not that they are linked whatsoever, but to summarize the Justin Schultz deal – Chiarelli felt that a 3rd round draft pick was sufficient compensation for an NHL caliber Offensive Defenceman.

    Chiarelli also felt that a 3rd Round Pick was a fair price to pay for Alex Petrovic, a player frequently healthy scratched and struggling to stay in the NHL.

    His asset management is questionable but his reasoning for values of players and draft picks is downright pathetic.

    • Derzie

      In hindsight it is a very terrible trade BUT at the time thinking in Edmonton was the Schultz was no longer and NHLer because that IS how he looked. A common theme is the Oilers seem to make everyone seem much worse than they are (except those who play with Connor, the opposite effect happens). That said, Connor would be even better somewhere else. It may hurt but you know it’s true.

  • Homer

    I wouldn’t let him drive rats out of a cave with sticks let alone drive this franchise!! I hate to sound negative but PC best before date is waaaay past due

  • camdog

    Being one of the only people in Oilerland that defended Justin Schultz and would have kept him I find it incredibly disingenuous by anybody in the media to have him on this list. The day he was traded the media including the likes of Lowetide were shocked that the Oilers got the same value for Schultz as Teddy Purcell. Teddy Purcell’s NHL career was done, but he had a few good fancy stats. Peter is a lousy GM, there is no reason to re-invent history to slag him for fictitious events, the Justin Schultz trade was a mercy move, he was broken here.

  • OilTastic

    Wasn’t Bob Green responsible for suggesting that Reinhart was close to NHL ready and worth #16 and #33? How this guy still has a job here is beyond me! !

  • Oilitsinyoutogive

    I’d like to see the whole organization let go. Top to bottom. Hire someone with a clue as to development and restaff the whole organization. From POHO right down to the towel boys.

    • Jordan McNugent-Hallkins

      My thoughts exactly. We’ve switched out every single player (besides Nuge), scouts, coaches, GMs, and the results are still the same. Fire upper management, and I mean literally everybody. Nicholson, Lowe, MacT, Howson (why the hell is he back?), Chia, K Gretz, everybody.

    • Rock11

      Paging Steve Yzerman. Not as a GM as I don’t think he wants to travel to Edmonton all the time when he didn’t want to travel to TB. Hire him to replace Nicholson. He would not need to be a daily presence in Edmonton but has the smarts and guts to get rid of the old boys club and bring in quality people throughout the organization. Its not like Katz can’t afford to pay him. Make a Godfather offer and see if you can’t get ole Stevie Y into town.

  • Hemmercules

    Isn’t it bonkers that they keep letting him make deals. I cant put full blame on him for Reinhart but he still pulled the trigger. If you aren’t sure just don’t make the move. Its not like they were going to fire him the day after hiring him because he didn’t land a Dman via trade at the draft. Stupid on so many levels and it just speaks to expertise of the guys around him. Like seriously, would you take advice from a guy that gave Nikka Nikitin 4 million dollars a year? Or someone that though Barker was a good defensemen.

    The thing that worries me the most is that he probably ran the Manning trade by the OBC and they approved that deal. Sickening. Connor probably hates the guy. He’s overpaid, he sucks and they are stuck with him another year. Gravel is better and he’s cheap. Drake is no superstar but just not making that move actually would have made the Oilers a better team.

    And now, they are going to let him do a major move with basically any assets they have other than McD of course. I love the Oilers, always have, always will, but they are one of the most pathetically run organizations in the league. The fact that are going to let a guy that has set the team back years make another big move could mean we are doomed even if Chia does get fired.

    The puppet show needs to end. Mact, Howson, Lowe and Chia need to go. Give them seasons tickets for life and let them hang around Edmonton if they want. Just keep that team away from hockey decisions.

    • CofC

      Ya – and ancient aliens built Stone Henge… lol Please get a clue and place blame where blame is due; This oft-muttered drivel attributing current mismanagement to former administrations’ actions is bordering on conspiracy theory and actually quite pathetic.

      • Hemmercules

        I believe its been stated by the team that most of them are in on the decisions that are made. Its is Chia that ultimate pulls the trigger though. Is Mact not the assistant GM? He’s quite obviously involved to some degree in any move the team makes. And if you dont think Mact and Howson had something to do with Reinhart then get a clue.

        Also, When I refer to the OBC that includes Bobby and Katz as well. Looks like I forgot to add Bobby to the list of guys that needs to go. Can’t fire Katz, just have to wait for junior to take over and see if he’s any better.

      • Peanut butter and Jo-Jo

        12/13 years have been underwhelming to catastrophic failures. Coaches changed, core players moved out but the stank lingers. If not the Old boys club then what is it?

  • GK1980

    The reinhart deal was a joke. At the time you would still consider him a prospect. Why trade a first and second round pick for a prospect? You might as well draft one for f sakes.

  • Oilerz4life

    “The organization” sounds nauseating. Just insert the name Katz for the buzzword “organization”. Chiarelli is the symptom, Katz is the problem. Fire the “organization”, fire Katz.

  • TKB2677

    For me the trade that bothers me the most is the Reinhart trade. A 16th and the 33rd for a guy that isn’t an NHLer. It really doesn’t matter who the Oilers would have taken at 16, there is a really good chance that guy would have been in the Oilers line up somewhere. Same goes for the 33rd. When you are drafted that high in the second round, you probably are playing by now.

    The rest of the trades, most of them aren’t very good and I am not for a second excusing them because they aren’t good moves but they got something. Even the Caggulia for Manning trade. I didn’t get it, I didn’t think it was needed, I don’t like it at all and wish it didn’t happen but at least he could be a 6-7 dman. Reinhart can’t even be a 6-7 and you have up 2 high picks for him.

  • Frustrated Fan in Calgary

    Add in signing Milan Lucic for 7 years with the contract structured so that it could not be bought out, and giving up the same dollars as Taylor Hall’s contract? Nothing against Lucic, and it was great to see him getting some offense going this last week, but that contract is a mind blower.

  • hockeyartist

    The top six if Chiarelli simply did nothing and sat on his hands
    Eberle McDavid Draisaitl
    Hall RNH Barzal (or compareable)
    and on D Justin Schultz (ok previous Oiler management screwed him upbut hes good now) instead of Larsson.
    PC has got to go