WWYDW(FE): Pitching Pete

The Minnesota Wild shocked the hockey world earlier this week, firing general manager Paul Fenton just slightly over a year into his tenure at the helm of the team. In doing so, they opened up a last-minute gig for all of the funemployed former general managers floating around out there doing freelance scouting work and golfing.

Thanks to his excellent work in scouting and player development with the Nashville Predators, Fenton was a highly-coveted assistant general manager viewed as somebody who could come in an turn a franchise around. He took over the middling Wild and, in just one year, made them substantially worse. He dealt stud winger Nino Niederreiter for the underwhelming Victor Rask, he got poor returns on Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle at the trade deadline, and handed out an absurd contract to Mats Zuccarello in free agency.

Given how things went for Minnesota with their new-school guy, I would venture a guess that they want somebody with experience coming in to mop up the mess. Among the names thrown out for the vacant Wild gig are recently-fired general managers like Garth Snow, Dean Lombardi, Ron Hextall, and our old pal Peter Chiarelli.

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Personally, I would love to see Pistol Pete get back in the saddle to run another NHL team into the ground. I think it would be great for the Oilers if one of their Western Conference rivals hired somebody who routinely loses trades and manages the salary cap poorly Wild to bring in somebody with Stanley Cup pedigree to lead the ship.

That brings us to this week’s What Would You Do Wednesday SLOW NEWS DAY, DRINKS BY THE POOLSIDE FUN TIME FRIDAY EDITION! Earlier today on TSN 1260, Dan Tencer and Lieutenant Eric asked fans of the Oilers to give the Wild some reference letters for Chiarelli. How would you pitch Peter Chiarelli to the Minnesota Wild to fill their vacant general manager role? I want to see your best, most detailed ringing endorsements to help get Pistol Pete into a new gig.

Here are some things that I would touch on…

  • He’s got Stanley Cup pedigree. Unlike guys like Steve Yzerman, Kyle Dubas, and Doug Wilson who are constantly praised for their ability to put together good regular season teams, Chiarelli’s Boston Bruins got the job done in Boston in 2011.
  • He can play three-dimensional chess with his long-term decision making. As a commenter pointed out to the guys on TSN 1260, Chiarelli dealt two draft picks to the New York Islanders for Griffin Reinhart. While people complain the Oilers traded Mat Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier for a player who was clearly a bust, what he actually did was protect himself from the expansion draft. The Golden Knights took Reinhart in the expansion draft, ensuring the Oilers wouldn’t lose Jujhar Khaira, who they had to leave unprotected.
  • He helped Connor McDavid face adversity early in his career. McDavid, being a whizkid with generational talent, was never challenged in his youth. He breezed through the OHL like it was a beer league and came into the NHL not understanding what it’s like to struggle. Chiarelli demolished Edmonton’s forward depth, giving McDavid the biggest challenge he had ever faced in his life of carrying around a team by himself. He’ll come out of it stronger.
  • He can generate talking points among the fanbase. The Minnesota Wild are the most boring team in all of North American professional sports. They have no identity whatsoever. Can you tell me who their best player is right now? Who their most promising prospect is? Of course you can’t. Chiarelli will come in and rock the ship, whether you like it or not. If not for things like the Milan Lucic signing and Taylor Hall trade, what would we argue about all winter?

What say you, Nation? How would you pitch Pete to the Minnesota Wild? Let’s see your best letter of reference. 

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  • Hemmercules

    I can’t fathom a universe where Pete gets another GM job in the NHL. I really hope it happens but I don’t think there is an owner in the league stupid enough to take Pete. Im guessing his next NHL job will be some sort of background role just to get his foot in the door again.

      • Hemmercules

        I think Chia was front and centre making those moves, but the OBC was approving it all I’m sure.

        It’s really too bad they didn’t have the balls to just fire him last summer instead of giving him until after christmas to make desperation moves. The team would be much better off right now.

        • LOL, if his last name was Messier or Buchberger he would still have the job. Name one other franchise that has an employee with the title of VP of Player Development, then when pressed on his horrible track record, claims to have nothing to do with player development.At one time we were told Chia was running Bakersfield , and fans were upset because they thought he had too much on his plate, then when Bakersfield does well, TA-DA, about face, Mac-T is actually running Bakersfield and doing a fine job or at least that is what the press release said. This would be the same Mac-T that we were told is not involved in Hockey Ops. Title? VP of Hockey Ops. They cant even spin a lie properly. Lots of more examples available that proves neither Katz or his sacred OBC can be trusted.

          • Hemmercules

            Wether Chia has no idea how to grade talent or he just trusted his scouts way too much and they failed him I’m not sure? Reinhardt, Reider, Spooner, Manning, Brodziak. Who was telling him these were the guys they need?

            At least Howson has been moved into something other than scouting. The guys definitely has nine lives.

  • Moneyball

    To be fair, chiarelli reformed the entire scouting system so that it went from the worst in the league to upper tier. This is evidenced by the vast improvement of the condors this past season. He made some good gambles that worked out and some that did not. He stuck to heavy hockey and unfortunately that ended right after the oilers playoff run and the rule and officiating changes.
    I think Pete changed the back office and put in place a better management team and personnel behind the scenes that has improved the Oilers. Holland didn’t inheret a total mess like Chiarelli did when he first came here.

    • 50 Flex

      You can’t say that Chiarelli improved the Oilers if the on ice product is worse. That’s really the only thing that is important. Most would trade this team for the one they had in 2015 in a heartbeat. More talent and tons of cap space. You can improve a house all you want, but I won’t mean anything if you don’t put a roof on it.

    • billsbills

      I agree and disagree. PC helped improve scouting and drafting without a doubt. But as for heavy hockey ending, that’s a load of crap. The league is a copy cat league. He could have built a big and heavy team that won. But he let go of too much of the skill. Who cares how big and heavy your team is if you don’t finish.

      But ask the flames how well a small skilled team is in the playoffs. Colorado ran them out of the rink.

      Last year st Louis probably had the largest defensive core in the league and they were no slouches up front either. Big and heavy is great. But only if you can score.

      I actually can’t remember a team that skilled their way to a Stanley Cup rings. Even the highest scoring team in history had some dirty and nasty players. If they didn’t, they never would have become the greatest team ever.

  • Jay (not J)

    Remember what they were saying about Torterella after Vancouver? I think Chiarelli will get another chance. Hockey’s a pretty inbred little community.

  • he shoots he scars

    Wouldn’t it be nice to get a draft pick if Chia signed elsewhere like Oil had to give up. That was a dumb rule, glad it got changed, but Oilers got burned twice with that.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    I think Chia is sitting there in amazement that Holland was able to trade Lucic, kinda like that scene from the Shawshank Redemption where Morgan freeman is narrating saying how Warden Norton was wondering how Andy Dufrese got the best of him……so maybe Chia is sitting there wondering how Holland got rid of a contract most thought was untradeable..

  • Glencontrolurstik

    ON, please, please don’t post anymore of his pictures in Oiler Colours again… please.
    I, and I’m sure others are trying to move on… It’s too early, I’m sure at some point we’ll look back and laugh. But right now, this picture make me want to wring the head off my cat…
    The Oiler news of late is positive for the most part. We fans have had 12+ years of bad luck, ON is supposed to be their for the fan, not to kill cats… Thanks,

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    If I am a Wild fan , I would be praying real hard that Chia does not get hired for the job, if Chia gets the Minny Job, wonder how soon he calls up his Twin at Value Village nation about acquiring Looch for 2 first round picks…

  • CMG30

    We need to stop badmouthing Pete for the simple reason that we want him to get another crack at the GM position. We have tons of players who I’m sure Petey would love to loose trades to acquire!

  • Off the wall

    I love stories. Here’s my reference for Chiarelli being the GM of Minnesota.

    To start off with, he has a unique name in Pistol Pete. If he was back in the Old Wild ( pun) West,
    he’d have itchy fingers just thinking about how quickly he can draw that pistol and… shoot himself in the foot, but in a comical, nerdy way.. like Don Knotts, aka Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife. And who doesn’t like to laugh! Minnesota needs laughter.

    Minnesota is boring and cold. With Chia, you’d experience 365 days of HEAT. Plenty enough, that you’d think the polar ice caps have melted. That’s great news for frigid Minny winters.

    Chia’s favourite movie is Castaway. If left on an Island by himself, he would befriend a soccer ball and call it Wilson. Wilson, I’m sorry, come back Wilson… see how entertaining Chia is? That movie only cost $90M to make. Pretty close to a NHL hockey Cap. I’m sure if we stuck Chia in an Island and set up a movie camera, it would exceed the gross amount of Castaway. We would enjoy his antics whilst he pretends to trade imaginary players on his imaginary roster and use a coconut to make phone calls.. and then we could chuckle some more.

    If you really want a successful franchise, you need to dig deep into your WILD imagination, and picture Chia at the helm!

  • Fireball

    Pete should had been fired.. but I will say this to all who talk about how the team was better before he got it. The Oilers finished in the bottom of the standings and drafted Connor McDavid before Pete got there. The first year they improved slightly and drafted forth over all. Year two of Pete they finished with 103 points and were a play off team. They drafted 10th the 3rd year.. and 8th the year he was fired. There’s no stats to say Pete’s team was worst with him than without him. It’s actually the exact opposite. But it’s hard to think they wouldn’t be better if not for some of the moves he made. The funny part is the biggest Fail most hold against him was the Hall trade. The funny part is that’s the year they sky rocketed in the standings to the playoffs. Just Saying 😂

    • Fireball

      Ultimately Pete F$&@&$ up ., but to say it was all him is a stretch. Last year when the Strome Manning and Peteovic trades went through they had pressors to which KGretz was pointed to as the guy who orchestrated it. At least led the charge on them. Also when Big Koss was signed it was said to be a organizational decision to do so. These moves were all said by Bobby Nicks to be organization approved moves. This is not a hard story line to follow as how much power would they have givin Pete who was days away from being fired ?? Plus Bob N actually said they were not loan wolf moves. Also Just Saying