Latest Oilers Rumor and Why I Support the Chiarelli Regime

In this audio clip above Bob McKenzie wonders aloud what Peter Chiarelli might do at the deadline and this summer so that this year doesn’t repeat itself next year and I think that’s a really valid question.

My opinion on that is, he should stick with the majority of the players he has and simply add better veterans. Maybe a PK specialist. I’d hope he avoids the big trade, not because his history tells us he might overpay, but because the players rumoured to be heading out are players this team has developed and need right now. Unless of course, my proposed RNH+Klefbom for OEL goes through.

Just before I get into this, I want to put out there that I can’t get on board with what a majority of the Oilers blogs and influencers are doing this season. The negativity and the constant need or lust to slag the team that some of the writers who cover the team is a tragedy to me. A real shame that these people use their enormous platforms to spew negativity out there instead of using it to bring positivity and encouragement to the Oilers. I suppose it’s much easier to beat a guy when he’s down than to pick up him though.

They’ll call it “being real” or “being realistic” but to me, doing that is just a quicker way to mediocrity and honestly a real insight into who a person really is.

You can call me a homer or someone who “drinks the kool-aid” and that’s fine by me. My self-worth is not tied to the success of the team, a reader’s opinion of my blog, nor the desire to be right. My opinion is just that. I don’t pretend to think that I’m smarter than the people running the team because I don’t know what I don’t know and that’s something I urge lots of fans to realize when you’re out there “fanning”. The numbers might tell you one thing, but you don’t know what you don’t know.

One more time: You don’t know what you don’t know.

Be humble and enjoy having the best 2 centres under the age of 24 in the entire NHL for the next 8 years.

I’ve never loved an Oiler as a kid growing up. Never really had a hero from the Oilers. But I loved the team and I still do love the team. For better or worse and through the good times and the bad. It’s about the crest on the front because players will come and go but that logo will always be there for me.

WHY I SUPPORT CHIARELLI AND HIS STAFF!

I’m pretty sure I’m on an island by myself and a few select others in my support for the current GM and this is something I’m fine with. I’ve never been one to go along with what the cool kids are doing and I’ve always liked the underdogs. Luckily for me, the Oilers have been just that for some time now.

You see, I can’t justify firing Chiarelli when all of the bets he made last summer blew up in his face this season. The way I feel about him is he’s had a tough year, just like the rest of the Oilers are having and that includes the coaching staff as well. The analytics guys will tell you not to give up on a player after a bad year and most likely that player will go back to his normal production rate the following season. Who’s to say that bounce back won’t happen in 2018/19 with the Oilers?

I had a guy on Twitter say that one bad year could set a team back a decade! Get out of here with that bullshit!

If you’re grading Chiarelli on his moves, let’s look at the NHL ones and make a judgement after that!

  • Martin Marincin traded to Toronto Maple Leafs for 107th pick in 2015 and minor league Brad Ross (WIN)
  • Eric Gryba acquired for minor leaguer Travis Ewanyk and 107th pick in the 2015 entry draft (WIN)
  • Cam Talbot and the 209th pick in the 2015 draft acquired for the 57, 79th and 184th picks (WIN)
  • Griffin Reinhart for the 16th and 33rd picks in the 2015 draft (FAIL)
  • Lauri Korpikoski for Boyd Gordon(FAIL)
  • Mark Letestu signed as an unrestricted free agent, three years, $1.8 million per (WIN)
  • Andrej Sekera signed as an unrestricted free agent for six years, $5.5 million per (WIN)
  • Anders Nilsson acquired for former fifth round pick Liam Coughlin, then traded for a fifth round pick and Niklas Lundstrom (WIN)
  • Oscar Klefbom signed to a seven year, $4.17 million per deal (WIN)
  • Zack Kassian acquired for Ben Scrivens (WIN)
  • Justin Schultz traded for a 2016 third round pick (FAIL)
  • Teddy Purcell traded for a 2016 third round pick (WIN)
  • Patrick Maroon acquired for Martin Gernat and a 2016th fourth round pick (WIN)
  • Adam Larsson acquired for Taylor Hall (UNDECIDED)
  • Jonas Gustavsson signed for one year (FAIL)
  • Milan Lucic signed for seven years, $6 million per with a No-Movement Clause (WIN)
  • Matt Benning signed as college free agent to entry level deal (WIN)
  • Drake Caggiula signed as college free agent to entry level deal (WIN)
  • Kris Russell signed to a one year, $3.1 million deal (WIN)
  • Nail Yakupov traded for Zach Pochiro, 2017 third round pick (UNDECIDED)
  • Brandon Davidson traded for David Desharnais (WIN)
  • Extended the following players:
    • Connor McDavid – 8yrs, $100M (WIN)
    • Leon Draisaitl – 8yrs, $68M (WIN)
    • Kris Russell – 4yrs, $16M (FAIL)
    • Zack Kassian – 3yrs, $5.85M (WIN)
    • Jujhar Khaira – 2yrs, $1.35M (WIN)
    • Eric Gryba – 2yrs, $1.8M (FAIL)
  • Jordan Eberle traded for Ryan Strome (FAIL)
  • Signed Jussi Jokinen to a one year, $1.1M deal (FAIL)
  • Signed Yohann Auvitu to a one year, $700k deal (WIN)
  • Traded Jussi Jokinen for Mike Cammalleri (WIN)
  • Claimed Brandon Davidson off of waivers (WIN)
  • Acquired Al Montoya for a 5th round draft pick (conditional) (WIN)

I think that puts us up to date. If I’ve missed one of his NHL moves please let me know.

If you took all of those moves (I think there are just over 30 of them) into consideration, how many are wins/losses/undecided? I’ve got the wins with a much greater number than the fails and undecided.

When a GM takes a team over he wants to build it in a way that he’s had success with in the past. It’s my belief that Chiarelli has no time for egos and it’s possible that some of those players that he has shipped out in the past might’ve rubbed him the wrong way. You can’t blame a guy for having the courage of his convictions. You might also say that he wants to have the biggest ego in the room too…

When Mike Keenan got hired on with a new NHL team as GM, he’d often trade one of its most popular players away. Denis Savard was his first trade when hired in Chicago. He dealt Luongo to Vancouver during his time in Florida. While he was GM in St.Louis he traded Phil Housley and Brendan Shanahan…

Chiarelli signing all of those AHL vets puzzled me though. Was it because he thought they’d bring more success to the team? That they’d help insulate the young defensemen that were coming into the team? It didn’t work anyhow.

You’ll notice that I’ve got the Larsson/Hall trade as undecided but the way I feel about that deal is that Adam Larsson brings the team something they haven’t had for quite a while in a sturdy stay-at-home dman who is actually quite smart and skilled. To add to that, there was no way Peter Chiarelli was getting the dman he wanted without trading Hall. The Oilers were over a barrel at the time and every GM in the league knew it.

I’ve also got the Yakupov trade as undecided because I don’t really know if he would’ve improved his on-ice play and off-ice attitude towards the team had he stayed. He’s on his 3rd team now and if one of the best coaches of all-time in Ken Hitchcock couldn’t find a way to mould him into a regular top-6 forward, then it’s probably not going to happen and he was better off playing elsewhere anyhow.

I did say Jultz was a fail though and that’s an interesting one to me because had he stayed another season in Edmonton, the fans might’ve tried to lynch the guy. I just wonder if he’d have been okay with just one more year.

So some deals I absolutely feel that Chiarelli missed the boat on which is fine but I can’t subscribe to the theory that because he “downgraded”, as they put it, on the wings by dealing Hall and Eberle, that’s the reason the Oilers are underperforming. Because 5×5 scoring ISN’T a problem for this team. Keeping the puck out of the net is and last I checked, Hall and Eberle are doing a fantastic job of doing just that in New Jersey and Brooklyn this month.

You can look down on Lucic’s deal and Russell’s deal for sure. I concur, both are too long but I’m on board with their price point. And there are the NTCs that everyone points to but everyone forgets that these are simply bypassed with a request from the GM. Rick Nash was traded with one. Roberto Luongo was traded with one. Dion Phaneuf as well. Players like Tobias Enstrom and MA Fleury waived their NTCs for the expansion draft…

So let’s not pretend that these clauses are iron clad and those players are impossible to move. It’s ridiculous. Lucic is more than likely going to be an Edmonton Oiler for most of his deal but I can see Russell and/or Sekera being moved without issue.

So if you can’t use his transaction record as a crutch to criticize Chiarelli, what’s left? He’s got a history of building winning teams. He’s got two Stanley Cup appearances under his belt. He seems quite good at drafting and the Boston Bruins of today are using a lot of players that were added/developed during his tenure as Bruins GM.

That special portion of the Oilers fanbase needs to realize that the cupboards were bare before Peter Chiarelli was hired on. There were few viable options coming through their developmental system and that’s partly because they were drafting so high in the 1st round, throwing those 18-year-olds into the fire the next season, and picking coke machines in the 2nd/3rd rounds that never panned out.

Now Chiarelli is getting value players in the mid-latter rounds of the draft and starting next season we’re going to start seeing those players populate the Oilers’ AHL squad in Bakersfield.

**Just an aside for one moment. Jason Gregor reckons the Oilers will fire their AHL coach because he’s not doing what’s expected of him. That leads me to wonder if Bob Stauffer’s favourite WHL coach, Manny Viveiros, might be the leading candidate for that job?**

The problem I see here is that for years the Oilers fanbase was crying for a Milan Lucic type and they Oilers wasted a lot of draft picks trying to find one. Once they got him the switch flipped because their beloved Taylor Hall was sacrificed to bring him in. To add to that, everyone expected Looch to be banging and fighting every single game and were disappointed when they learned that’s not the case with him. How do you think he’s managed to play so many games for so many years? Plus nobody will fight the guy anymore. I think Derek Engelland is the only guy that might drop ’em with Lucic now.

So we have a lot of fans whose feelings are bruised because Hall is gone and Eberle is gone and they’re not on board with the long-term vision that Chiarelli has because their favourite players were dealt for less-than-expected returns. Yet, what the team does have, well that doesn’t matter because Hallsy and Ebs are outtie 5000 and loving life elsewhere and they should be! They’re in the prime of their careers playing in the Metropolitan Division! But the Oilers are stuck with a roster that was built to compete in the playoffs, which it did.

The word that best sums up the year for the Oilers is: Outlier.

Can you honestly tell me that it’s Peter Chiarelli’s fault that the Oilers’ PK would be 1st on the road and worst at home? I’d love to hear that explanation if that’s the way you feel.

Is it Chiarelli’s fault that Benning and Caggiula have been more off than on this season. Do we point the finger at the GM when the goalie can’t stop a the first shot of the game for a 5th of the season? Should the GM be held accountable when his coach won’t play the players he signed, like Auvitu or Jokinen earlier in the year?How do we blame PC for the scoring droughts of Strome, Lucic, Puljujarvi, and Cammalleri? How is the GM at fault for the underwhelming number of PP chances the Oilers have gotten this year? Should we berate Chiarelli because Draisaitl got concussed at the beginning of the season?

If so, can we also praise the GM for the season Darnell Nurse is having. Can we give him props for the year that RNH was having before being injured? Should we be shaking the hand of the GM whose team he built beat the best teams in the NHL this year? Is the emergence of Jujhar Khaira something we should put solely at the feet of Peter Chiarelli? What about Leon and Connor being two of the best 5×5 players in the league?

They say that this team isn’t built to compete with the quicker teams in the NHL but I call bullshit on that. NJ, Tampa, Vegas, and the Islanders are all quick teams that Edmonton beat this year.

Should they get faster? It wouldn’t hurt but don’t go 100% back to small/skilled.

So to sum it up, I support Chiarelli because I believe in his plan. I understand why he made the trades he did. I see proactivity during his time so far which is much better than what I saw during the DoD. I see a guy who’s had a tough year but feel that it’d only fair to give him one more year to see if this season was the outlier or if 2016/17 was. I really do feel, because I’ve seen what this team can do when it’s on its game, that this team is closer to last year’s level than this year’s. A lot of bad luck has hit the team this year but if the team gets off to a bad start next year, I have no problem with the Oilers moving on to someone new. It’s the nature of the beast. But I won’t call for his head like the mob did with Lowe.

TRADE RUMORS!

I think this would be a mistake. Krug makes $5,5M per year and last year Klefbom outscored him. Also, if the Oilers can’t buy a PP with the best player on the planet, Krug isn’t going to be of much use given that 40%-50% of his point totals come from the man advantage.

Murphy did talk about the Bruins using Brandon Carlo in a package to acquire Ryan McDonagh though and I do wonder if the Oilers would be willing to make a deal for the Rangers captain? That’s probably the kind of trade where I’d be okay with using Klefbom as trade fodder.

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Beer League Hero Written by:

I'm the Beer League Hero! I am from Camrose, Alberta but I make my home in Taipei City, Taiwan. I've been through the ups and downs and the highs and the Lowes, the Bonsignores and the McDavids, the Sathers and the Eakins but I'll never leave my Oilers, no matter what! They're with me until the end and then some. GO OILERS GO!

  • Gary4444

    Fans is short for fanatic. We spend a ton on tickets. A non fan will accept failure and be happy with what he has, a true fan wont. This is a bad team with bad management and as Calgary Flames fan I am glad that you feel this way, it will ensure that your franchise will continue to fail.
    Thank you for continuing to support failure. Pathetic is what pathetic is. Losers.

    • OilFan99

      I think what really is pathetic is you being a troll and posting your comments on an article written about the Oilers. Yes, we are having a tough year and there is no denying it but before you call us Losers, look at your own team. Since 2004, how many rounds of playoffs have you guys won? I don’t think I would need fingers on both hands to count. You were swept last time you made the playoffs and good luck going against the Predators, Blues, or the Knights for that matter. You may be looking at another first round exit.

      If your team has shown anything it is how to fold when the going gets tough so before you laugh at someone’s misery, be prepared for what’s coming your way.

      • Gary4444

        The Flames have never been losers to the extent Edmonton has, when we lost we wouldn’t show up at games, you guys still do. You traded Taylor Hall, I meant to say Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and continue to this day to screw NHL calibre players by rushing them in. I never insulted your team or called you a name I simply said that accepting failure is a no win proposition. Sorry, and I mean sorry if you cant accept that.

        • OilFan99

          I agree that accepting failure is a no win proposition but at the same time you can’t expect this team to be blown up because some parts are not working.

          I really don’t want to dwell on the past but if success is measure in the sense of ‘extent of losing’ then seriously there are a lot of team out there that will fit the category including the flames. One cup in 86 and that was courtesy of a gaffe on Steve Smith’s part. One cup appearance in the last fourteen years (2004). For every Pittsburgh, there is Philadelphia, Vancouver, Islanders, etc. etc.

          I am not looking for excuses but look at the guys who were out of the line up last night, Nuge, Sekera, Larsson, You have guys playing more time then they are capable of so you’re going to have issues.

          For every team, success is ultimately measure by winning the cup so only one team is successful every year while the rest are not. By that standard, your team is no more successful then my team or any team that doesn’t win the cup.

          At least we can take satisfaction in the fact that despite being as bad as we have been this year, at least we have your team’s number for two years in a row.

          • Gary4444

            Why do you dwell on Calgary!

  • Truthhurts98

    The followers in a cult always think the leader is doing a great job. That said, I do commend you for having a different point of view. The problem with PC is this: He’s lost every big trade he’s ever made. Leon is overpaid in my opinion. The Reinhart trade alone should have gotten him fired. Not being willing to fire the assistant coaches or having TM do it is just plain baffling. He had a fair bit of cap space and didn’t use it this year. Now we’re in cap hell starting next year with the slowest player in the league signed to an Albatros of a contract. Looch is getting worse by the day. This team could have been set up nicely if PC hadn’t made so many big bad trades. Most of the small ones are good, I’ll give you that. But that’s not enough to keep his job. This season is the worst (biggest underachievement) in their history as far as the ‘talent’ they currently have.

  • Gary4444

    Further more, Edmonton has had 4 1st overall picks and a 3rd overall pick in the past 7 years. The highest pick in Calgary/Atlanta’s history is a 4TH overall. You should hang your heads in shame.
    Face it. Losers do what losers do.

  • Gary4444

    1990-91′ … 80 points
    1991-92′ … 82 points
    1992-93′ … 60 points
    1993-94′ … 64 points
    1994-95′ … 38 points (48 games)
    1995-96′ … 68 points
    1996-97′ … 81 points
    1997-98′ … 80 points
    1998-99′ … 78 points
    1999-00′ … 88 points
    2000-01′ … 93 points
    2001-02′ … 92 points
    2002-03′ … 92 points
    2003-04′ … 89 points
    2004-05′ … Oiler season cancelled (thank goodness)
    2005-06′ … 95 points
    2006-07′ … 71 points
    2007-08′ … 88 points
    2008-09′ … 85 points
    2009-10′ … 62 points
    2010-11′ … 62 points
    2011-12′ … 74 points
    2012-13′ … 45 points (48 games)
    2013-14′ … 67 points
    2014-15′ … 62 points (certainly low enough to nab McD)
    2015-16′ … 70 points
    2016-17 … 103 points
    2017-18′ … hapless Oil on pace for 76 points