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 Peter Chiarelli Named President of Hockey Ops Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 04/24/2015 :  17:49:19  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Former Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has been named President of Hockey Operations and General Manager for the Edmonton Oilers.

The reports have been there for days, but this afternoon, the Edmonton Oilers made it official that the team would be moving on from the Kevin Lowe/Craig MacTavish era and hired former Boston GM Peter Chiarelli. Officially, Chiarelli is both President of Hockey Operations and General Manager, but the most pertinent note here is that he is in control of the roster moving forward (with Bob Nicholson having the final stamp of approval, it seems).

This certainly feels like a move made a couple of years too late, but better late than never, as they say (not sure who, but they). With Edmonton winning the McDavid lottery, they have secured potentially the best talent to come along since Sidney Crosby. That’s in addition to Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and a host of other talented forwards. Oscar Klefbom looked good for the Oilers down the stretch, and I suppose they’re hoping Darnell Nurse may be ready next year. With McDavid, the Oilers now have a three year window with which they can pay a potential superstar next to nothing on an entry level contract to go with all that elite skill. That should be the initial timeframe for the Oilers to start succeeding as a franchise for the first time in nearly a decade.

Fantasy Impact

It’s really too early to say how much of an impact Chiarelli will have. The team needs some help on the blue line, despite the advances of Klefbom and Nurse. There are names like Mike Green, Cody Franson, Paul Martin, and Christian Ehrhoff that are all unrestricted this year. Any one of those names would be helpful. Even landing a couple could buy them time to further develop guys already in their system.

The first thing that popped in my head after the Oilers won the lottery was “EDMONTON AGAIN?!” The second thing that popped in my head after the Oilers won the lottery was “what does this mean for Leon Draisaitl?” They burned one year of his entry level this year, do they use him as a third centre next year? Does he spend another year in the AHL? My initial lean would be he gets a shot at the third line centre spot, but it’s not set in stone. Those with Draisaitl in keeper/dynasty leagues might not see a lot of production from him for a few years yet, given the names above him on the depth chart. It’s not often third line centres have much fantasy value except in deeper formats.

Fantasy impact will come once Chiarelli starts trading some assets. The Oilers obviously have a plethora of skill among their forwards, and the Oilers have a first round pick from Pittsburgh this year that could end up in the top-20, along with an early second round pick of their own. They have a lot of assets of value that can help strengthen team weaknesses. Chiarelli built a team in Boston that started with good goaltending, depth on defense, and forwards that excel at both ends of the rink. I would expect the Oilers roster as currently constructed isn’t the one that goes into training camp before the 2015-2016 season.

Any speculation as to which player(s) would be moved is just speculation at this point, but I would expect changes to come to this roster. Chiarelli wasn’t brought in to maintain the status quo.

Who Needs What

The Oilers have much of their core locked up: from NHLNumbers, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Eberle, and Pouliot all have four years left, while Yakupov and Andrew Ference have two. Justin Schultz and Martin Marincin are restricted free agents, while Derek Roy is unrestricted. I wouldn’t say any of their free agents are “must-signs” but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roy get some consideration for depth purposes. Also, I would imagine Schultz is brought back, though he’s certainly not developed to what the team had hoped he would be.

By my crude math, without those free agents, the Oilers may have $10-million to spend in the summer (assuming they spend to the cap), assuming Nurse and McDavid are both on the roster next year. Given how far away they are from contending, that’s not really enough to make a huge difference. It might net one high-end defenseman. They need more than that. That’s another reason I think Chiarelli starts shuffling the deck.

In net, it seems like there’s a lot of clamouring to upgrade from Ben Scrivens. He’s under contract for another year, and for his career going into last year, he had performed similarly to guys like Ryan Miller, Corey Crawford, Antti Niemi, and Jonathan Quick. Admittedly, Scrivens didn’t have a complete sample, and last year was a disaster. It’s fair to say the whole season for everyone on that team was a disaster, though. I don’t see the harm in the Oilers bringing in a competent backup, but this team is more than a year from contending, and giving Scrivens another crack with a (hopefully) improved roster would seem prudent.

In all, what will happen two, three, or more months down the road with Chiarelli at the helm is pure guess-work. Oilers fans can take solace, though, that at the very least, the team has a new captain at the helm. Now it’s up to Chiarelli and co. to prove that they’re different from the previous regime.

Written by Mike Clifford of

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