Peter Chiarelli isn’t dead. He just got fired by the Edmonton Oilers one year ago today.
And thus, I thought it would be good to not only look back at what was, but how things have been in the last year.
Hired by the Oilers on April 24, 2015, there really isn’t a lot of good things you can say about his time in Edmonton. He consistently depreciated his assets on the trade market and made plenty of other questionable moves in terms of talent evaluation.
If there’s anything good you could laud him for, it’s the signing of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl to their contracts that look just better and better every day.
He was able to lock them up for eight-year deals ($12.5-million for McDavid, $8.5-million for Draisaitl) and honestly, it was the best moves he could’ve made.
You could consider the Cam Talbot trade to be one of his better moves, as was the Patrick Maroon acquisition. But when it comes to Talbot, Glen Sather even admitted he basically gave him to Edmonton.
But the truth of the matter is that the bad heavily outweighed the good. He traded away a peak Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, and flipped a solid top-six winger in Jordan Eberle for a lesser Ryan Strome.
Then, he flipped that Ryan Strome for an even worse Ryan Spooner who is now playing in …. *checks notes* … the KHL.
Oh, and how could we forget about the infamous Griffin Reinhart trade? The Oilers could’ve had Mathew Barzal! Then there was the Milan Lucic signing.
The year since has already seen some better things coming for the Oilers organization. New GM Ken Holland has already made some solid moves for the organization bringing in a number of depth guys that are already being considered for re-signing.
In hindsight, he could’ve made some bigger moves beyond acquiring James Neal for Lucic, but with all the news surrounding Connor McDavid’s late-season injury coming out this week, I wonder if he sat on his hands not really knowing if he would be 100% this season or not.
It’s early in Holland’s time with the Oilers, but I think the level of competency from him is much higher than that of his predecessor. The signings of Joakim Nygard, Riley Sheahan, Josh Archibald, and Gaetan Haas all to one-year deals have already been strong.
The jury, however, is still out on him and what he can do. This next month will be interesting and give us a good look at how he manages the trade market. Edmonton is in a position to push for the playoffs, and Holland himself has said he’s more likely to be a buyer, than a seller.
On Twitter: @zjlaing