Oh, I wish Peter Chiarelli would get picked up to GM another NHL team. I’d feel terrible if it was my team, but I’d feel pretty good if a divisional team (shouts out to Arizona!) scoops him up.
If Peter Chiarelli gets another GM gig in this league, I can’t help but wonder why. Or, how.
There’s been nothing new on the Chiarelli to Arizona train for a couple of weeks, though his name had surfaced until very recently about the gig in Florida. Going from Tallon to Chiarelli might be a lateral move, but that’s painting any nice pictures about the former Oilers GM. After having John Chayka leave the team (and having randos gush about how he was an analytics darling), the club finds itself without a picks in the first three rounds of 2020 and without a first rounder in 2021.
In other words, it’s a perfect time for Peter Chiarelli to become the GM of the Coyotes. Winner of the 2011 Stanley Cup, Chiarelli will likely try to Bruins-ify whatever team he gets ahold of. This means that you trade a proficient player to make room for a bruiser. Conor Garland might be that player, but the Coyotes are a cap team and would need to free up some cap in order fill that space.
Nick Schmaltz led the club with 45 points in 70 games and has a cap hit of nearly 6MM until the end of the 2025-26 season. I’m not sure who’s going to take on that kind of cap hit, so the club could look for a trade partner and hold onto 50%. They may also opt for a buyout. Arizona would be on the hook for a 12 years but it would free up precious cap to go and sign a bruiser on the wrong side of 30 to a four year deal worth 20MM. They can totally swing this when Taylor Hall bolts to wherever because let’s be honest, Chiarelli dealt Hall once. You think he’s going to pay for him after he’s won an MVP?
Maybe he’d deal a player for cap space, only to hand it off to a player that the club could easily replace. You know, a deal like when he sent Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome and cap space? I’m thinking a deal like sending one of Arizona’s top three point scorers somewhere for a player who might put up 35 points next season and some cap space. Then, hand that cap space off to a number 5 defenceman for the next four years.
I’d like to reinvent a trade scenario where Chiarelli sends a first rounder and an early second rounder to a team for a guy who plays 29 games over the course of two years before getting selected in an expansion draft, but that scenario can only play out if Chiarelli lasts a couple of years in the desert. I’m also not sure when the next expansion team will be granted after Seattle, so if Chiarelli wanted to, he could send Arizona’s first and second round selections from 2022 to a club for a bottom pair defenceman who will play about three dozen games for the Coyotes over the next two or three years. Big moves.
I’ve limited my lament to just three terrible moves. Chiarelli had the keys to the T-Bird longer than he should have had, and the effects on the Oilers are easily still felt today.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom for the Oilers. Long after the explosive cyclogenesis that was left in the wake of Chiarelli’s departure, Ken Holland did turn an immovable Milan Lucic deal into James Neal. Neal is a tough contract to swallow, but the Oilers can rid themselves of it unlike Lucic’s buyout-proof deal. Chiarelli’s eleventh-hour deal with Mikko Koskinen wasn’t any good in 2018-19, but Koskinen came around quite a bit this year. It’s not enough.
When Jim Benning has had enough, you know that’s enough. This should have been a good enough reason to stay away for the Oilers. Caveat Emptor, Coyotes.