It’s been three years since the Oilers relieved Peter Chiarelli of his GM duties.
He was hired in April of 2015, almost immediately after the Oilers found out they were going to have the right to select Connor McDavid at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Chiarelli had a rocky tenure during his time with the Oilers; though he was the first GM to lead the Oilers to a playoff series win in 2017. It counts for something.
Chiarelli oversaw some very good drafts while he was the Oilers GM. It’s... just, that...about everything else that happened under his watch that was either a giant question mark or an immediate arrow down. You were there. The Hall trade. The Lucic contract. Turning Jordan Eberle into Ryan Spooner. Trading two firsts to the Islanders for Griffin Reinhart. Trading Drake Caggiula for the guy who broke Connor McDavid’s collarbone. You know, real pro stuff. Chiarelli’s last official act with the Oilers was to ink Mikko Koskinen to a three year deal, he was relieved in late January 2019. He’s currently the vice president of hockey operations for the St. Louis Blues, a job he likely got from someone who didn’t see much of his work with the Oilers.
Today, his name is linked to the Chicago Blackhawks GM opening.
Just when you think the Chicago Blackhawks couldn’t possibly show any more contempt for their fans, the name Peter Chiarelli pops up next to the words “General Manager”.
HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING
Chiarelli’s not some guy off the street. He’s a Stanley Cup winning GM from when the Bruins took it all the way in 2011. After that? It’s been tough. His time in Edmonton will be remembered by making deals where the Oilers were just taken to the cleaners. When trading a dollar’s worth of goods for thirty cents is your calling card, there’s plenty of reason to be concerned if you’re a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks. As a fan of the Oilers, I think it’s great.
WINDS OF CHANGE
I’m always pleasantly surprised when you see someone in the NHL adapt to change. The NHL is slow to change, and even slower to adapt. Maybe Chiarelli’s got some fresh ideas (like not engaging in one-for-threes, or trading multiple picks for Oil Kings) up his sleeve and he can help transform a lean Blackhawks roster into a playoff contender.
If history has shown us anything, that’s probably not the case.
DESTROY MY ROSTER
Chiarelli said he laid out a six-year plan to win the Stanley Cup in Edmonton, which would seem like a long time for an expansion club. He didn’t wait six years to make moves. A year after McDavid was drafted, Chiarelli tried to push the accelerator during the 2016 offseason and changed the roster dramatically when he signed Milan Lucic and traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Chiarelli also moved a mid first round selection and a high second round selection for Griffin Reinhart, who ended up playing 29 games for the Oilers.
These are the kinds of moves Chiarelli makes, and it’s going to be felt throughout the lineup in Chicago if he pulls the same thing with the Blackhawks. When he traded Jordan Eberle for Ryan Strome, the Oilers had a pretty big hole at right wing. Kris Russell signed his four year deal at four million a season, and the Oilers invested gingerly into Ty Rattie to begin the 2017-18 NHL campaign. Rattie would score twenty points over two years with the Oilers.
Maybe Chairelli learned a lesson after being away from the Oilers for a few years.
Looks like there’s only one way for the Blackhawks to find out.