To the surprise of no one, the Edmonton Oilers have
hired fired general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The decision came down late Tuesday after the Oilers dropped lost to the Detroit Red Wings in their last game before the All-Star break. That made it three losses in four nights on home ice.
Chiarelli was hired in April of 2015, two months before the famed Connor McDavid draft, and his tenure was marred with questionable decisions. And that’s being nice.
In reality, the Oilers find themselves again on the outside looking in and again in a season that contains yet another new coach hire – the eighth in 11 years.
And Tuesday’s effort, if you can call it that, put it all in perspective. Again. The Oilers were lacklustre against the NHL’s worst team for most of the night and now they’re going into the break full with the realization that things in Edmonton really, really stink.
At the top of this awful pyramid was Chiarelli, who made decisions like trading Taylor Hall to New Jersey for Adam Larsson and sending Jordan Eberle to the Islanders for Ryan Strome. Strome, by the way, was flipped to the New York Rangers for Ryan Spooner. Spooner, by the way, was just put on waivers Monday and cleared them so he’s stuck on the Oilers.
There’s also the not-so-small notion of development under Chiarelli, which has seen probable casualties with the likes of Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto.
And the ever-so-recent and incredibly ridiculous signing of goalie Mikko Koskinen to a big money deal on his way out.
There is a fact here and that is that, for the last several years at least, players who’ve left Edmonton have gone on to become better, more complete players elsewhere.
The good news is that it’s over.
The bad news is that there’s still rot in this organization, still more that needs to be done in order to recover what’s left. This season is all but over and it’s barely the All-Star break, but the Oilers can be retooled and rebuilt. They carry the most skilled player in the entire NHL and they’ve got some solid piece behind him.
There’s no telling what’s coming next. There were no announcements of an interim general manager, probably given the zero hour proclamation of Chiarelli’s firing in the first place, and there is a month to go until the trade deadline. Now, more than ever, it’s time for the Oilers to act like a proper hockey franchise.