With ten games remaining, this year can once again be summarized for Oiler fans as a disappointment. While injuries have played a huge factor in the teams current position it cannot be denied that consistency and defensive woes have also played a huge roll. Now that we are a couple weeks past the trade deadline I thought now would be as good a time as any to look back on everything that Chiarelli has done during his first year with the Edmonton Oilers using the classic report card rankings.
Todd MacLellan Named Head Coach - A+
His first big act as GM may have been his most important one. MacLellan brought something behind the bench that the Oilers were sorely lacking; experience. As mentioned above, consistency has been a big issue still, but it is one that Todd has put front and center to his team. In my opinion MacLellan has been saying all the right things since Day 1 and I can't think of a better choice to coach this team.
Oilers trade 16th and 33 overall picks for Griffin Reinhart - F
Unfortunately Pete's first trade as Oilers GM may forever go down as his worst with the organization. I don't know who was whispering in his ear on this one but I hope it was the last time he listened. Reinhart was supposed to come in and not just play on the team, but push for a top 4 spot. Now that he has been passed on the depth chart by guys like Nurse and Davidson it remains a huge question on what kind of future Griffin has with the organization.
Oilers acquire Cam Talbot and a 7th round pick in exchange for a 2nd, 3rd, and 7th round pick. - A
Ladies and gentlemen, the Oilers have themselves a starter. After starting the season out shaky with many fans muttering "here we go again," Cam has been one of the few high notes. While he had a nice stretch boosting some pretty unsustainble numbers, he has settled into a respectable 0.918 SV%.
Oilers trade Martin Marincin in exchange for a 4th round pick. - D
As his next trade would show, Marincin wasn't going to have a future with the Oilers. He is currently on Toronto's top pairing (not that that says too much) but for those big on possession numbers he will always be looked at fondly (looking at you Hendo).
Oilers acquire Eric Gryba for Travis Ewanyk and a 4th round pick - C
While the Oilers lost a puck mover in Marincin they did acquire some toughness and a decent stay at home guy in Erik Gryba
Oilers trade Boyd Gordon for Lauri Korpikoski - C
I've probably ranked this trade higher than many. Looking at this deal alone makes it look worse without looking at acquiring Letestu. Gordon was a year older and on the last year of his contract. While I wish Korp was making at least 1 million less or was signed for 1 year less he is still a useful bottom 6 player.
Oilers sign Mark Letestu - B
Skilled faceoff winning centre who can play a role on a third or fourth line.
Oilers sign Andrej Sekera - A
An actual veteran top 4 defense man. Great puck mover and can play either side. I look forward to seeing what he can do when he doesn't have to be the teams best D player.
Oilers acquire Anders Nilsson for Liam Coughlin - B+
While he struggled later on in the season I will remember Nilsson as the guy who helped the team on their seven game winning streak. Plus Nilsson proved valuable at the deadline.
Oilers trade Ben Scrivens for Zach Kassian - B-
The first move that showed us what kind of team Chiarelli wants. While Scrivens was a great person it was clear he was done in the organization. Nilsson and Talbot started the year ahead of him and he was taking games away from prospects like Brossoit. Kassian has been inconsistent but remains an effective player with both speed and size.
Oilers trade Philip Larsen for a 5th round pick -C
Who even remembered we had this guy?
Oilers trade Justin Schultz for a 3rd round pick - B
The Jultzing era officially came to an end during the trade deadline. While he might see his fortunes turn with another team it was not going to happen with Edmonton. Cap off the books and a 3rd round pick was a great move.
Teddy Purcell traded for a 3rd round pick B-
Was hoping he would get a second round pick but as a upcoming UFA Chiarelli will take what he can get.
Oilers trade Anders Nilsson for a 5th round pick and Niklas Lundstrom - C
As previously mentioned, Nilsson had a good stretch but was struggling near the end. On a different note I am intrigued to see if the plan is to keep Brossoit with the big club next season.
Oilers acquire Patrick Maroon for Martin Gernat and a 4th round pick - A
Was very surprised with this deal. Another classic Chiarelli player. He's big and while he lacks speed he has shown he can play with skilled guys like Perry and Geztlaf and now Hall and Draisaitl.
What does this mean?
Overall I will give Chiarelli a B- on his first year as GM. He had some great moves, hiring MacLellan, signing Sekera, acquiring Talbot and Maroon and only one real head scratcher in Reinhart.
Chiarelli has now had ample time to evaluate the roster. Working with MacLellan they should both now who they want to keep, and who needs to go. The defense MUST be fixed, guys like Sekera are great but this team needs a true top guy. Contracts have been dropped from guys like Purcell, Scrivens, and Schultz. Players like Nikitin and Ference will have their contracts off the books come the off season.
Judging from his histroy with Boston and what I have seen here, I do have faith that Chiarelli has assessed what this team needs and will be able to make deals that will help, not hinder this team moving forward.
Thanks for reading.