Oilers latest GM came with a lot of hype. Oilers Brass have changed everything from the President to the scouting staff. However the GM is the first one to show his stuff and he really was not amazing during the draft. Seems like the scouting staff did their job in terms of the 2 late picks he made but he mortgaged they Oilers future for magic beans.
The Oilers trade players such as Perron (their top goal scorer in the last year he was an Oiler) and Petry who many consider the Oilers most consistent defense man that they had to get five picks in the first 63. The Oilers chose to only use one of the picks. This is the opposite strategy than what MacT did his first year when he traded his 5 picks for 10 later ones.
There is no guarantee that the Oilers could ever have traded for Lucic or Hamilton which are two players that would fit the Oilers need in a big way. Chiarelli didn’t address much of anything really. He traded away the 16 th pick and the 33 rd for Griffin Reinhart. A player that is a lot like Nurse. Solid, talented with a two way game but also with no real NHL experience.
This is a steep price considering the Oil should have been able to offer more than Calgary just by throwing in their other second round pick. Grabbing Hamilton would be a better short term gain. I think future will have to decide who the better dman is there is a reason Griffin was chosen fourth overall.
This trade in itself might turn out good for the Oil. Strong chance that Griffin could crack the Oiler’s lineup this year and he could enter in a big way. He very well might be the Oilers best all-around dman as the roster stands right now. The problem with picking up Griffin is not that the Oilers could have taken some extremely promising prospects. The problem really comes down to two things.
The Oilers had tons of youth on their blue line. Nurse, Klefbom, Marincin and Schultz. These players could make up the top 4 in a year or two when they hit their stride. I don’t think there is a fan out there that doesn’t want the Oilers to add an established defender but this trade made the Oilers have way too many defensive players. Fayne, Ference, Nikitin and maybe Hunt could all play a 5-6 pairing if needed. With 8 dmen the Oilers now were faced with the need to trade one of them. The veterans have contracts that are hard to move and Marincin was the obvious odd man out as he has value but not as much potential.
Trading for Reinhart forced the Oilers to trade Marincin who in some games was arguable the Oilers best defense man. In return for this and their fourth pick, the Oilers received a huge defender that might someday be a 5-6 player. They also got a forward that will most likely never make the AHL let alone the NHL.
Giving away these picks means that the Oilers have no real promising forwards in the minors as Leon and McDavid should make the team this year.
The Oilers also addressed their goaltending situation by acquiring Talbot for way too much. A decent goalie but no real starting experience under his belt and he only has one year left on his contract. After the Oilers lost out on Lehner, Niemi, Jones… there was little choice. There is a chance they are not done yet as Anaheim just picked up a fourth goalie and Gibson is being shopped. With Gibson, Chiarelli would redeem himself as it would give the Oilers a 1A 1B tandem that would soon show each goalies true ability. Plus the pair would have a cap hit around 1.5 million for both next year. This would allow them to trade or send Scrivens to the AHL.
The Oilers did get McDavid and did address the needs in a way. Just not in a way that makes the team any better off than it was since winning the lottery and essentially getting McDavid back in April.
It does appear that the Oilers are going aggressively for a winger to play opposite Ebs or Yak on one of the top lines. The Oilers do have options as Draisatl could fill this hole as Lander looks ready to be a third line center. If Draisatl can transition his game to the NHL level this year then the Oilers have a pretty good forward group.
This defensive group will most likely put Talbot to the test. Which means the Oilers should being trying to add something defensively. Another strong tender would work but the biggest need is a top winger. Finally this year there is one of the UFA list. Green is a 29 year old UFA born in Alberta. He has had injury problems through most of his career but when he does play he is definitely a 1-2 pairing caliber player. The Oilers were rumored to be looking to trade for his rights but with this not done they will have to compete with many teams (the head of that list is Detroit) for his services.
In the end the Oilers have a young team and could spare prospects to get a strong defender that could break the lineup this year and their starting goaltender. They did this, my problem is that they paid a lot for them and I am not sure why. Nothing against the players themselves but the price seemed steep in terms of opportunity cost. Getting McDavid officially is great but everyone knows that happened in April when the Oilers won the lottery. The odds of them taking anyone else was not realistic.
The veteran GM doesn’t actually have any holes to fill right now. He has areas where he could improve in terms of a top 6 winger, a top tier defenseman and a backup that can fill in for Talbot if he falters. Regardless of these needs the Oilers could put this current roster on the ice and very well still improve drastically in the standings. I can’t help but think that long term this will come back to bite us.
Before the draft started a fan in the forums asked what people thought the Oilers would do to screw up the draft. At the time taking 5 players in the top 63 looked like a no brainer. There was tons of options for the young club to add future depth. I think Chiarelli answered by only using 1 of those picks. I like Griffin but it should have cost us BOTH the 16th and the 33rd. Talbot was pricy but the Oilers had a much higher need to get a goalie as they literally don’t have enough to play without one and there were becoming very few left.
Oiler fans will be pleasantly surprised to see how amazing Griffin and Talbot are. What they won’t remember is that it cost the Oilers Marincin and prospects that might be amazing. Maybe Chiarelli didn’t trust the scouting staff he just fired or maybe he has a larger plan. At this point he looks like a man hoping his magic beans can sprout and do it quickly.