I was listening to Oilers Now on 630 Ched on Tuesday. Normally a great show but this one was brutul. They were talking about how some fans want to see heads roll after a season like this. Bob Nicholson was on the NHL Network saying how this season is part of their building process. To be honest, I question anyone that keeps Chiarelli at this point but Bob is untouchable and has done some great things in his hockey career (not as a player). I half agree with Stauffer; the revolving door of management has not helped the Oilers. With that said I think they should give Mclellan one more year. So just Chiarelli on my chopping block.
The arguments for keeping Chiarelli are thin at best. At one point people pointed to Talbot and stated that was a great move. Now it is hard to find an Oiler that can point to any move Chiarelli did as anything but some of the worst moves by any franchise in history.
On Oilers Now they stated that Mclellan and Chiarelli should stay because they were finalists for Coach of the year and GM of the year just one season ago. Still, then they pointed to Talbot's performance. Going from a Viezna finalist to having some of the worst stats in the NHL this year. Stauffer said, they "didn't get stupid in a year." That is true. They were stupid last year. Chiarelli wouldn't have been a finalist without the break out play of McDavid, Draisaitl and what seems most importantly, Talbot. Not to mention the awards are subjective at best and quite arguably biased.
Neither Chiarelli nor McLellan are responsible for Talbot's play last year. They have had an effect on his play this year by not signing a backup before the season started. They also could have put a competent squad in front rather than relying on a precious few to carry the team. By saying that they were good last year, thus they are good this year is ridiculous. I see that logic only applies to coaches and GMs. At best Stauffer proved that McLellan can't coach a winning team unless Talbot is on fire.
Now McLellan is not a great coach. I can give countless examples of basic mistakes that even a minor league hockey coach would know. Things like use your PK guys to play the PK and then hit the ice right after with your top scoring line. Last year by playing McDavid on the PK, he was matching McDavid with Kessler rather than letting guys like Kassian and Nuge due the PK (Kassian was on fire and a threat offensively short handed during the playoffs) then throw McDavid out right after the Getzlaf line and the Kessler line needed to rest. That is basic and I can go on.
As bad as he is there is something to be said about coaches and players finding their own style that works. I remember them saying that about Eakins. The team "just needs to buy into his coaching style." A successful coach doesn't make that distinction like Eakins did. They use the players they have in the best ways possible and adapt. There is still a small chance that Mclellan can figure out some chemistry with his players. Plus Chiarelli has done nothing to help out in terms of adding talent to the team. Quite the contrary, if Chiarelli made no moves, and we kept the team we had just adding draft picks, might well be the playoffs.
I do admit though, the reason for keeping Mclellan is to have some continuity. Give him a year under a good GM and see what he can do.
I have been around. I don't write on this site much anymore. In my travels around the web I have heard almost all the reasons to keep Chiarelli and they are weak. One person said that he was great in Boston, we have only given him 3 years, he could get us a cup too. He traded Seguin for Erickson. Enough said. The same guy says you don't fire him in the middle of a contract, which is exactly what Boston did. So his success in Boston isn't one that management concurs with.
I heard one guy say that this is part of the plan. Oilers have a 5 year plan to get back to being playoff contenders. When did this happen? When did that 5 years start? From where I am sitting they have already burned through the ELC's of McDavid and Draisaitl and are looking to go into a rebuild!? I refuse to buy this was "the plan."
Same genius said that they just happened to exceed expectations last year but that was a bonus. No. When a team makes the conference finals, they are saying that they are ready to stop rebuilding. Any other GM would have added talent this last offseason rather than reduce it.
I think Hall is the worst move, considering he is top 4 in points out of any LW in the game and he has a huge two way ability that isn't factored into that. Stauffer says that he had to trade Hall because there was such a large hole on Defense. "It forced" Chiarelli to trade Hall. Even though there were better offers for Nuge or Eberle. Even this trade should have been able to get done with Eberle as the player going to NJ instead of Hall.
Chiarelli wasn't forced to make a bad deal. Look at the Oilers depth when Hall was traded. It left them Maroon, a 28 year old buyout with 14 points. He had the stats of a third liner at best. That is basically it. There was a larger hole at LW that there ever was at RD. Yes a RD was important but to make a huge hole up front to do a bad deal on defense is not smart and definitely not something he was "forced to do."
I liked the Reinhart trade and the Talbot trade. It is just that he overpaid for them. It is smart to go for a more established defender but Reinharts stats were abysmal and he in no way had proven he was an NHL caliber defender. He was worth a second round and maybe a conditional pick.
Same with Talbot. He had played a handful of NHL games to date and was back up on what was a team with a strong blue line. Out of all the goalies available that season he was the largest gamble and again was worth a second or third round pick. One guy argued that NYR's pick was a bust so we won that. That makes no sense. If Oiler's had a player they were certain they wanted, they would have picked him. Oiler's could have picked anyone. Plus with that logic, then you can say they traded Reinhart for Bazral which trumps all arguments on the "what if."
The Oilers don't have to rebuild right now. They will have some cap space and with the right moves they can bring in some players (more so if they can get anyone to take Lucic, Russel and Sekeras). There are character guys that can fill in while Benson, Bear, Yamamoto and even Puljarvii develop. Not to mention that this years draft pick should bring in a great player.
There are great players available on the UFA but also some that can fill holes at a bargain. Vanek being my favorite example of this. He is 33 years old, plays either wing, has great CONSISTENT numbers and his last two contracts were both 1 year at 2 mil. He would provide all sorts of options for the Oilers who are in bad need of wingers.
It would be funny to sign the Sedins as the Oilers second line with Nuge on the RW. I am not serious but I like to tick off Canuck fans.
James Van Riemsdyk, Kane, and Carlson are most likely too hard for Chiarelli to get but any one of them would fill a HUGE gap in the Oilers lineup. Mike Johnson of the NHL Network thinks the Oilers should offer Carlson a huge contract. 7.5 for 7 years. The 28 year old has 53 points in 67 games this year and it doesn't look like he will be returning to Washington. He would fix the Oilers PP in a big way.
I like Perron as a cheap option on LW. Lucic is looking like a third liner at this point and putting Yamamoto on the top line is a ton of pressure. Perron can start the season there and later switch with Kailer. He was great as an Oiler and has done well ever since. He also liked playing in Edmonton which is a big plus when looking at UFA's.
There are just a couple cheap players that can fill holes while the Oilers try to deal with Russell, Sekeras and Lucic. People argue that they have NMCs but there is always a way around those.
Still Chiarelli has yet to sign a decent UFA, the defence is as bad as it has ever been, the players he has signed are all over paid (most with NMCs) and his trades are ridiculous. He has proven incapable of improving the team.
One guy said he did good last year, so one out of 3 have been good. First of all, no, he did nothing last year. The team won games in spite of him not filling holes in the line up. Secondly, him doing good last year is a reason to fire him this year. The team was a favorite in the West before the season started. They could have beat ANA last year in the conference finals if McLellan could have got three good periods out of them in a row. This was a successful team and Oilers brass decided in their January meeting that they no longer had a chance at the playoffs. That is about half way through the year. He should have been fired then. Many teams have done it. Instead we kept him and he did nothing at the trade deadline.
How much more can the team take? The contract he has given out will haunt the Oilers well into McDavid and Draisaitl's contracts. This is the time to add role players and compete, not rebuild. I mean Vanek didn't sign till the end of August. I am almost certain the Oilers could have got him for 2 mil if they wanted. Vanek's best years are behind him but he can add offense and a great cap hit while they develop Kailer and hopefully this years pick (yes I want Tckuck again and I still stand by my statement that Matthew was a better pick than Puljarvii).
I can provide tons of links on Chiarelli being the top 5 worst GMs in the NHL right now for those that aren't convinced but just google search it. Click any link. This is news only to a few Oilers fans. Most of us know this.