techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com February 21, 2019


The Oilers fire their GM Peter Chiarelli

10 February 2019, 05:42 | Henrietta Morgan

Connor Mc David

Connor-McDavid-Oilers-Getty-012119-FTR

Hired only days after the Edmonton Oilers drafted Connor McDavid, Peter Chiarelli was sacked Tuesday evening after losing their ninth home game of the last 11.

Despite firing the person responsible for putting the roster together, Oilers Entertainment Group CEO & vice chair Bob Nicholson threw the gauntlet to the players Wednesday. Nicholson said at a news conference in Edmonton that Keith Gretzky will assume GM responsibilities for the time being, including the point role ahead of the February 25 trade deadline.

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Since then, Edmonton's inability to capitalize on landing a generational talent - qualifying for the playoffs just once in McDavid's first three seasons and now standing at risk of missing out once again - has largely been attributed to roster decisions made by Chiarelli. "We played a solid game and we really didn't give (Connor) McDavid and (Leon) Draisaitl a whole lot even if they found a way to get on the scoresheet".

"I know there are people out there that believe this team can't make the playoffs. I think they can be better", Chiarelli said when Hitchcock was hired.

"When you're chasing games like we're doing right now, that's a formula for losing", Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. Edmonton has lost 12 of its past 16 games going into the All-Star Break.

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"Kevin Lowe is so important to this organization, but Kevin Lowe hasn't been in hockey operations decisions".

Chiarelli got Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow, Matt Fraser and Loui Eriksson back form Dallas in the Seguin trade and he received Adam Larsson back from New Jersey in the Hall exchange. After Chiarelli joined the organization in 2015, the Oilers made just one playoff appearance (2017). He has also inked underperforming forward Milan Lucic to a multi-year millstone contract at US$6 million per season.

"We will look to try to bolster the offence and the defence, but we're not trading away our first-(round draft) pick". Two players the Oilers placed on waivers on Monday, Ty Rattie and Ryan Spooner, both cleared waivers on Tuesday. Boston won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with Chiarelli as GM. It was understood by most that the Oilers' brass would be on a short leash this season, and 49 points in January simply wasn't good enough to keep Chiarelli around.

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Chiarelli made another controversial move roughly 24 hours before his firing, signing goalie Mikko Koskinen to a three-year, $13.5 million contract extension with trade protection.



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