The Edmonton Oilers announced on Friday that they have signed former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli as their General Manager and President of Hockey Operations. After his 9 year tenure at the helm of the S.S. Bruins, Chiarelli will get a fresh start in Edmonton.
First off, good for Peter Chiarelli. Although he could be frustrating to the fans at times, Chiarelli had a tremendously successful career in Boston. He took a flailing franchise and brought them a Stanley Cup and a perennially dominant team. He’s exactly what the Oilers could use right now- a responsible, conscientous mind that isn’t afraid to trade the pieces that don’t fit into his vision for the team.
What’s happened in Edmonton over the past five years has been nothing less than fascinating. They have drafted first overall three times during that span, and the others were third and seventh overall. Statistically speaking, no team has been worse during that span. And the crazy thing is, they don’t show any sign of turning that around.
Most teams in the league would salivate at the chance for just one of those first overall picks to build around, but the Oilers haven’t been able to even produce an average season. It was always, “once these kids develop with each other and grow into their game, they’ll be one of the best teams in the league every year and a force to be reckoned with.” And why not? It worked for Pittsburgh. They were a franchise at rock bottom, but they drafted guys like Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, and Jordan Staal, and – boom – Stanley Cup.
But alas, the Edmonton Oilers have had no such accomplishments or really any steps toward anything at all. Which presents a great opportunity for the Boston Bruins. Like the Bruins were ten years ago, the Oilers are in need of major moves to get their franchise in the right direction. They have a surplus of talented young forwards- Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Leon Drasaitl, and Jordan Eberle to name a few. And after winning the 2015 NHL Draft lottery, they’re about to get a generational talent in Connor McDavid.
Something has to give in Edmonton. They don’t have much in the way of leadership, physicality, or 2-way play. They need to make some major moves to their roster and make this McDavid’s team. Does that mean someone like Taylor Hall could be available? The Bruins MUST inquire about him now.
What would it take to get someone like Hall?
The offer I’ve been playing around with is something like this:
Milan Lucic, Dennis Seidenberg, Chris Kelly, Malcom Subban
to Edmonton for
Does it seem like a lot? In Lucic, Edmonton gets the gritty, physical presence they don’t have. Seidenberg is not longer a top pairing guy but he’s still very good defensively and would be an excellent role model for their younger defenseman. Kelly is a defensively responsible 2-way center with a leadership presence, something you can be sure they don’t have. And Subban is an excellent sweetener that gives them a goalie for the future.
To be honest, it may not even be enough. But this gets a lot of money off the books, which is a big return on its own. Cap flexibility will give them a lot of options this offseason. For the Bruins, this gives them a bona-fide first line scorer who plays hard. It sheds some contract issues and opens up the roster for some of the younger guys.
For the Oilers, this gives them some defensive presence and physicality that they desperately need. Teams would love to have Lucic on their roster, and this is a good opportunity to make a move.
It also sends a very clear message for when they draft McDavid. Getting rid of Hall makes this McDavid’s team. I just hope whoever the Bruins’ next GM is recognizes this opportunity and pounces on it.
Tags: Chris Kelly, Conor McDavid, malcom subban, Milan Lucic, Taylor Hall