What the Oilers could have looked like if Chiarelli was good at his job

On April 24th, 2015 the Edmonton Oilers announced they hired former Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. Considering Chiarelli was fired by the Bruins just a few months prior, the Oilers likely should have explored more options. As we know that is not at all what happened, and not long after he was hired Chiarelli's destruction of the Oilers begun.

*Writers note: scroll to bottom for lineup if you're already aware of Chiarelli's mess*

The first trade Chiarelli made was arguably the worst. Of course the Taylor Hall trade was brutal, but when you look deep into the Griffin Reinhart trade it's evident they're fairly equal when it comes to the lack of thought put into them. The trade consisted of a first round pick in 2015 and a second round pick in 2015 sent to the New York Islanders for defensemen Griffin Reinhart, a player who was believed to be a bust even before the trade was made. It didn't take long for Reinhart to be sent to the Oilers AHL team, and while Reinhart was on the demise, those they could have had began to rise.

The first round pick was used to draft Mathew Barzal, a Canadian centre who later had 85 points in 82 games in his first NHL season. As if that isn't bad enough, using the second-round pick the Tampa Bay Lightning (VIA NYI) drafted forward Mitchell Stephens, another centre who is currently  developing nicely in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch. Just in this one trade, the Oilers traded away a promising prospect and a franchise centre who would have been dangerously scary with McDavid and made each others statistics skyrocket. Even if the Oilers only gave up a second-round pick for Reinhart, they still would have lost the trade (See below.)

Mitchell Stephens

Griffin Reinhart

The other worst trade of his career with the Oilers would obviously be the Taylor Hall trade, which happened on July 296h, 2016. For those who don't know, on that date the Oilers traded their 2010 first overall pick to the New Jersey Devils for second pair defensemen Adam Larsson. The imbalance of value in this trade was and still is incredibly painful, especially for Oilers fans. As if it couldn't get any worse, Taylor literally cried during an interview when he was traded, meaning he had zero interest in being anywheres but Edmonton. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberble all had great chemistry, were great buds and were all three Canadian. The Oilers needed a right-shot defensemen, but this trade was nowhere near equal in value, and shouldn't have even included Hall in the first place. Even though Hall should have never even been considered being traded, if they did they should have got way more in return.

A year or so ago the Bruins gave up a first round pick, Ryan Spooner, Matt Beleskey and prospect Ryan Lindgren for (then) thirty-three year old Rick Nash. There's no questioning Nash is an incredible player, but he started producing less as one can see the last few years before he was traded. He's producing basically less than half a point per game in the last three seasons before the Bruins traded for him, whereas in comparison it's evident Hall is producing magnificently well over half a point per game (and is almost ten years younger, not even in his prime, etc) before he's traded to the Devils (see below.)

Rick Nash

Taylor Hall 

As if it could not get any worse (and any lonelier for Nugent-Hopkins), more of the Oilers core was traded when Chiarelli traded right-wing Jordan Eberle on June 22nd, 2017 for third-line centre Ryan Strome. Again, the imbalance of value is simply incredible. The "point" of trading Eberle was that he wasn't producing in the playoffs of 2017, which is way too small of a lens to look at such a skilled player from. At this point, the NHL might as well investigate Chiarelli for being some sort of double agent purposely trying to ruin the Oilers.

Jordan Eberle

Ryan Strome 

It continues to get worse, somehow.

Many of the Oilers contracts Chiarelli dealt made zero sense; most were way too long and way too big for players who were obviously getting older, slower, and overall just producing less. These are just three of the worst contracts he dealt, limiting the Oilers flexibility with their cap space by a lot.

Milan Lucic (12 points in 50 games)

Andrej Sekera (8 points in 39 games in 2018, currently injured)

Kris Russell (9 points in 40 games)

There are too many things Chiarelli should have done differently, as one can see. Here's a look at what the Oilers could have looked like if he had the skill of someone such as Steve Yzerman (assuming they drafted Barzal with the pick and that they would have a lot more cap space from not signing fourth liners and third pairings to 4-6 million dollar contracts):




Scratches: Kassian, Jones, Russell, 

As one can see, this lineup is dangerously scary, and also takes a lot of pressure off players like Puljujarvi, yet also top players like McDavid and Draisaitl.  Something a long the lines of this lineup could have been real, and would have been extremely entertaining to watch.

On the bright side, Oilers fans can always try out the lineups in Franchise Mode on NHL 19. 

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