As many of you will know…I’ve long thought that Kevin Lowe was responsible for all that has befallen the Oilers over the past decade and, let’s be honest, he WAS in charge all those years.
The hiring of Peter Chiarelli and, most importantly, his insistence on also being the team’s GM, finally brings the Lowe/MacT cabal that has devastated the team to a merciful end.
I’m still a little worried that both of the villains will still be employed by the team in some capacity but they should be far enough away from the levers of power that they have very little influence on the team’s future.
Some observers have expressed concern that Chiarelli was hired too quickly without an exhaustive search but I believe the Oilers had to act quickly or he would have been hired elsewhere very quickly…likely in Ottawa.
So, where do the Oilers go from here?
With the Ship of Fools now departing the harbour and an accomplished POHO/GM in charge, I expect Chiarelli will set out to balance the team.
He specifically said he said at his introductory news conference that he would not be afraid to trade any of the young starts if he thought he could improve the team and, from my point of view, that was the most welcome thing he said.
The team must address goaltending and their woeful defense and, while the former should be relatively easy to solve through free agency or a minor trade of assets, I don’t believe there is any other currency than one of Hall or Eberle to accomplish the latter.
The Oilers have to find TWO top pairing D and they have to be in the age range of the young cluster.
There’s a bunch of talk over at Lowetide today that the Oilers should look at bringing in someone like Chara but, c’mon, he’s 38 years old and is breaking down quickly.
There is also some hope that the Oilers will jump on cap strapped teams to land a first pairing D but, other than Hall, Eberle or Pittsburgh’s 1st round pick, the Oilers don’t have any assets that would be of interest to those teams unless they want to give up Nurse or Klefbom which, I’m my opinion, is likely not wise.
Be interesting to se if Chiarelli and I are on the same wavelength.