Eye on the Oilers


With the Oilers settling in to 30place in the NHL, there’s more than a little chatter about the competence of both GM Peter Chiarelli and head coach Todd McLellan.

You may recall, upon the occasion of their respective signings, that I cautioned Oiler fans to take a closer look at their respective records.

Of course, no one did, proudly proclaiming that both Peter and Todd both had track record that would immediately result in a bolt up the standings.

Peter was going to reproduce the success he had in building a Stanley Cup winner but I cautioned that much of his success in Boston was the dumb luck he had when Ottawa made a the wrong decision and let Boston have one of the most dominant defensemen of the decade in Zdeno Chara.

Yes, Peter made some good moves on his own but let’s remember it WAS on his watch that Tyler Seguin was traded and that he so botched the Bruins cap situation that he was fired.

His early dealings in Edmonton indicate he may still have some trouble in that regard since he paid too much in both dollars and term for Andrei Sekera who even Chiarelli himself says is a second pairing D.

That he has also vastly overpaid in the trade to acquire AHL defenseman Griffin Reinhart is another huge red flag.

It’s too early to tell if he has another Seguin arrow in his quiver but I would be very concerned about that.

I also attempted to warn Oiler fans that they should not expect miracles from Todd McLellan since his record with a stacked San Jose Sharks roster was relatively mediocre.

He inherited an elite team from the fired Ron Wilson and never got the Sharks to take a step forward.

It’s no surprise to me that the Sharks are on pace for a 96 point season without Todd which is more than the 89 points in his last season in San Jose with essentially the same roster.

After peaking at 117 points in his 1st season, the Sharks under Todd would see their points totals slowly dwindle to that 89 point finish that got him fired that season.

It appears he may have been the problem in San Jose.

I also recall that many Oiler fans were predicting that the Oiler PP under McLellan would match the success of the group in San Jose especially with all the high end talent he would have at his disposal in Edmonton.

Not so fast.

As of this writing, the Oiler PP ranks 20th in the league at 18.1%

The Sharks PP ranks 4th at 22.2% and only a smidgeon behind the league leading Capitals.

So much for that fantasy.

And, as the Oilers enter the final quarter of another dreary season, a couple of questions linger.

What exactly is the Oilers record with and without Connor McDavid in the lineup?

Who is going to be the new Seguin in Peter’s world?




10 thoughts on “Eye on the Oilers

  1. Seguin was Neely, full stop.

    Chiarelli is on record saying his hands were tied.

    McLellan Was responsible for growing little Joe’s game, he brought Logan along just fine and had the ability to see Burns for his potential.

    Wilson is a bad coach who has a shelf life of two years.

    Chiarelli won a cup and wasn’t solely responsible for the Bruins going down in flames that was Neely and he helped hang it on Chiarelli

    Regardless, nether of these men are responsible for the position the Oilers are in now, that’s the responsibility of these individuals. Katz, Lowe, Tambllini, MacTavish and McGregor.

    If Chiarelli doesn’t fix the defense then I’ll agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many excuses for men who didn’t make a difference.

      Chiarelli was the GM of record…it’s on him.

      McLellan was a bystander as Pavelski, Couture and Burns developed.

      He couldn’t get that team to the next level despite being gifted a remarkable roster.

      His record this season tell you pretty much all you need to know.


      1. How was McLellan a bystander? That’s not at all true.

        Wilson couldn’t get them over, McLellan couldn’t get them over and the new coach won’t get them over.

        Sooner or later you have to realize it’s not the coaches.

        Scotty Bowman and the best minds in hockey couldn’t get the Oilers out of last place, this is in no way a reflection of the GM or coaches but the make up of the team.


          1. I never said they weren’t all culpable, There is a lot wrong with the “core”

            You can’t reasonable expect Chairelli to completely rip the roster apart in half a season, at the same time you can’t win with the current roster he got, so it’s hard to judge these new men without at least some perspective on the roster they inherited.

            Players I keep.



            The Oilers need defense, they need size, skill and a little jam up front.

            Players I target.

            Kreider – Driasaitl
            Jenner – offer sheet
            Lucic – UFA
            Hamonic – Nurse & Yakupov
            Burns – Eberle – 1st round pick

            This is an example of the options the Oilers could use, and in no way do I have expectations other then to show that the Oilers could potentially use to get players.

            That’s a lot, but if the Oilers don’t come out of the summer with something that resembles that.

            Then I’ll agree with you that its systemic and Katz is still controlling whats going on.


  2. Chias true test will be this offseason and everyone knew that. MacT gave him a bunch of turds and no cap space. Now that some of that dead cap space is gone he can make some moves. Like all his other moves in his history I assume some good and some bad and some overpays to bottom players. Guess we wait and see. After Eakins clusterfuck it was good to see a coach that has experience coaching in this league. I wasn’t expecting gold and don’t think he will be coach when they finally win a playoff round it was just good to see someone from the 80s Oilers not get that job. Progress I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agree wholeheartedly on your last point.

      I think Chiarelli has until the end of McDavid’s ELC to right the ship.

      If all the pieces aren’t in place by then, all hell will break loose.

      Until then he simply can’t afford to continue overpaying for players of questionable value.

      So far, we have Sekera, Reinhart, Letestu and, perhaps, Talbot as evidence that he isn’t heeding that dictum.

      We’ll soon see.


  3. It’s gotta be tough for Oiler fans. 10 years without a sniff, and still there are questions about the 3rd crew of management! I can’t see any hope for next season either, who makes the playoffs out of Van, Calgary and Edmonton first? All 3 are pretty much done this year.


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