Wanna blog? Start your own hockey blog with My HockeyBuzz. Register for free today!

G44 Oilers vs Predators: Chiarelli's Press Tour Of Lies and Deceit

January 9, 2018, 2:44 PM ET [462 Comments]
Matt Henderson
Edmonton Oilers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Peter Chiarelli “Lies & Deceit” tour of the press happened yesterday amidst the most pressure he’s ever faced from the fans and media. Externally, this is the worst it has been for Pete in Edmonton. His team has needs a miracle in order to even come close to the playoffs and the court has come to the realization that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

Reports from John Shannon today are that the media tour by Chiarelli has worked, at least enough to say that the team is no longer considering any imminent changes. There may be nobody who faces the music for this season until Chia trades Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for *looks for a former 1st rounder who is clearly never going to amount to anything* Michael Dal Colle. Oh, I’m sure the equipment manager will get the ax in the offseason or something.

As for Peter Chiarelli, architect of this monument to mediocrity, he said as little as possible while failing to answer adequately anything of importance. Ryan Rishaug asked him about wasting the final year of McDavid’s entry level deal and whether the team failed by not being more aggressive. The answer was to acknowledge that Rishaug had asked a good question. It’s a great non-answer. Of course, the truth is that “Yes, it was a horrible mistake to downgrade offensively and leave millions of dollars in unused space during this – the final year of McDavid’s ELC.”

Chiarelli was given an opportunity to speak about the Jordan Eberle trade. This is where the press tour falls away from simply letting the media eat and starts to venture into lies and deceit. Now, to be clear, there is absolutely no way that Chiarelli would disparage Ryan Strome while he is still an Oiler. This is Peter Chiarelli, not Marc Bergevin. He wasn’t going to throw Strome under the bus. Still, what we got as an explanation for the trade was hogwash.

Chiarelli said that the trade was made in part because of the concern for an Offer Sheet made to Leon Draisaitl. This is, without question, a lie. As NHL teams are capable of going 10% above the cap in the offseason, the Oilers were well within their capability to cover any offer made up to at least $10M per season. This is $1.5M more than the Oilers paid and $3M more than anyone of Draisaitl’s closest comparables in the NHL.

Additionally, and I think most importantly, while the Oilers were supposedly feeling the pressure to keep money freed up to fend off this phantom offer sheet (that they were never in danger of being unable to match) they traded Jordan Eberle and his $6M dollar deal to the Islanders in exchange for Ryan Strome and his $2.5M cap hit. THEN ON THE VERY NEXT DAY, signed Kris Russell – a player who went completely unsigned the summer before – to a $4M cap hit. So, within 24 hours of making a deal to conserve cap space, they had reduced the amount of cap space they had remaining to below what it had been previously.

Does that make sense to you? Does it make sense that they needed to shed money on the payroll so they added more money to the payroll? Of course it doesn’t make sense, because you’re a smart person and I believe in you.

The Oilers neither needed to shed salary in order to be able to fend off an offer sheet nor did they actually do such a thing. If you would like to argue that Peter Chiarelli filled 2 roster spots with that money then great, but that’s not the argument that he made. He said he needed actual cap dollars available in case someone went rogue to make an offer to Draisaitl (that would have been higher than what the Oilers were prepared to pay).

He also said that he was disappointed with the season that Ryan Strome was having. Quick reminder, Ryan Strome is on pace for the 2nd highest point total in his NHL career. The truth of this matter is clear: Peter Chiarelli thought (for reasons that are known only to him and his priest) that Ryan Strome would be better for the Oilers than Eberle based on Eberle’s career worst season for shooting percentage and a bad playoffs. This would be less sad and more hilarious if Chia hadn’t also reinforced to Rishaug that his job was to look at the big picture, not rush to judgment, and prevent tunnel vision.

I have no problem with Chiarelli squirming in the chair while trying to dodge questions he knows he has no response for, but I’m not giving anyone a free pass on lying to the public or for giving an answer that is plainly idiotic. He cannot sit there and tell me he would trade Eberle for Strome again and expect me to be on board with his agenda.


Maroon McDavid Puljujarvi
Lucic RNH Cammalleri
Khaira Draisaitl Strome
Caggiula Letestu Kassian

Klefbom Larsson
Sekera Russell
Nurse Benning



1) Stud Defense. The Nashville Predators have the best defense in the NHL and I believe that wholeheartedly. Josi, Subban, Ekholm, and Ellis are the class of the league. Ellis only recently returned from injury. He’s played 3 games but already has 2 points (or 50% of Larsson’s season total). The Oiler forwards have combined for 1 goal in the last 5 games, which doesn’t bode well for the team. The strength of the Predators has been their backend since it featured Suter and Weber. It comes as no shock that the organization has continued to amass such an incredible collection of defenders. The only weaknesses are on the 3rd pair.

Life On The Wings. Today Travis Yost has an article on TSN that highlights Edmonton’s struggle on the wings. This was once a strength for the team, now it’s killing them. The Oilers have the worst goal scoring production of any team in the NHL when it comes to their wingers. They are 5th in goals from centers, but they are being cut at the knees by these wingers. Milan Lucic and Pat Maroon aren’t scoring enough. Hall and Eberle have combined for 0 Oiler goals this season. They didn’t have Puljujarvi for a portion of the season. Caggiula isn’t an NHL player. It’s a tough go and these guys need to pull their socks up.

3) How Much Worse Can It Get? That sounds like a challenge but it really isn’t. How much worse can this stretch actually get? They’ve been playing like they’re trying to get people fired. You can only lose 5-1 so many times before something breaks. I don’t care what John Shannon says. If there’s another week of losing by 4 every match then something is going to break. Who breaks first, the management, the coaching staff, or the players?

Puck drops at 6PM Mountain Time on Sportsnet One. Game On!

Follow me on Twitter @Archaeologuy
Join the Discussion: » 462 Comments » Post New Comment
More from Matt Henderson
» Farewell
» The Most Dangerous Game
» Calling Kovalchuk
» Oilers Sign Koskinen
» Oilers Drafting 10th...If At All