Edmonton Oilers: Should Peter Chiarelli Evaluate His Own Team?

Last week, the Edmonton Oilers hosted a handful of year-end press conference dealing with the state of the team. Should Peter Chiarelli be given one more year to turn this team around as a title contender?

With the season-ending two Sundays ago for the Edmonton Oilers, it was time for management to reflect on the year that was. Oilers Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chair Bob Nicholson had his press conference and told the media that he was giving Peter Chiarelli one more year to get his act together.

I’m paraphrasing it, but it was the message that needed to be sent. A lot of the fans and the media have been nitpicking every decision that he has made the last two years. It had galvanized both groups to somewhat turn on him in a negative light and made them wonder if he was any good at his job, even during his previous stint with the Boston Bruins.

When it came around for the Edmonton Oilers General Manager to address the media last week, he kept on telling them that nobody was safe from the chopping block, including himself.

“Specifically on the coaches, specifically on me, like this comes from the top-downward we’re all under evaluation. Where I think Todd is a very good coach but we’re at a period of evaluation right now with him and his staff.” Source.

He is right in saying that Edmonton Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan job should be up in the air. McLellan has been with the team since 2015, and the team took a huge step backward this year. Especially with the lineups, he’s employed that didn’t get the job done consistently. But here is the thing, it was Chiarelli that got rid of quality players like Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle that added more pressure on guys like Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to pick up the slack.

Job Security

That’s why it was intriguing to see him quickly point out that he was under a microscope right after mentioning Todd McLellan’s job security.

“I’m in a period of evaluation right now, that certainly we didn’t perform the way we were expected.” Source.

You can say that Peter Chiarelli is shrewd in how he doesn’t want to throw McLellan entirely under the bus because he’s using a lot of the talent that Chiarelli is acquiring for the Edmonton Oilers. For a man whose job is on the line in a one year window, he knows that his fate is directly tied to how well the team performs next year under the coach’s watchful eye.

“I did see some progress. I did see some malleability with the coaches as we were in these little crises and we were tried to work through them. Which is a promising sign, that you can see that
they could try and work through them? But you know I guess the major takeaway and the coaches is that we are all under evaluation.” Source.

It was smart in the end in that tidbit that he threw some praise in the coaching staff direction but at the same time reminded everyone that nobody is safe next year. Is Peter Chiarelli the right man to evaluate a team that also assesses his job performance?

Anything is possible, but if there are going to be significant changes to the coaching staff and the roster next season if things don’t look good, Peter Chiarelli should be the first to go immediately.