On April 18, 2015, the Edmonton Oilers organization won the 2015 draft lottery and, most importantly, the opportunity to draw up Connor McDavid's concept as a whole first.
Six days later Peter Chiarelli was hired and appointed as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager. When he took on Leon Draisaitl's job, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse and McDavid (basically) were part of the team.
Fast forward three years and eight months, and the best players of the Oilers are arguably the five players mentioned above. Chiarelli did not have input on where they were listed, but he had built the rest, and the supporting players were not close enough well. He did what I thought was impossible; Has the most dynamic player in the NHL, but lowers the level of skill around him.
Get rid of the five players he didn't say, and Jujhar Khaira, who was recruited in 2012, and compare that list with those of today.
1. 2015 going forward: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Benoit Pouliot, Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov, Derek Roy, Matt Hendricks, Boyd Gordon, Rob Klinkhammer, Luke Gadzic, Anton Lander Tyler Pitlick, and Jesse Joensuu.
Defense: Justin Schultz, Mark Fayne, Andrew Ference, Nikita Nikitin, Martin Marincin and Keith Aulie.
Goaltending: Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth
** Jeff Petry and David Perron were traded during the season and not included in the year-end list.
2, This is a 2018 list. Attackers: Milan Lucic, Jesse Puljujarvi, Alex Chiasson, Tobias Rieder, Kyle Brodziak, Ty Rattie, Zack Kassian, Ryan Spooner and Kailer Yamamoto.
Defense: Adam Larsson, Kris Russell, Andrej Sekera, Matt Benning, Kevin Gravel, Alex Petrovic, Brandon Manning and Caleb Jones.
Goaltending: Mikko Koskinen and Cam Talbot
3. So what field has he improved? He lowered his advanced skills and the worst part was Hall and Lucic making the same money. Hall won the Trophy Cup last season by scoring 93 points and having 37 points in 33 matches this season. Lucic has 42 points in his last 120 matches, and in his last 81 matches he has two goals. And please mention me that Hall is not good in Edmonton. He entered the top ten in scoring two goals.
4. On December 31, 2015, the depth of the Oilers going forward (I exclude three top scorers, Hall, Eberle and RNH) has a combined 39 goals and 94 points. The current depth of the Oilers (excluding McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH) has 40 goals and 86 points. And in fact this morning they only have 33 goals 75 points because Caggiula is no longer on the team. Chiarelli has not been able to surround his best player with a prolific striker in three and a half years.
5. Better defense and goal control, but in 2015 Oilers allowed 3.37 goals / matches and this season they allowed 3.11 goals / matches. Blueline Oilers, excluding Nurses and Klefbom, has a $ 20.5 million cap space between Larsson, Sekera, Russell, Manning, Petrovic, Benning and Gravel. He has now stockpiled defensemen and no one has committed a violation in an era where chip movements are a must from the backend.
6. I will say under his watch that the preparation of Oilers has improved. This is not good, but at least the Oilers have several prospects in the American League. However, despite that, the staff scouted him and he decided on the 2015 draft entry that Griffin Reinhart would help them. They liked it so much that they handed over 16 and 33 picks to get it. Their scouts believe that he is better than all available options at # 16 including Matt Barzal (16), Kyle Connor (17), Thomas Chabot (18), Evgeny Svechnikov (19) Joel Ericksson Ek (20), Colin White (21 ), Ilya Samsonov (22), Brock Boeser (23) and Travis Konecny. Even if they don't take Barzal, then one from Connor, Chabot, White, Boeser and Konecny will have much more impact on the current list. Hell, even Ericksson Ek, Svechnikov and Samsonov will develop. Being wrong with Reinhart was embarrassing, especially when he wasn't even a defensive top partner in the AHL during the trade.
7. Under the supervision of Chiarelli, the Oilers are still unable to refrain from hurrying forward. Jesse Puljujarvi hasn't been ready with NHL since he arrived in Edmonton, but Chiarelli and his management team want him to "grow" in the NHL. Newsflash: NHL is not a development league. You let players develop more in junior, European or AHL and when they come to NHL they will show you that they are ready. Puljujarvi is now 20 and in the third pro season. He has scored 16 goals in 120 NHL matches and has 15 goals and 37 points in 53 AHL matches. He was never allowed to develop his offensive game, which you planned for the fourth overall in 2016, and in a short assignment in the AHL which he never dominated. This is not a big blow to him, because studying North American games when you were only 18 and 19 years old is very difficult, but under the supervision of Chiarelli, the Oilers stubbornly believe that he can develop in the NHL. He hasn't, and he's sure he won't develop offensive confidence when he scores one goal every nine matches like he has this season.
8. Now Chiarelli and his staff believe adding another 20 years to Kailer Yamamoto is the way to go. He is not physically ready for the NHL. He considered the game very well, but he was not physically ready. He has four goals and eight points in eleven AHL matches before being recalled. No other team in the NHL has two 20-year-old forward who have 17 goals in 142 NHL matches. This should be an offensive player, and Chiarelli believes having them produce like fourth-line players will help them grow. Get up. This is not how the winning team develops players. Yamamoto won't be better than Ryan Spooner today, and if they don't let him develop well and maintain offensive confidence, he might never get better. They can recall 25-year-old Joseph Gambardella instead of Yamamoto, if they need a corpse. It weighs 200 pounds. He leads their AHL team in scoring goals. I didn't sell him to be a long-term NHL player, but today I'm sure he can have the same impact as Yamamoto in the NHL. And most importantly Yamamoto will play a lot, score a lot and gain trust in minors, so when next year's training camp comes around the Oilers might really have young attackers who can give them complementary scores. The Oilers can pull back Gambardella and not trade Caggiula.
9. The problem with Oilers is that they continue to fail to realize you have not won with all young players. That is a men's league. Yes, there are a number of elite skilled young players in the league, but the elite produce immediately and Oilers have two at McDavid and Draisaitl. The winning team does not rely on all young players in key roles. Washington and Pittsburgh have won the last three Stanley Cups. Do they have the main main contributors involved in entry level transactions? Tampa Bay has Brayden Point, which is 22 years old, but look at their top front – they are all veterans. Their young forward – Anthony Cirelli and Mathieu Joseph – are 21, and both play in the AHL for one season and are in the bottom six positions. Where will Edmonton get the top six for next season? If they believe Puljujarvi or Yamamoto will be that man, they take another big risk. They think one of them will be ready this year and no one is close. And they did nothing to help their offensive development. Even they inhibit it. It's a shame how this organization didn't see this, but the other team did it.
10. Yesterday Chiarelli swapped Caggiula with Brandon Manning. Manning had a hit of $ 2.25 mill hits for next year while Caggiula made $ 1.5 million. Caggiula is far from a perfect player, but he has seven goals this season and for the last 1.5 years he has 20 goals, the fourth most among the future Oilers behind McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH. Caggiula is also physical. He needs to improve in his own zone, but a good coach can improve that.
Most coaches cannot teach offensive or finished instincts, and Oilers have just swapped one of the few attackers they have that can actually produce multiple goals. Chiarelli and new head coach Ken Hitchcock still believe that size is a major factor in victory. This is 2019, size only helps if players with it have the same number of skills as smaller players. The Caggiula / Manning trade has just confirmed to me Chiarelli has no direction for this team. Why get Manning, another left D shot when you have Klefbom, Nurse, Russell, Sekera, Gravel and Jones? What is the point? He is no better than Gravel and Gravel costs 1/3 price. The gravel has been lit for 12 GF and 12 GA at 5 × 5 in 296 minutes. Manning has played 358 5 × 5 minutes and has been activated for 9 GF-26 GA. He was -17 at 5 × 5, made three times and some people really thought he was an upgrade to Gravel. Gosh.
11. Chiarelli added a salary for next year to D-man who has been a healthy start 14 times in the teams below them in the standings and Chicago has given 27 more goals. Is he much better / different than the defenders they have on the list today? Manning made $ 2.25 million this year and next year. Kevin Gravel made $ 700,000. Caleb Jones earns $ 720,000. Is Manning better? If you want to trade Caggiula, fine, but it doesn't make sense to do it when returns are more expensive D-man, which doesn't add to the violation and doesn't become a star of defense. How does this make Oilers better? Not.
12. And remember Oilers don't have a depth of assessment. Since the beginning of last season Caggiula has the 4th most goals, 20, above Oilers behind RNH, Draisaitl and McDavid. Yes, he has warts in his play, but if you think of exchanging them for increasing salaries for other LDs who are not offensive and have no numbers indicating that he will help the defense really ridiculous. With Chiasson out of the lineup and Caggiula traded, the fourth most goal among the next three Oilers is Kyle Brodziak and Puljujarvi. The Oilers added RD defensive the day before at Alex Petrovic, which had better analytics than Manning, so Manning's trade became even more illogical for me. I want to explain that I am not against players. He did not ask to be traded for Caggiula. And that doesn't mean Caggiula is someone they can't move. This is the simple truth here is another trade where GM downgrades talent ratings.
13. Chiarelli did a good job filling the Boston Bruins list between 2006-2014. He helped build them into Stanley Cup winners, but it was in Boston and the game was different today. His track record in Edmonton speaks for himself. The Oilers have played once, but it looks like an outlier, because they missed the other two years and currently sit 11th in the Western Conference. The trade he made in this year's season did not have a positive impact.
14. Chiarelli has the most dynamic player in the NHL. He didn't need to add a big name to the list he inherited, he just needed to update it, but he couldn't make the rest of the list better than what his predecessor, Craig MacTavish, made. The sad part for Oilersnation is that I don't see a quick fix coming. Unless McDavid, Draisaitl and RNH managed to bring the team behind them for 40 matches, and played at an even higher level than at present, this team did not do a playoff and they did not have the depth to compete if they made a postseason.
This is not the player's fault. GM's job is to build a list and make a competitive team. The result is evidence that Chiarelli failed.
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Source: NHL, Official Game Page, 12/31/2018 – 8:00 AM MST