There’s a thing that’s happening in Oilersnation and I’m not really sure what to do about it. It goes something like this: Peter Chiarelli says something vague and benign, but fans parse the words into something fearsome. I’m at a loss about what to do about it, honestly. At some level it’s none of my business—people have a right to get themselves into a lather, God knows I have over the years—but it we stick to the facts it’s terribly difficult to create a nightmare scenario over Chiarelli’s arrival and possible moves. Consider:
- Chiarelli is a veteran GM with a very strong resume. This is a bona fide executive.
- The Oilers talent base is a big reason he’s here—there are good days ahead if good decisions are made.
- The value of the No. 1 overall pick, of Taylor Hall, or RNH, is so enormous that even a stand alone deal would have to boggle the mind.
There’s no reason to panic. This has been an astounding month in Oilers history, please please please enjoy it. I mean really enjoy it. These are the good old days, to borrow a line from Carly Simon. And, please understand, Peter Chiarelli isn’t going to trade the No. 1 overall pick. When a man finds riches untold, does he give it up? No he does not. You are free to buy your “McDavid No. 97” Oilers jersey, I suggest getting home and away.
- Peter Chiarelli: “I don’t have any intention to do something drastic. I’m not coming in guns-ablazing…It is very hard to find good players.” Source
That’s exactly right. Taylor Hall scored 80 points in 2013-14, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins plays the toughest opposition at 21 and survives (while scoring 50+ points), Jordan Eberle’s hands remain a national treasure and Connor McDavid may be actual hockey Jesus. Music! In fact, more than that! What comes after music? Whatever it is, that!
"The only way they trade me is if they decide. I will never ask for a trade. I want to be in Edmonton and help us win." Hall #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) April 24, 2015
If Taylor Hall was that guy, we’d know it by now. He isn’t. He wants to be part of the team when they win, he wants this story to include Stanley and he wants to be an Oiler when he wins it. That’s a good thing!
- Elliotte Friedman: Chiarelli did not confirm, but it is believed he had at least one conversation with Toronto before ending up in Edmonton. Source
Another indication that the Oilers are heading in a good direction. We don’t know what was discussed—I suspect the job description in Toronto is not close to the GM job here—but it’s still nice to win one here, and I do think Chiarelli coming here is exactly that—a win.
- Chiarelli about McDavid: “His dynamic speed, his pursuit of the puck, he sees the ice really well. The Greyhounds are a tough team and he battles. He battles well for the skill and speed that he has. On TV you can see the speed with which he attacks the net, but when you’re here and you see the level of speed he gets to and the gears he has, well, that’s impressive.” Source
Connor McDavid is going to make me weep. I cannot wait and sincerely hope we all live long enough to see it. Eat your vegetables, take care and hurry sundown.
Reynolds says a decision on Matt O'Connor will be made in the next 5-10 days. "We're not going to drag this out."
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) April 29, 2015
I’ve said this before, but it’s been awhile. When teams get good, players fall into their laps. It’s kind of nuts, but a winning team attracts more good players and this young O’Connor fellow may in fact be an example. We’ll see. I hope he comes here, mostly because of that goal and how he handled it. I’d like things to work out for him, suspect it’ll be fine no matter the choice he makes.
Would you be satisfied with a depth chart of Antti Niemi—Ben Scrivens—Laurent Brossoit—Matt O’Connor—Eetu Laurikainen? I’d be fine with it as long as the Niemi contract wasn’t too dear or for too long—and before you post anything, I am, as always, mindful of the brilliance of Michal Neuvirth and his special status on this blog. I would welcome him in the No. 1 role as well.
I expect either Anton Lander and / or Martin Marincin to either be a New York Ranger or Ottawa Senators next season. #Oilers
— Supernova (@romanmaximus1) April 27, 2015
I think Marincin is the stronger candidate, if you package him with a pick, that should get you an experienced blue. Klefbom will play next season and I do believe Darnell Nurse will spend much or all of the year with the Oilers. Barons are in action tonight, I’ll update the score in the comments section.