You can forgive Oilers fans if they’re a bit slack jawed. They’ve had an interesting week.
On Saturday their team won the NHL Draft Lottery and earned the right to select Connor McDavid with the first pick. On Monday, former Hockey Canada boss Bob Nicholson was appointed as Edmonton’s new CEO, and the team reportedly reached out to ex-Sharks coach Todd McLellan about a position with the organization.
Today brought another bombshell.
According to reports from Elliotte Friedman and Mark Spector, former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli flew to Edmonton on Tuesday to discuss a position in upper management. Friedman speculated that there might be mutual interest in Chiarelli becoming the team's Director of Hockey Operations ... a position that is currently held by Kevin Lowe.
The timing makes sense. Nicholson’s new position oversees all aspects of the hockey department and he may be inclined to make sweeping changes given the lack of organizational progress under Lowe and GM Craig MacTavish. Chiarelli, who was fired last week after Boston failed to make the playoffs, may not be on the market for long. The 50-year-old offers a unique mix of youth and experience, with one Stanley Cup on his rèsumé and more than 300 regular season wins. He’s also a familiar quantity. Chiarelli and Nicholson worked together while building Team Canada’s gold-medal winning team at the Sochi Olympics.
Of course, Chiarelli wasn’t fired for being too good at his job. He overpaid several players in the wake of Boston’s 2011 Stanley Cup, he badly mismanaged the team’s salary cap and he traded away his best young asset, Tyler Seguin, for an underwhelming return. Is that a man Nicholson can trust with one of the best talent pools in the league?
We could find out soon.