Sunday, 17 February, 2019

Oilers fire Chiarelli; Nicholson to oversee hockey ops in interim

Alex Pietrangelo and Cam Talbot Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports
Shannon Reynolds | 10 February, 2019, 05:40

During the second intermission of their game against the Red Wings on Tuesday night, the Oilers met with president of hockey operations and general manager Peter Chiarelli and told him he was sacked.

Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson held a press conference as said, "I want to emphasize again, we got some real good players".

Gretzky, younger brother of National Hockey League legend Wayne Gretzky, was the assistant general manager under Chiarelli.

The shakeup comes hours after the club stumbled into the All-Star break with a third consecutive defeat on home ice.

Todd McLellan, whom Chiarelli hired as coach in 2015, was sacked in November after the Oilers started 9-10-1 this season.

He said the organizational decision was made this week to fire Chiarelli, who was told at the second intermission of a loss Tuesday night to Detroit so he could quietly leave the arena. Chiarelli is the man who traded away Tyler Seguin while he was the GM in Boston, and Taylor Hall while in Edmonton. All the former GM of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins had to do was surround them with support players and developing talent.

Despite the losing record, the Oilers sit three points out of the playoff picture with 49 points.

The Oilers reached the playoffs once in Chiarelli's tenure, making the second round in 2017.

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In recent days, local bloggers and columnists had been calling for Chiarelli to be fired and some fans at the Wings game chanted "Fire Chiarelli!" We have good leaders.

Nicholson said Hitchcock will remain coach for the rest of the season as Edmonton tries to close the gap and qualify for the postseason with 32 games left. Hall won the Hart last season and led the Devils to the playoffs.

Who in their right mind is going to hire him now? The big winger has 96 points in 214 games with the Oilers, including just five goals this season.

"We're not going to trade any of our assets away for a quick fix". Two players the Oilers placed on waivers on Monday, Ty Rattie and Ryan Spooner, both cleared waivers on Tuesday.

Chiarelli was frequently criticized for not fielding enough talent around McDavid.

Chiarelli was expected to give the woebegone Oilers steady leadership with McDavid.

The result was 11 losses in their first 20 games that led to the firing of McLellan and later a series of reactionary moves.

"We looked at the depth of the goalies that would be available next year and we really believe in Mikko", Nicholson said.

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