The Edmonton Oilers have seen a bit of a resurgence ever since they made a shift at the head coaching position, firing former Oilers head coach Todd McLellan and bringing in thought to be retired NHL head coach Ken Hitchcock to replace him, and now it seems that some of the credit for that sudden surge has fallen on the shoulders on general manager Peter Chiarelli.
I will admit that I have not been a big proponent of Chiarelli as the Oilers general manager, or at all in fact, and I still have some serious questions about some of the moves he made in the past, but he has nonetheless received praise for this most recent stretch of play. I suppose at the very least you have to give him credit for moving McLellan out when he felt a change had to be made at the coaching position and certainly he deserves credit for coaxing Hitchock out of retirement, regardless of how much it may have cost him.
This marks a strong contrast from just a few short weeks ago when there were many calling for the head of the Oilers GM, feeling that his poor trades and overall poor management had hurt the Oilers far more than McLellan's coaching. Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson was asked about the possibility of Chiarelli being fired this week when he was asked whether or not Chiarelli would be safe if he made the playoffs.
"Yeah," said Nicholson. "There's no question. I think there's a lot of tjings that Peter hasn't gotten credit for. He's really started to build. You're starting to see some of them come up now with the Caleb Jones and the Evan Bouchards. We have a lot of assets. which this organizatio nhadn't had for a while. Peter deserves a lot of credit for that."
Now to be fair there are some who would still prefer to see Chiarelli replaced as general manager of the Oilers regardless of the team's bounce back under Ken Hitchock, but with this most recent surge from the Oilers it seems he is likely quite safe. The Oilers currently sit tied for 2nd in their division and are well within a playoff spot, which means Chiarelli is set to stay. Fans will need to hope that this public confirmation does not entice him to make a short-sighted move ahead of the trade deadline.