The Edmonton Oilers finally put an end to a six-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes last night, however, the losses and failed trade attempts have taken a toll on general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The Oilers hold the sixth position in the Pacific Division with a 19-18-3 record, which leaves them four points out of a Wild Card spot, and Chiarelli is surely trying his best to make the ideal changes to guide his team to a playoff spot and on the road to a long Cup run. However, things aren't working out for the GM as TSN insiders Pierre LeBrun and Darren Dreger have noted that the poor man looks worn out in the Oilers' front office.
“Well, I don’t know if you guys watched that media availability,” asked Dreger when talking about the recent Oilers' trades on Leafs Lunch on TSN 1050. “I just watched it online after the fact. And I was prompted to watch it online because a number of people reached out and said, ‘Man, Peter looks tired. He looks haggard.’
“And maybe he had an overactive holiday break, I don’t know. But he did look like he was a bit worn out. Anybody who has spent any time on any bench in pro hockey or otherwise, or in the office of the general manager, knows the highs and knows the lows, and the lows can be very, very taxing, both mentally and physically.”
LeBrun added that Montreal Canadiens Marc Bergevin was in a similar spot in recent seasons, and even faced harsh criticism when he traded Alex Galchenyuk to the Coyotes in return for Max Domi, who has been a good player on the Habs' roster this season. LeBrun wonders if fans will trust Chiareilli again, like Montreal was eventually able to do with Bergevin.
"It reminds me of a year ago. Every single thing Marc Bergevin did, Habs fans were just going right down his throat. There was no 50-50, it was always, ‘Wrong, wrong, wrong.’ Even the Domi-Galchenyuk deal was accepted that way by Habs fans.
“Now, of course, he’s back in the good graces after a tremendous offseason. I don’t know if Peter Chiarelli can dig his way out the same way Marc Bergevin did. But that’s what it would take. He would need a couple of home runs here.”
Chiarelli has tried his best to make significant changes in Edmonton, especially when he brought star head coach Ken Hitchcock on board. One thing seems now clearer and clearer: if the Oilers do not make it to the postseason, a management change would have to be made.
And now, who knows, maybe Chiarelli would be the first one to be really happy about this...