Peter Chiarelli, hired Friday as the Edmonton Oilers’ president of hockey operations and general manager, faces a tall task.
The former Boston Bruins GM must help the Oilers end their nine-season playoff drought — the longest active streak in the NHL — and build a roster capable of winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup championship since 1989-90.
Edmonton has several needs, specifically a top-pairing defenseman and a legitimate No. 1 goaltender, but also owns a surplus of talented young forwards who could be used in potential trades. So, naturally, Chiarelli was asked about possible moves because he proved during his Bruins tenure that he won’t shy away from moving impact forwards.
“I’ve actually made a few trades of good, young forwards, so that’s something that I won’t shy away from,” Chiarelli said at Friday’s press conference in Edmonton. “(The Tyler Seguin deal) was a trade that had underlying reasons that I won’t get into. But he’s a terrific player. He was our leading scorer, and that’s what I’ll say about that one.
“In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades. The way that the parity is developing, the way the cap is closing in, the margins are really small. Those are ways to improve your team. I’m not afraid of doing it, it has to be the right moment. There are some very good young players on this team. Doesn’t mean that I’m going to trade any of them, but those are deals that you can’t be afraid to make.”
Chiarelli has a lot of work to do in Edmonton before the Oilers are championship contenders again. Luckily for him, he has plenty of quality assets to work with on the trade market.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Sikes/Associated Press
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