If you actually believe in shot metrics, should you call for Chiarelli and McLellan’s head?
This in from Greg Wyshynski of ESPN, his take on which NHL general managers should be fired, with Peter Chiarelli of the Oilers high on the list. “Does he deserve it? Very much so, but it might not ultimately matter this season. In the span of three seasons, Chiarelli has created a strange and unbalanced roster that lacks championship offensive depth and remains thin defensively. He also squandered the last year of McDavid’s entry-level deal before his cap hit spikes to $12.5 million next season. The fans are outraged. The media is questioning if he’s the right executive to build this team around McDavid. Since McDavid was drafted, we’ve wondered if the Oilers could screw up landing the generational talent in the draft lottery. Chiarelli sure seems to be trying.”
This kind of analysis is not anything new from Wyshynski, a clever, entertaining and highly partisan writer. In fact, it’s the kind of thing we’ve been hearing since the Taylor Hall trade from numerous Eastern writers and commentators and from a large contingent of Oilers fans and bloggers as well. It’s also true that mainstream reporters in Edmonton have been more critical of Chiarelli than they have of Oilers coach Todd McLellan (and I’ve been the opposite of that this year).
Wyshynski is never going to give the Oilers a break, which is fair enough. He’s a Devils fan, and that Devils-Oilers relationship is red hot and jealous ever since the Taylor Hall-for-Adam Larsson trade. If I’m completely honest, I personally hope for nothing but failure for the Devils if only to shut up the obnoxiouis critics of that trade (a trade, I’ve maintained from the start, that can be a win for both teams, given the needs of both teams).
There’s a lot of heated rhetoric in Wyshynski’s critique, but just one real criticism, that Chiarelli has created a “strange and unbalanced” roster. Is that so? Hmm. As I wrote yesterday, to get out of this division Chiarelli has to build a team that can get by bullying teams like the Anaheim Ducks and the Los Angeles Kings. In working to create such a club, it could well be Chiarelli lost sight of the need to compete with numerous other smaller, faster, more skilled teams in the regular season. He’s made the classic mistake of building an arsenal to win last year’s war, but not win the new wars on the ever changing NHL battle line. If Milan Lucic, Mark Letestu and Zack Kassian were all on the same line for a game, we could call them the Maginot Line.
That said, it’s also the case that this Oilers roster isn’t so terrible that it doesn’t perform well and regularly get the better of opposing teams at even strength. Edmonton’s issues are in net and on special teams. Is Chiarelli to blame because the goalies have been iffy at times, the PK terrible …read more
Source:: Edmonton Journal – Sports