Oilers hire Peter Chiarelli as president, GM
Lowe, MacTavish removed from jobs
The Edmonton Oilers have hired Peter Chiarelli as the team's new general manager and president of hockey operations amid a major front-office shakeup for the moribund NHL team.
The announcement was made at a news conference Friday by Bob Nicholson, the chief executive officer of Oilers Entertainment Group, which owns the team.
Chiarelli was the GM of the Boston Bruins until he was fired last week. He built the 2011 team that won the Stanley Cup, but was let go after the Bruins failed to make the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
"His record speaks for itself," Nicholson said.
Remaining with the organization, at least for now, are Craig MacTavish, the Oilers' GM until Chiarelli was hired, and Kevin Lowe, who had been the president of hockey operations. Lowe will no longer be involved in hockey decisions, but will keep his job as a vice chair with OEG. MacTavish's role is unclear.
Nicholson also announced that Patrick LaForge is out of his job as the president and COO of OEG.
Earlier this week, Nicholson was promoted to CEO of the ownership group, giving the former Hockey Canada boss an expanded set of responsibilities that includes authority over all aspects of business and hockey operations. He'll be busy as the Oilers are building a new arena that is expected to be ready for the 2016-17 season.
Talent to work with
Chiarelli had been the Bruins' GM since 2006, overseeing the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011. Boston returned to the Cup final in 2013 and had the best regular-season record in the NHL a year ago before collapsing this season amid injuries to key players Zdeno Chara and David Krejci.
Despite his success, Chiarelli has been criticized for trading talented but troubled (at the time) young forward Tyler Seguin to Dallas, and for dealing valuable defenceman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders before the start of this season in a salary-cap move that left Boston with a thin blue-line.
The Harvard graudate (he earned an economics degree in 1987) has plenty of young talent to work with in Edmonton — including, presumably, teenage phenom Connor McDavid, who the Oilers are expected to select with the No. 1 overall pick after winning the NHL's draft lottery last week.
"There is a strong, young core here with good complementary players," said Chiarelli. "I hope to bring it to the next level with a measured approach."
Edmonton has missed the playoffs nine straight times since reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2006. The team has failed to take meaningful steps forward despite drafting Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov with the No. 1 pick since 2010.