The Perpetual Search Continues: “Really Disappointed” Nicholson Wants Oilers to Add “Top Defenceman”

Me trying to figure out how the Edmonton Oilers operate:

so, has Bob Nicholson become the de facto voice of Daryl Katz? Is that why he was hired, so that the Fairy Godfather can sit back in LA and watch his unholy dumpster fire of a hockey club burn to shreds from afar?  No team has ever done less with more than the Edmonton Oilers. Peter Chiarelli inherited a team with assets like Connor McDavid, Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, and Justin Schultz. Not to mention an extra first round pick (16th) and a high second round pick (33rd) in a stupidly deep draft. He’s subsequently traded six of those players, replaced them with slower and less skilled versions of themselves, and gotten exactly zero top defensemen in return. Almost three years after Peter Chiarelli was handed a golden ticket to the goddamn chocolate factory, he’s managed to muster this three team trade:

To NYI, NJD, PIT, & STL: Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz, Nail Yakupov, 2015 1st round pick (Matthew Barzal) 2015 2nd Round Pick (traded for Anthony Beauvillier)

To EDM: Adam Larsson, Ryan Strome, Stuart Skinner, and Filip Berglund.

Let’s examine the article:

Edmonton Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson is “really disappointed” and “shocked” at how the 2017-18 season has unfolded.

Two different people in the organization have now used “general disappointment” and “really disappointed” when referring to the Oilers’ 2017-18 season. At least we’ve graduated. We’re no longer disappointed in a sense of considering or including only the main features or elements of our season, and completely disregarding otherwise subjective exceptions. We’re now really disappointed. Not mad. Just really disappointed (which, we all know, is worse). Shocked? Not really. This, after all, is the usual byproduct after a series of longstanding shit awful decisions. Of course, I’m under the impression that Bob really has no idea what really goes down here. I’ll explain shortly.

Heading into Tuesday’s action, the NHL basement-dwelling Arizona Coyotes were the only Western Conference team with fewer points than the Oilers. The team has lost four straight and with only 27 games remaining on the schedule the playoffs seem out of reach.

Being almost last in the west would be just another Tuesday in Edmonton if not for the fact that Connor McDavid is on pace to surpass what he just accomplished during his 2016-17 MVP winning season. That’s a pretty significant drop despite knowing your generational superstar is somehow even better than he was when he was voted the best player in hockey. But, I mean, at least the GM and head coach can look themselves in the mirror and recognize that, had it not been for their unprecedented level of imbecilery, they probably could have done literally nothing and made this team moderately successful. At least we have easy scapegoats.

“The whole group has to take responsibility,” Nicholson said.

Oh, well hockey is a team sport. But, not the whole group. I mean, there’s Connor, who’s been perfect. And Leon would have set a career high too had it not been for the injury. Nuge was outstanding. Nurse has been great. It’s really just been the players that Chia has brought in which have punched us square in the balls.

“It starts in the dressing room all the way up to me.”

Again, let’s say 50% of the dressing room. Sure. But, I mean, you can still do a lot with Connor McDavid. I mean, you have an enormous advantage over every team in the league. There shouldn’t be that much to do.

“I’m convinced that with some changes we’ll be a lot better next year, but we got a heck of a lot of work to do.”

Imagine dressing a 21-year-old Connor McDavid every night and still having “a heck of a lot of work to do” JUST IMAGINE!! Please, stop me if I sound out of line here, but that is a bold thing to admit when 60% of the fan base is calling for everyone’s head and your brass perpetually defend each other. And also, hearing a man who I wouldn’t trust with my S’well bottle say the word “changes” makes me uncontrollably nervous. But, I mean, they should have learned from their previous errors, right? They won’t do anything stupid. They can’t! The evidence of what not to do is stapled around the Metro Division. Nobody is dumb enough to do that all again.

With the NHL Trade Deadline less than two weeks away, Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli could be one of the busiest execs in hockey right up until 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 26. Management will need to make decisions on pending unrestricted free agents Patrick Maroon, Mark Letestu and Mike Cammalleri, but it might not stop there.

Good, this is common sense, those are players we need to move to re-obtain some of the assets we have humiliatingly pissed away waaaaaiiiiiiit… it might not stop there?

“We will look to do something to try to improve our team, short and long term,” Nicholson said. “We’ve got some assets that we could trade here.”

Can’t help but clench your asshole when Bob starts talking about the assets we could trade. If you want to see improvement like, say, next season, then the “assets” like Maroon and Letestu and Cammalleri will not give you the immediate help you are looking for. At best, Patrick Maroon might get you a late first round pick (cc: Boston… do it) or a decent-ish prospect. At best, Mark Letestu will get you a late pick, possibly even in 2019. At best, you’re able to trade Mike Cammalleri and get possibly something. He was 30 seconds away from waivers in LA. Even the washing machine Jackie Moon gave up to get Woody Harrelson would have to be taken into consideration. Therefore, one must be lead to believe that the assets he is so smugly hinting at include, say, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and/or (probably and, because fuck us anyways) Oscar Klefbom. We are going to trade one of those two players this summer because underselling one valuable asset per offseason is Peter Chiarelli’s quota. I’m fully preparing myself for the departure of one of these two key figures. I’m also preparing to get like Drew Stafford or Ian Cole in return.

Okay, but sure, what sort of thing are you looking to acquire with these assets?

“If we could add another top defenceman that would be real good,” Nicholson added.


That timeline is the epitome of life = fast.

(July, 2015) “Oilers Sign Sekera, Get #1 Defenceman!”

(nine months later) “Chiarelli confident he can find top defenceman in a meaningful way!”

(two months later) Narrator: “He didn’t.”

(the entire year that follows) Sink Pisser: “Larsson is a top pair defenceman!”

(February, 2018) Oilers CEO: “We need to find a top defenceman!”

This is what I was referring to when I said that Bob has no fucking idea what’s going on. At least Wayne’s excuse is he’s usually bamboozled on so much of his own whisky to have any clue of what’s going on. But our very own CEO?? Hey, Bob. The incompetent shit whistle you hired to run player personnel traded four (4!!) of your team’s most valuable assets and that “top defenceman” still ceases to exist. I’ve never been one to make any irrationally emotional assumptions but it’s almost as if Bob’s been too busy naming $400 burgers after himself to care about or even notice the nuclear turd that is the organization he oversees. Let’s look at some of the moves that took place while Bob Nicholson was apparently focusing on literally anything else:

  • We traded the 16th and 33rd overall picks in an absolutely stacked draft for a defenseman that will never play in the NHL again.
  • We had an elite winger who drives every play and is a legitimate candidate for MVP this season and we traded him for a 15 point defensive defenseman.
  • We went through a historically healthy season, capped off by an MVP award winning performance by our generational offensive juggernaut and combined with approximately six other career years by other players and we trotted our way into the playoffs.
  • That said season prompted management to assume that everything here is peaches and that intentionally making the team worse this summer will keep our Stanley Cup aspirations alive and obtainable.
  • We gave a 5/6 defenseman a 4 year, $4 million deal which incomprehensibly included a no movement clause.

This was two years worth of evidence. Two. Years. I neglected to mention how we replaced our elite, young left winger with a much slower, much older winger and traded a perennial 20 goal and 60 point player for the Islanders 7th most important forward.

I mean, it’s so painfully laughable now. We are a gigantic punchline in this league. But at least this ridiculously obvious situation means the CEO has at least recognized that this season has been much more than a couple players having slumps.

The former Hockey Canada president said that although the Oilers have some “excellent pieces,” some players have underperformed. He then pointed to the fact Edmonton has the 30th-ranked power play and is dead last in penalty kill and save percentage.

Or he completely missed a large portion of the point.

Back at it tomorrow. This nightmare just refuses to end.