Todd blends, Chiarelli spins, and everything else that sucks

Last night sucked. I didn’t have to write a MAB after that pathetic display of bullshit because there was nothing to cover. The game was a microcosm of our last 12 years. The Oilers looked unconscious. Straight up. Right from LITERALLY puck drop all the way to the final buzzer. It absolutely sucked.

Today, during the aftermath of last night’s unceremoniously garbage hockey game, Peter Chiarelli address some of the issues facing the organization as he embarks on his third attempt of missing the playoffs with Connor McDavid:

What a fucking take. None of our defensemen are exceptional passers. No goddamn shit, Peter. Back in the spring of 2015, none of our defensemen were exceptional passers. You task was to fill that void. Remember: This interview was conducted by Bob Stauffer, who is on the Oilers payroll. So you think Bob asked how, despite Peter inheriting a team with assets like Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, an extra first round pick, a high second round pick, and Nail Yakupov (who was still only 2.5 seasons removed from being the first overall pick), we still lack a puck moving defenseman? No goddamn chance. So I’ll remind you. We (Peter) traded Hall, Eberle, Yakupov, and the 16th and 33rd picks from the 2015 draft and he somehow turned ALL that into Adam Larsson, Ryan Strome, Zach Pochiro, Stuart Skinner, and Griffin Reinhart.

He was not ready to play, and he was never a mediocre part of our D, never mind “very good” HAHA “very good” actually killed me. He used “very good.” This goddamn bald-headed idiot thought Griffin Reinhart was going to be very good. This man couldn’t judge assets if we installed a GPS upstairs that points him in the right direction.

The problem we face is that GMs are rarely fired mid-season. The last GM I could find that was fired during a season was, hilariously, Scott Howson (2013, Columbus). I say hilariously because I’m pretty sure we still employ that man. So, if history tells us anything, it’s that Peter Chiarelli will likely be our GM until at least April, which kind of sucks, because he’s built a cap team that looks like this:

CapFriendly says we have 46/50 contracts and approximately $904K in cap space ($6.619 million via LTIR) and THAT’S what our roster construct looks like! And the man responsible for this unfathomable fuckery is still in charge. He’s still making the calls. He’s still negotiating immovable contracts, fully equipped with grossly miscalculated term and salary plus Peter’s sacrosanct NMC. He traded all those assets I previously mentioned PLUS spent all of our team’s dollars and our options on defense after one injury include Kevin Gravel and Jason Garrison. And it’d be one thing if the other five defensemen were better than Oscar Klefbom, Adam Larsson, Darnell Nurse, Matt Benning, and Kris Russell, but that’s what we have, and three of those five were brought in by Peter. Sure, it would look different if Rej was playing (which, as Peter also mentioned today, allegedly Sekera is skating and could possibly be back sometime in early 2019), but it would also eliminate the $6.6 million in LTIR-related cap space just so our options on defense could expand to include the shattered remains of Andrej Sekera.

And I haven’t even mentioned the most classic “I knew this would happen!” part of those lines yet! Yes, Todd — still clearly coaching for his job — has finally succumb to the heat of his seat and put Connor with Leon, because of course he did.

 

This fucking coach. Knowing he’s screwed, and blatantly ignoring the statistical evidence demonstrating Connor’s ability to produce with whomever plus a desperate need for consistent secondary scoring, Todd has put our two best offensive weapons together in an attempt to further isolate our scoring depth while simultaneously hindering the organization’s distribution of resources by putting an $8.5 million centre on the wing with a $12.5 million centre. We all knew this would happen if shit started to hit the fan. I hoped to go like, maybe three months before Todd went full Todd, but here we are. And there’s no doubt I think Leon’s a better player with Connor. Everybody is. That’s why he’s fucking Connor. I’m not worried about that line’s ability to produce, given the already established chemistry, and given the fact that the best hockey player in the world is carrying it. Where my concern comes into play, obviously, is with everything else. The nine forwards beneath the McLine, who have proven repeatedly (with the exception of Nuge, who I love) that they’re having a difficult time creating and sustaining any sort of consistently respectable play. Rattie looked awful even with McDavid and our other two third liners have combined for two whole goals (and $9.1 million in salary, all of which was handed out by Chiarelli). I have no faith in that fourth line at all, and I’m starting to feel genuinely concerned about Alex Chiasson potentially not being the most efficiently prolific sniper in hockey history, also Rieder has no goals.

Why not try Nuge and Draisatil and let two idiots play with McDavid? Because Todd, again, is coaching to save his job. This move reeks of desperation. Instead of trying something new to see if it generates some much-needed secondary scoring, Todd chose to take the road always taken and play McDavid with Draisaitl, because who cares about salaries anyways? Unlike GMs, coaches are fired mid-season all the time. Two coaches have already been shit-canned this year, and one of them is one of the greatest coaches of all time. You think Todd, who couldn’t do dick in San Jose despite possessing some of the best players in the NHL, feels safe about his job now that he’s coaching one generational star, two solid complimentary forwards, a bunch of spare parts, and the corpse of Milan Lucic? Not to mention a starting goalie immune to timely saves, an unproven 30-year-old backup, and a defensive ensemble equivalent of what solar eclipses are to the naked eye. The roster makeup is not Todd’s fault, but his inability to adjust his schemes without resorting to old/archaic coaching habits have been parts of his downfall, along with his repeated attempts of taking the easy road out, the criticism he’s faced from players of two different organizations for his lack of communication, and just his complete and utter neglect for statistical evidence with regards to evaluating players and line combinations.

Once again, this all reverts back to Daryl Katz being the most clueless owner outside of Ottawa in the NHL. He purchased a once-storied and revered franchise and promised financial-resources previously unobtainable and has successfully managed to make the playoffs once in his 11 years of owning this team. Remember when he went to that New York game to send some stupid ass message and brought Gretzky along for the trip (because, well because) haha ya, that was hilarious. He doesn’t care. Sometimes he flexes his muscles if only to remind everyone that he still exists before promptly disappearing back into the abyss while the men he pays to operate our hockey club slowly suffocate it to death. This team has Connor McDavid on it and every time I watch them I feel like mainlining soda directly into my eyeballs. That’s unbelievably fucked up. I should be THRILLED at the idea of watching the Edmonton Oilers play on any given night. But I’m not. I’ve become numb to caring. Yes, me: The Oilers addict who predicts a win even in the middle of February when the team is 49 points out of a playoff spot. I can’t care anymore. I’e tried to care, but it’s impossible when the owner of the team cares so little about the success and trajectory of the franchise. He got his arena and took off to LA or Hawaii or wherever the fuck while his team sinks like the Titanic. The people responsible for this anemically constructed roster are still here because our owner is not. He’s as disconnected from this team and this city as he’s ever been, and it’s a damn shame, because the early portion of Connor McDavid’s career is being pissed away by clueless assholes who’d rather triple down on their hideous mistakes than adapt to this evolving NHL. Thanks for George Lucas-ing our franchise’s story, you rich fuck.

Montreal is here tomorrow. Who cares.

 


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