Edmonton Oilers: Terrible Trifecta

The Edmonton Oilers made 3 roster moves yesterday. Two trades and one call up.

Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is batting 0 for 4 on trades this season, full stop. Strome for Spooner, a 6th for Wideman, Wideman and a 3rd for Petrovic, and Cagguila and Garrison for Manning.

Wow, just wow. How anyone can be that irresponsible at asset management and still run an NHL team is beyond me. Before I get into why the trades aren’t very good, or defensible, I want to talk about the call-up.

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Edmonton Calls Up Joseph Gambardella

Yes in between the Petrovic and Manning trades the Edmonton Oilers called up their fourth forward from the AHL this season. Edmonton doesn’t seem to understand the definition of insanity as this has yet to work for them, yet they keep doing it. Here’s a list of forwards they’ve called up and what their NHL totals are this season:

Point is, don’t expect Gambardella to have an effect on the NHL roster. While Gambardella has potential, and is a prospect to watch I have doubts about his current skill level. There are so many players that have produced as well or better in the AHL than him that have never held an NHL job such as Seth Griffith or Kenny Agostino. While I would love it for any of these names to be producing regularly it hasn’t happened and one has to wonder when a proper NHL forward will be brought in, if at all.

Trade 1, Alex Petrovic

Well this one at the very least, is defensible. While Petrovic isn’t a world beater, being scratched numerous times this season, one can make the argument that he’s more of what the Oilers need. While Wideman has a more dynamic skill-set than Petrovic, Wideman represents a player that has a lot more risk in his game. Hopefully, Petrovic will come in and be a stabilizing fixture on the third pairing.

With Petrovic you’re getting a steady defensive guy that won’t be a liability in his own end. He’s a right shooting Kevin Gravel, not at all flashy but very useful in his own right. Most importantly, his acquisition pushes Benning back to 7D, which is music to my ears. His play has been nothing but extremely detrimental to team success and having him in the press box is exactly where he should be.

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Trade 2, Manning

Oh boy this one stinks to high heaven. This is not just your average bad trade it’s the kind of career defining blunder that only one man could possibly attach his name to. Yes Peter “Finalist For GM of the Year in 16/17” Chiarelli is a special kind of incompetent. he traded once again for a struggling player in the hopes he’ll magically turn his career around with the Edmonton Oilers.

He has systematically downgraded our talent pool to the point where trading your fourth highest goal scorer for an overpaid 6/7 defender is a possible move. Brendan Manning is getting paid 2.25 million dollars this season and next and has not been near good enough. Here’s a fun chart for you, let’s compare some of Manning’s and Wideman’s defensive stats over the past two years.

Wow, isn’t that something? While Wideman was seen as a defensive liability, Manning’s defensive skill is somehow worse. He’s in the bottom percentile in most of these categories. Below replacement level, Eric Gryba levels of production. Gryba was a better 7th defender and it makes the decision to buy him out look about as good as any other Chiarelli move. He will not contribute very much offensively and Edmonton Oilers fans can only hope he isn’t as much of a defensive liability as Gryba. Oh, and fun fact, before today’s trade, Manning had been scratched 5 straight games.

Wrap Up

This is exactly the kind of thing I was not hoping for. Instead of making real tangible changes tot the roster that dramatically improve the roster. We’re left, once again, looking at marginal moves that somehow are going to right this fast sinking ship. These moves reek of desperation and the knowledge that your job is on the line. No GM makes moves with this many defenders in one season and this desperately. We’ve added Wideman, Petrovic, and Now Manning in an attempt to fix the defense and it still most likely won’t be enough.

Even if the Edmonton Oilers were to make a big trade which reading the tea leaves, seems to be on the horizon, I’m not so sure Chiarelli can make that deal. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know one thing, change needs to start at the top, sooner, rather than later.

stats from hockey-reference.com and NHL.com


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