The NHL trade deadline won’t be the same without Peter Chiarelli – a man who made a career of finding ways to lose trades in comical fashion. With him gone we’re far less likely to witness a trade that can be filed under “what the actual fuck just happened!?” It’s almost hard to grasp just how bad the former Oilers General Manager was at his job, but let’s try anyway.
Picture this, it’s June 25, 2015, Peter Chiarelli has just been hired by the Edmonton Oilers to take over a team loaded with young talent like Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draisaitl, Jordan Eberle, Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, and most importantly of all; the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft which will be used to select generational star Connor McDavid. Chiarelli’s job seems simple: take this mega-talented young core, build a solid roster of complimentary support pieces around them, and don’t fuck it up.
And then he fucked it up.
Over and over again.
I need to clarify: Peter Chiarelli didn’t just fail to make the team better; he actively made the team worse. Take a moment to scour his trade history and you’ll see an endless parade of leaving talent, many still active and in their prime. It’s common for a management team to trade away a star player, but often only in the tail-end of their careers, when their best years are behind them. Not Peter though, his “sell low, buy high” method has led his former team to be loaded with mediocre, ageing, players on pricey contracts while the assets he traded away include the reigning MVP and Rookie of the Year winners in Taylor Hall and Mathew Barzal.
Which now raises the question, could a team of every player Chiarelli has ever traded away beat the current Edmonton Oilers?
First, let’s set some ground rules:
- Players represent their current skill level. For example, even though Chiarelli traded away Tim Thomas we can’t just add 2011 Tim Thomas to our team, the team will be assembled from players as they are today.
- All players traded away by Chiarelli at any point in his career, whether it be managing Edmonton or Boston counts.
- Players that were drafted by draft picks that Chiarelli traded away count, if he could build a team by acquiring picks then it’s only fair a team can be built with picks he traded away.
- The team must be cap compliant. Since the Edmonton Oilers have to operate under the salary cap, this bizarro world Nega Chiarelli team must as well.
- All players will be assumed to be healthy. Injuries won’t be a factor.
That’s it. Those are the rules. So theoretically this shouldn’t be a contest at all. Any competent GM should theoretically be .500 on all their trades over their career, with the value they give away being somewhat in balance with the value they acquired. Then you factor in how important signing free agents is, something this all-traded-away team can’t do, and it would take some ungodly incompetence both in trading and signing players to build a team worse than the sum of all players you’ve traded away.
Without any more stalling, let’s take a look at the team built entirely out of players that Peter Chiarelli has traded away:
Alright. Wow. Not gonna lie, I expected this team to be good, I just don’t know if I expected them to be this good. That forward core is lethal, the defence lacks star power but has decent depth, and in net is Anders Nilsson who has quietly been one of the lone bright spots for the Senators season. If the World Cup of Hockey wants more gimmick teams as they did with Team Europe and North America, I formally propose that this Chiarelli squad be one of them.
I thought it might be a fun exercise to ponder whether this team of traded away players could beat the Edmonton Oilers but after just looking at this superteam, I don’t think there’s any discussion to be had. This is absolutely a team that could compete against an NHL franchise. Just for fairness, let’s take a look at the current Edmonton Oilers:
A painful thought experiment is to look at both rosters and think about how many Oilers could be kept around if you merged the two teams. That number may be as low as seven which is never a good sign when comparing your real franchise against a total meme squad, a shadow realm roster of incompetence.
What’s even more absurd is that due to Andrej Sekera coming back from injury, this Oilers team is actually over the salary cap and will, therefore, have to cut down this roster EVEN MORE THAN WHAT IT ALREADY IS. Meanwhile, the traded away team actually has over $2.3 million in cap space, so they have the flexibility and finances to make moves and upgrade their roster that the Oilers do not due to a collection of mediocre players being paid well above their value.
There is no doubt that the traded away team could beat the Oilers. In fact, Chiarelli was so bad at his job, that it’s not unreasonable to suggest this team could make the playoffs, especially in the clown fiesta we call the 2019 Western Conference.
Peter Chiarelli is truly the worst General Manager in NHL history (sorry Mike Milbury). Should a franchise ever hire him in any capacity ever again, fans of that team should burn their city to the ground and save themselves from the ensuing horror show that will occur, for being lost in a raging inferno is certainly less painful than watching ol’ Petey McTrade’Ems try to justify why he just exchanged your first overall draft pick for present-day Wade Redden in a one for one trade.
This season marks the first time in over 13 years that Peter Chiarelli won’t be General Manager of a hockey team during the NHL trade deadline. Truly a great loss for all who love mayhem, comedy, and the sheer lunacy of NHL management. The question now becomes, who will be the new agent of chaos that rises to the occasion and turns the NHL from a sports league into a comedy of errors all over again.
We’ll miss you, Pete. Thanks for all the laughs.