Over the last two mornings, we have taken a look at Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli at the trade deadline. We looked at his building process in Boston (here) and his final years with the Bruins and first year in Edmonton (here). As we sit about a week and a half from the deadline, we have our template for what to expect moving forward.
There are three deadlines that really stick out to me. First is the 2008 deadline when the Bruins were emerging as a young team pushing for the playoffs. Chiarelli added depth piece Shane Hnidy in January, but he didn’t overpay for players like Brian Campbell or Marian Hossa at the deadline. He let his young core fight through and make the postseason.
I can see Chiarelli doing that this year too. As I mentioned in the original post, the Oilers aren’t ready to compete for the Cup but they certainly can make the playoffs. With a bare prospect system and the lack of a second round pick this June, I can see Chiarelli standing pat and preaching that the Oilers are still a “growth” team. He wouldn’t be wrong, and his decision would be easily justifiable, even if it isn’t the sexy path.
The 2010 deadline also could be a template for what we see. That Bruin team had just come off back-to-back playoff appearances and was looking to take another step forward. The team moved out a roster piece that didn’t fit (Morris) and added a different kind of player in Dennis Seidenberg.
You can make the argument that Brandon Davidson, due to the upcoming expansion draft, could be moved out for futures while the club uses other assets to acquire a different kind of player. In this case, however, I would expect those assets to be used on a forward, not another defender.
2014, when Boston moved a mid-range pick for a veteran rental in Andrej Meszaros, could also be a template if Chiarelli settles on adding a player like PA Parenteau.
What Can We Expect:
If we are to follow Peter Chiarelli’s past actions to determine the future, I think one thing is for certain: The GM will be searching for some sort of veteran depth on the blueline. That will be exceptionally true if the club moves on from Brandon Davidson, which may end up happening between now and the deadline.
Other than that, Chiarelli’s deadlines have been wild cards. He’s proven he isn’t afraid to go for it if he believes his team has a chance, but I don’t catch that vibe with this year’s Oilers.
I’d expect Chiarelli to pursue a veteran option on the blueline and, if possible a veteran center to play on the third line. A scoring winger would be the icing on the cake, but I would be shocked if Chiarelli could address all three before March 1.
Personally, I believe it all depends on the prices. If they come down to reasonable, I believe Chiarelli will be active. If not, like in 2008, then the GM has no problem sitting this one out and letting his young core lead themselves to the postseason.