Fired last week by the Boston Bruins, Peter Chiarelli was introduced today as the new general manager and president of hockey operations for the Edmonton Oilers.
Kevin Lowe, the former president of hockey ops, will remain with the club, but not in hockey ops.
The future of Craig MacTavish, the former GM who for now remains with the club, will be determined after speaking with Chiarelli.
“It’s been a real whirlwind,” Chiarelli told reporters. “A week and a half ago, I got bad news. Today, I got terrific news.
“I’m really excited to be part of this organization. It has a long and rich history. I come from an Original Six team with a long and rich history, so I know to respect the legacy, to embrace the legacy, and the same’s going to apply here.”
Chiarelli was optimistic about the future in Edmonton, one that will no doubt include the drafting of Connor McDavid this summer.
“This team has got a lot of good pieces,” he said. “It’s about getting to know the people, getting to know the players, really instilling an attitude and a philosophy about winning, and the sacrifices that it takes to win.”
Despite all those “good pieces,” Chiarelli acknowledged he probably didn’t “have enough time” to go over all the areas that the team needs to address.
“They play fast,” he said. “I’d like to see them play a little harder.”
He was asked about trading Tyler Seguin (audio).
“I’ve actually made a few trades of good, young forwards, so that’s something that I won’t shy away from,” he replied, an answer that should lead to no shortage of speculation leading up to the draft.
“[The Seguin trade] was a trade that had underlying reasons that I won’t get into. But he’s a terrific player. He was our leading scorer. That’s what I’ll say about that one.
“In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades. … Those are ways to improve your team. … There are some very good young players on this team. Doesn’t mean that I’m going to trade any of them, but those are deals that you can’t be afraid to make.”