Oilers CEO says it’s Chiarelli’s turn to win the draft lottery

Getty Images
20 Comments

Bob Nicholson hasn’t been on the job in Edmonton long — he was only named CEO two years ago — but in his brief tenure, he’s already “helped” one GM win the NHL’s annual draft lottery.

From the Edmonton Sun:

Last year Nicholson took over and brought his luck to the Oilers.

The “lucky” socks Nicholson gave assistant general manager Lucky Bill Scott to take to the [2015] NHL Draft Lottery proceedings in Toronto were actually called ‘Good Luck Socks’ with the words and Canadian flags on them.

The sister “lucky loonie” to the one Nicholson and Wayne Gretzky convinced Edmonton (and now longtime NHL) ice maker Dan Craig to imbed in the ice at Salt Lake 2002 where Canada won Olympic Gold in hockey for the first time since the Edmonton Mercurys won in 1952.

The Sun also notes that, last year, veteran scribe Terry Jones conducted a similar interview with Nicholson and — apparently — that interview was good luck.

Hence this year’s interview.

This kind of thing isn’t new in Edmonton. During his tenure, former GM Steve Tambellini wore a “lucky tie” to three consecutive draft lotteries and won ’em all, which paved the way to select Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.

Now, the new GM gets his crack at it.

Nicholson confirmed the Oilers will send GM Peter Chiarelli to Toronto for the lottery, adding that Chiarelli will be outfitted with some sort of lucky charm, because of course he will.

“It’s Peter’s turn to win. We have something lucky that he’ll be given. If we win, we’ll unveil it. If we don’t, we won’t,” Nicholson explained. “It’s a good challenge for Peter. We only have a 13 percent chance but that’s a pretty good chance compared to others.”

Nicholson did, to his credit, briefly address the elephant in the room.

“I know there are a lot of people out there who don’t think it’s right that we even have a chance to win,” he acknowledged. “But our goal is to go in there and win it and then see what happens.”

Related: ‘The stink is still there’ — Oilers discuss another grim season