It has been two weeks since the infamous 2015 NHL Draft where former Boston Bruins, and now Edmonton Oilers, General Manager Peter Chiarelli was able to draft superstar in the making Connor McDavid. And if you’re going to get canned from one job as general manager, what better way for Chiarelli to start the new job in Edmonton than with the 1st overall pick in the draft and a can’t miss player waiting for you.
After the draft weekend the hockey world was praising the job Peter Chiarelli did while the same people were laughing at Don Sweeney. At the draft people were wondering why the Boston Bruins new General Manager Don Sweeney didn’t trade Dougie Hamilton to Edmonton when the package from them was perceived to be better than what the Calgary Flames offered to get him? Well, the price should have been higher for Edmonton. Don Sweeney was in salary cap hell in Boston because of Peter Chiarelli’s previous signings. Why would Sweeney reward Chiarelli in his new location with a defenseman they needed in Dougie Hamilton? Especially when Dougie made it clear he didn’t want to be a Bruin. Boston’s initial plan was to trade up in the draft and Edmonton’s picks weren’t that much better of package to help Boston trade up than similar picks the Calgary Flames offered.
The only way I trade Dougie Hamilton to Edmonton is if Taylor Hall was coming back. Because Peter Chiarelli is in a perfect situation. He fell into the 1st overall pick like Sammy Hagar fell into Van Halen. Edmonton had already put themselves into a position to look good by being bad. Chiarelli had a blank check book and plenty of cap space.
But since the draft Don Sweeney doesn’t look so dumb. The free agent signing of Matt Beleskey was great. He got a player on the rise for less than what the player was offered by his former team in Anaheim. If Beleskey ends up on the third line down the road the cap hit will still not be bad. Meanwhile, Chiarelli did what he does best and overpaid for Andrej Sekera. Then, Don Sweeney got the best of Florida by trading under performing Reilly Smith and his terrible Chiarelli-given contract for power forward Jimmy Hayes. Oh, and Florida took on Marc Savard’s old cap hit, a little over $4 million.
For all the good Peter Chiarelli truly did in Boston, and there was plenty of good, later in his tenure he couldn’t make the difficult decisions and got fired for it. He made decisions to extend players contracts that didn’t need to be extended at the time, which led to him trading pieces that didn’t need to go at the time. His reward? He fell into a dysfunctional situation in Edmonton where he can only look like a success while The Don is taking on gun fire in Boston trying to clean up the mess Peter left him.