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FlamesNation mourns the passing of Peter Chiarelli’s tenure as Oilers GM

Today, we are gathered to mark the passing occupation of dear friend, comedic icon, and Stanley Cup winner Peter Chiarelli.

Even though we are Flames fans, we want to assure everyone that this eulogy is delivered from a place of love. The logo he represented certainly stirred bile in all of us, but the true mark of a genius is the respect and admiration of your enemies, and we are proud to count ourselves among Chiarelli’s fanbase.

Peter was a generous man, always giving others everything he could and asking for little in return. The NHL, Western Conference, Pacific Division, and especially Southern Alberta (also New York City, we can’t forget them during this trying time) will miss him dearly.

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We will likely remember Pete best as a man of action. I think back to the GMs of Oilers in years past who had neglected to take action on the struggling Oilers defence. Well, Peter had barely been introduced before he nabbed top prospect Griffin Reinhart from the New York Islanders. Almost a year to the day later, he went and acquired Adam Larsson, an important top four defenceman. What he traded for Larsson isn’t that important, because it would only distract from Peter’s quality as a go-getter. He was a man who took what he wanted, tuned out those who didn’t share his ambition, and did what he thought was best for the people he served.

This included tough decisions, which Peter never tried to avoid. His tenacity certainly divided opinions, something he would always acknowledge, but he never held back out of fear of public scorn. Trading a future MVP for an okay defenceman? Had to do it. Flipping a loyal winger for a depth centerman, and then flipping him for another depth winger? Not a sexy move, but it had to be done. Breaking up a friendship to acquire a sworn enemy? Only Pete.

Peter provided hope and security for those who were close to him. NHLers facing the uncertainty of old age and declining market interest could always turn to Chiarelli, a lighthouse for stormy seas. Under Chiarelli, players could not only find the financial security to provide for their grandchildren’s grandchildren, but also the added and underrated security of having a place to call home. He handed out No Trade and No Movement Clauses like candy, and created a buyout-proof contract to ensure that the commitment the players had to his organization was reciprocated, even if that first condition was never going to be met. It was just the caring GM he was.

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Peter will live on through the legacy he created and cemented in Edmonton. It won’t just be through the good memories and accomplishments, such as [ed note: can’t think of any, will fill in later], but the little things that pervade life in Edmonton. Whenever Edmontonians hear the names Milan, Kris, Taylor, or Adam, they’ll have no choice but to think back to the glory years of 2015 to 2019. Whenever they hop into their 4×4 trucks, they’ll think of Peter. And whenever that familiar only-in-Edmonton moment of helplessly watching promise and potential get slowly suffocated until it is just a sad reminder of what could’ve been strikes, they can only be thinking of Peter Chiarelli.

In closing, let’s be reminded of the circle of life. Where there is an end, there is also a new beginning. For the Edmonton Oilers, they can take this tragic opportunity and grow from it, become better, open up a new chapter in the history of the Oilers.

Oops, sorry, I mixed up my cliches. I actually meant to say that time is a flat circle. Everything we have done or will do we will do over and over and over again – forever.


  • Lazarus

    It takes some serious skills to slide one last bad contract to an unproven Goaltender 2 days before the axe.
    Koskinen looked like crap last night.
    One last anchor tossed on his way out…he never stopped trying.
    For that I will always be thankful.

  • Skylardog

    Not much will change for the Oilers until everyone between Chia and Katz is gone as well. Unfortunately for Oilers fans Katz isn’t going anywhere.

    How they would let Chia sign Koskinen to a deal like that before he is fired is beyond me, and shows why the guys above him are the problem.

  • freethe flames

    I hope this is the last article on FN about Chia and the Oilers’ during the break; unless of course the Flames steal someone from the oiler’s in a trade. I just don’t care about them and don’t need to gloat about our success.

      • freethe flames

        I won’t. I just hope that their are interesting Flames articles over the next 9 days. Looking forward to SF’s discussion on who on the Farm should be called up and why. I would also like to see a round table on who if anyone the Flames should target at the TDL; with a realistic look at the costs of acquisition.

        • Lazarus

          There will be. We are the Western Conference Leaders. There are stories for days about our Band of Brothers.
          What kind of Flames fan doesn’t revel in the Oilers misery? Or what kind of Flames fan commiserates with the Oiler fan as I know several of our posters do?
          Guess I am old school..where the Oilers plight runs a close 2nd in giving me pleasure to our own Boys.

    • Oilers fan (Formerly ) here. The entire MSM in Edmonton has no appetite to upset the press passes. John McKinnon who challenged Lowe at the infamous “six rings” press conference has not been heard from since. I assume Kim Jung Lowe took care of that. After Booby Nicks presser where even he is confused by their own lies I have had enough. Great debate on ON about the next GM. Wake the h*ell up! New management team, Gretkzky (K), Mac-T and Sideshow Bob. This changes nothing, they only care about the bottom line, and I think that is finally going to take a hit. Fool me once shame on you, fool me 9, 10,11 or 12 times (Honestly lost track) The fools who started this downward spiral are still in charge and always will be as long as Katz wants to keep working on his live Ken Doll collection. Flames flag went up on my truck today. Treliving has done a tremendous job and for that Flames fans should be grateful, while Oiler fans just get more manure shoveled on them. WHEN McDavid asks for a trade, I will follow his career wherever he goes.

  • KeepitReal

    McLotto must be shaking his head in disgust / disbelief. He’s gonna be stuck on a bottom feeder team for at least the first 5 – 8 years of his career.

  • Jourflamesfan

    I’m just glad Edmonton is a non factor in our quest for the cup.
    If that team was 60% competant with McDavid they would be tough to get through.
    You have to think that at SOME point they would get it right and hire the right guy…but they don’t.
    Too much pride in that organization.

  • Flamesfansince04

    I think I will get the world record on trashes for this… But here goes.
    It does not give me joy to see the Oilers struggling. I don’t know if their struggles are from internal corruption / toxic management or simply very very bad luck and management, but I do seriously wish we had some neighbour competition (besides Winnipeg). It does a world of good for both hockey markets.

    On the game last night, I heard the yells from the dome while I was walking nearby. Opened my phone this morning and saw the article about Backlund being the ot hero…I thought it was mistake… Lol .

    Peters’ use of various players not only gets us the win but also gives sports reporters something to write about!

    • Skylardog

      I didn’t see the game last night, but putting Backs out to start OT shows how much he has a finger on who is playing well on a moment to moment basis.

      All accounts say that JG and Mony had checked into my resort in Mexico already. I expect to be having a drink with them this afternoon.

      If Ritter shows up I will be buying him a beer. He earned it.

      • freethe flames

        Isn’t booze free at most resorts? The entire fab 4 were less than fab 4 last night. Yo are right about BP understanding who is going and who is not. But I suspect that if Backs didn’t score the second 3 on 3 unit was going to be the big 3.

  • everton fc

    The Koskinen deal – the deal itself, and perhaps more mind-boggling, the timing – shows how inept the Oilers have become. They should reach out to Kelly McCrimmon. He’d be a good fit. I could see him doing for the Oilers, what Botterill will do for the Sabres.

    • Nobody with any self respect is coming to Edmonton to be on Kim Jung Lowes marionette strings. I seriously believe they are about to get a well deserved kick in the n*uts as far as revenue goes. Still talking about making the playoffs, they are delusional.

  • Off the wall

    I wonder if WW is crying somewhere?

    Chia is gone. Backlund scores the winner. Smith is our backup.
    Neal had a great game.

    No material left this morning..

  • redwhiteblack

    The Oiler mess is due mainly to a merry-go-round of bad management.

    We are in 2nd overall and it is awesome. It makes the fact that Ken King is still around more tolerable, however would feel better if he was gone.

  • I should be GM

    How could they let the best GM in Oilers history go??

    They needed to sign Chiapete for a life long contract somehow.

    Any chance that we can get a banner in his honor hung up in the rafters at the dome?

  • Jourflamesfan

    They have the greatest player in the world……so THEY say…yet that great player did not get his team a championship in the WORLD CUP. He has only one playoff experience and they only made the second round.
    He cant get his team to the playoffs AGAIN.
    Oh, and he is NOT the leading the nhl in scoring.
    Exceptional talent? Yes indeed!

    Until McDavid wins something I’m NOT convinced that he is “The best player in the world”.
    That is part of the Oilers problem…they anointed him their saviour and captain but I think the pressure is just to much for such a young guy.
    That’s just my opinion. I know there are some posters that will go crazy over this but look at the results son.
    Results dont lie.

    • Al Rain

      Disagree. Hockey is a team game and lots of great players never won big because of the teams they were on. Even more mediocre players did win big because of the teams they were on.

      McDavid is probably the best.

    • Derzie

      He is NOT the best player in the world. Yet. He IS the most likely to be, and promising player in the world. if you have to win one game for the cup and need a center, who would you pick. The smart money is still on Crosby. Connor is on the doorstep but he as yet to displace Sid. Have a peek at his detailed stats. Top shelf in every category. Soon, Connor, but not today.

    • He is the best in the world. Pretty much consensus even with players. I feel for the kid as being a winner all your life it is tough to take losing. Worse is seeing that things are getting worse and not better. It does come with the territory for most first overalls. You are always going to be on a losing team (unless that pick has been traded “cough, Ottawa”). You need intelligent management to make good decisions on seizing the opportunity. The Oilers have missed that opportunity now 2 times so far and looks like a 3rd is in progress.

  • Al Rain

    Chiarelli made epic trade and draft mistakes, for sure, but his lasting “legacy” will be his cap management. Which makes me think about our GM Treliving.

    I don’t think there could be a stronger argument for Treliving’s skills (and Yzerman also comes to mind) than the mess that is the Oilers right now.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        Treliving was never looking really bad to me, his trades have always been great and his drafting has been really solid, outside of his first year where it was clearly Burke’s truculence movement. Even if he overpays for the odd FA, that’s what happens, everyone overpays for FAs.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      True, sort of, if you look at the contracts of Monahan and Gaudreau, you’ll note that both are the highest-paid members of their respect draft classes, so it wasn’t so much a case of Tre being a slick negotiator as it was the economics of the time. Likewise, do you really think Lindholm deserved more when he signed here based on his so-so seasons in Carolina? I don’t. If Tre had been so damned contract clever, he wouldn’t have given that dinosaur choker to Neal or overpaid for Backs.

      Because of the prevailing economics, Tre will pay heavily for Chucky. There is no other way around it.

      That being said, Chiarelli as Oiler GM was both a genius and a moron. After the contracts for Matthews, Marner, Laine, Rantanen, Tkachuck, and others are inked before next season, McDavid’s $12.5M a year is going to look pretty good. Two or three years from now, it’ll be a steal. Conversely, the Draisaitl contract looked idiotic at the time and it is still boneheaded because the kid has yet to prove he can anchor his own line.

      Tre and Chia are both guilty for their total mismanagement of funds regarding the signing of free agents, but those two are far from alone when it comes to free agent misadventures.

      Chia’s sad record in Edmonton speaks for itself. It doesn’t need me to kick it in the teeth.

      As for Tre, he has been belting them out of the park at an alarming rate this season. He’s got my vote for Executive of the Year, but I am well aware of the miserable history of the Flames in the playoffs, especially when they win a division. They have won their division 5 times, but 3 times as division winners, they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs. I am not sure what the reaction down Calgary way will be if the Flames win the Pacific Division and finish as the top seed in the Western Conference but get doused in Round 1 of the playoffs, but that’s a painful discussion we need not have as long as the club has a successful playoff run, which I would say would be one of the final 4 standing.

      • Kevin R

        No worries, I have this covered. I am in 4 playoff hockey pools. I will sacrifice $100.00 in one f them to select a whack of players from the team we play in the first round. That should neutralize history.
        I do believe in the 15 year cycle of this organization & we are lined up pretty good for a run.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    In his every move he endeavored to keep the Flames and their fans as his number one priority. He gave us his best work and loved us from start to finish.

    Thank you, Peter. Your dedication to the Flames success will be missed.