If you weren’t sold on Peter Chiarelli not knowing what is going on, then this should solidify it. As the Oilers took to the ice today for practice following yet another pathetic home showing, the summer’s prized acquisition was skating as an extra forward. Ryan Strome, the man who was brought in for Jordan Eberle, is slated to be a healthy scratch. The worst part? It is completely on merit.
Strome, for the most part, has been a complete dud as an Edmonton Oiler. I thought he was one of the club’s best forwards during their five game road trip through the east coast during the end of November, but he’s failed to show up since then. He’s been a complete non-factor for this team most nights, and unfortunately isn’t noticeable very often.
It’s actually not even Strome’s fault. Sure, I’m hard on him, but this is what he is. This is the player Ryan Strome has been for his entire career, it really shouldn’t be a surprise that he’s on pace for about 30 points. This is EXACTLY the player that suited up for the New York Islanders the last few years. I knew it the day the trade happened, many people knew it and pointed it out on the same day. Somehow, Peter Chiarelli didn’t.
The Oilers don’t have enough NHL wingers, not even close, yet Strome is still going to be on the outside looking in when the Oilers head east this weekend for a potential season ending death march. That is unacceptable, and we need to keep asking the hard questions to the club’s general manager.
Edmonton needed help on the wings this summer even before they dealt Jordan Eberle in late June. Now? Edmonton has, by my count, one legit NHL top-six winger in their lineup currently, Patrick Maroon. Milan Lucic looks nothing like a top-six forward at this point, while Jesse Puljujarvi simply isn’t proven enough.
The fact the ghost of Mike Cammalleri, a man who was on waivers six days ago in Nathan Walker and a player the coach doesn’t like in Anton Slepyshev can get in the lineup on merit over Strome is a very alarming fact for this hockey club, and it is a reason why Edmonton sits where they do.
Peter Chiarelli badly needed to add on the wings this summer. His solution? Get rid of Benoit Pouliot and Jordan Eberle. The results? Disastrous. Now, the man he brought in to replace Eberle is poised to be healthy scratch two months into yet another lost season.
Not every bet is going to work, only a fool would assume everything will go right. Unfortunately Peter Chiarelli did think every bet was going to pay off, and now we sit here. This bet, also unfortunately, couldn’t be going worse.