On the day he was hired in 2015, Peter Chiarelli stood at the podium and used the word “heavy” an astonishing 23 times to describe his vision for the Edmonton Oilers.
His outlook flew in the face of the new NHL, one that was morphing in front of everyone’s eyes, hurtling toward an era of red-line speed and high-end skill like never before.
But Chiarelli went to Harvard and heavy is what won him a Stanley Cup in Boston in 2011.
Hedging a big bet on a contrarian blueprint meant that there were only two outcomes for Chiarelli’s tenure as the Edmonton Oilers’ general manager: absolute genius or abject failure.
Less than four years later, the answer is clear.
Chiarelli was fired by the Oilers late Tuesday night after almost every bet he made – right from his first transaction acquiring Griffin Reinhart – turned out to be the wrong one.
Chiarelli, 54, joined Philadelphia’s Ron Hextall as the second GM fired this season. The in-season body count is now up to seven, including five head coaches jettisoned since Nov. 4.