Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli during Tuesday Rogers Place loss

Recent events prove the Oilers shouldn’t be buyers ahead of trade deadline

Assistant GM Keith Gretzky is expected to take over the reins as interim general manager, but last I checked the Oilers still have former team managers Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe on staff.

"We have to look at all parts of this organization", Oilers Entertainment Group CEO and vice chair Bob Nicholson said at Rogers Place on Wednesday.

Nicholson will now oversee hockey operations, which includes finding the next permanent general manager.

"There's something in the water here in Edmonton that we don't have right", Nicholson said at the news conference.

Moves made by Chiarelli along the way contributed to the Oilers struggling for much of the first four seasons of McDavid's career. "We want to get the right one". The NHL trade deadline is February 25, so it's poor timing for the team, but Tuesday's loss to the bottom-feeding Red Wings was apparently the final straw.

Nicholson said he fired Chiarelli at the end of the second period of Tuesday game against Detroit so he could quietly leave the building.

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The Oilers reached the playoffs once in Chiarelli's tenure, making the second round in 2017. He can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Oilers signed goalie Mikko Koskinen to a three-year, $13.5 million contract Monday.

Koskinen has wrestled the starting job away from Cam Talbot, the goalie that took the team on its last playoff run in 2016-17 and won a league-best 42 games.

But there is one move the Oilers have ruled out, which is to trade away first-round picks and young assets. "We have the best player in the world and other good pieces". Afterward, the dressing room was quiet. "We have some really good players".

Chiarelli fired head coach Todd McLellan and brought in Ken Hitchcock earlier this season but after a quick surge under Hitchcock, the Oilers have faded in recent weeks. The team he built went on to lose 3-2, falling to 23-24-3 heading into the All-Star break. Despite the losing record, the Oilers sit three points out of the playoff picture with 49 points. "We'll make some trades at the deadline (Feb. 25) if they're the right trades to get us in the playoffs but (we're) not giving away the future".

"The way that you figure that out is to talk to people", Nicholson said.

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