Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli has been fired after 3 1/2 up-and-down seasons, according to multiple reports.
Chiarelli, 54, led the Oilers to the playoffs in 2016-17 as they topped 100 points in his second season, but the team regressed badly last season, missing the playoffs by 17 points.
TSN was first to report the firing, which remains unconfirmed by the team, after the Oilers (23-24-3) suffered their third straight home loss, 3-2 to the Red Wings. They enter the All-Star break three points adrift of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference but with three teams in front of them in that chase.
Peter Chiarelli has been fired by the Oilers. Done deal
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) January 23, 2019
Chiarelli himself had fired coach Todd McLellan 20 games into this season and hired veteran Ken Hitchcock, an effort to jump start the team that hasn’t yet paid off, a theme of his tenure.
While Chiarelli ended the Oilers’ 10-year absence from the playoffs and drafted generational talent Connor McDavid, arguably the game’s best player after three seasons, he also has made several moves — such as trading Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and signing Milan Lucic — that haven’t reaped rewards.
He joined the Oilers after eight seasons as the GM of the Bruins, who he led to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
ESPN noted that while no replacement was immediately clear, the Oilers have a trio of former NHL general managers in upper management: alternate governor Kevin Lowe, senior VP of hockey operations Craig MacTavish and VP of player development Scott Howson. Lowe and MacTavish previously have served as the team’s GM, and Howson was GM of the Blue Jackets.