(photo via thehockeywriters.com)
The Oilers stayed relatively quiet leading up to the deadline, mainly just selling off some spare parts. But about an hour after the deadline passed Peter Chiarelli announced the team had acquired Pat Maroon from the Anaheim Ducks. This move shows a lot about the direction Peter Chiarelli is taking this team, and it shows in the moves he made previously as well.
On top of trading for Maroon (6’3, 230 lbs), Chiarelli also claimed a pair of Adams in Cracknell (6’2, 210 lbs) and Pardy (6’4, 227 lbs).
Most of the hockey community knew the former Bruins GM liked putting size into his lineups and he proving that to be true again with the way he’s transforming this Oilers line-up.
Their top nine includes the likes of Draisaitl, Pouliot, Kassian and now Maroon. The last two both direct products of Chiarelli.
Another aspect we can take from Chiarelli’s teams in Boston is that they were very good at possessing the puck, being top 5 in CF% in 3 of Chiarelli’s years in charge. They did that by building a heavy group of forwards and combining it with skill guys, creating a group of forwards who could effectively cycle the puck in the offensive zone.
Maroon fits that bill, keeping his CF% over 50% throughout his 3 years in Anaheim all while proving he can keep up with elite level talent in the Duck’s top 6. While inconsistency proved to be a problem and he eventually fell out of favour in Aanaheim, he’s off to a very hot start in Edmonton playing with some skilled players.
The Current Roster
Now look at the group they have and what their depth chart looks like as the 15/16 season comes to a close and it’s clear what direction the organization is taking and it’s incredibly refreshing to see management have an actual direction and blueprint to what this team will look like.
The top nine is filled with big bodies and skilled players. It looks really good on paper, to the point where the team could afford to lose one of those top six wingers (Eberle) and have them easily replaced within the lineup or through free agency.
The next big task for Chiarelli will be finding a piece for the defense, one which thanks to the emergence of Brandon Davidson might only be one piece away from not being a laughing stock.
Peter Chiarelli has his goalie and almost has the forward group he wants, thanks to these big acquisitions, now he’s got to clean up the defense.