Friedman: Oilers were not giving up on this season

The head coach has been changed out in Edmonton, and it may well be the general manager’s turn next if this season doesn’t improve for the Oilers.

Elliotte Friedman had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650.

As part of a larger discussion on the Oilers having replaced Todd McLellan with Ken Hitchcock earlier in the day, the Insider was asked how much leash Peter Chiarelli had left with this organization.

“Look, it’s to the end of the year and then everything is up for debate. There’s no question about that.” offered Friedman. “I think the only thing about Chiarelli is if this doesn’t work and this really goes off the road, do they allow him to make any deals before the deadline. That’s going to be the big question. But it’s pretty obvious they’re trying to get to the end of the season, see if they can make the playoffs.

“Look, Ken Hitchcock’s history is pretty simple: He has a short-term burst. He’s had it almost everywhere he goes. He would have had it in Dallas last year if Ben Bishop hadn’t gotten hurt. I think that’s kind of where we are. They’re hoping that that jolt he brings teams, he can provide to the Oilers. If he does it, then everybody probably survives. If he doesn’t, then all bets are off.

“But the thing I do really believe though is that if they were going to fire Todd McLellan, it was going to be for somebody who could do it this year. They were not going to give up on this season. And there’s a long history between Bob Nicholson and Peter Chiarelli and Ken Hitchcock.”

The Oilers are in California this week taking on the San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings.