Dreger on Oilers: ‘Too many holes in the ship’

Peter Chiarelli made a pair of minor trades recently, but bigger moves may well be in the works.

Darren Dreger had a Wednesday evening pregame TV hit on NBCSN, and was asked about the bigger picture for the Edmonton Oilers general manager following the two deals.

“Look, the Oilers need to get healthy first and foremost, and that’s not going to happen anytime soon,” noted Dreger. “They literally needed some depth, some help, on that blueline. So that explains why he made those two deals. Now, the critics out there would suggest that Chiarelli overpaid in giving up Drake Caggiula, who had some value as a Top-9 forward - you could make that case - on most NHL teams.

“The issue in Edmonton though is that there are too many holes in the ship and Chiarelli can’t plug them all. When he held his media conference aft4er making these two deals, I mean, he looked haggard. He looked tired. And he’s got to be feeling the heat and the pressure of the disappointment of this organization. Because as I say, he can’t fix everything.

“When you look at what they’ve got up front, aside from the star status of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, half of their forwards on their existing roster aren’t contributing players.

“So Chiarelli is going to do his level best to be as active as he can up until the February 25 trade deadline. If he doesn’t get something accomplished - if this team doesn’t do as well as they need to do in the second half, they don’t qualify for the playoffs -  well, then ownership is going to have to consider management change.”

The 18-18-3 Oilers entered Wednesday evening’s action in sixth place in the Pacific Division, and five points out of a Wild Card spot.