Ferraro: Drastic changes needed for Oilers' hockey ops

Not only do the Edmonton Oilers need a new general manager, the franchise requires a completely new way of running hockey operations.

Analyst Ray Ferraro shared just such a view during a Thursday evening radio hit on Montreal’s TSN 690 as part of a larger discussion on the team.

“The momentum to fire Chiarelli had just taken everything over and it needed to happen,” said Ferraro. “Now the steps forward we’ll see, but this isn’t one or two steps forward - this is 27 steps forward to get this sorted out. They’ve got a lot - a lot - of work to do.”

Which prompts the question what the organization should first tackle.

“Okay, the more I thought about it this is what I came up with,” continued Ferraro. “They’ve built that new, beautiful Rogers Place. That’s their home. Everything inside it, for the most part, they need to gut.

“They cannot continually do their hockey business the way that they are doing it. They can’t scout the same way. They can’t develop their players the same way. They can’t build their team in the same image. They have too many people that have been there too long that have all kind of become the same. They need somebody with a completely different vision to drive that bus.

“So for me, if I’m Bob Nicholson, the general manager that I hire - as I’m talking to him I say, ‘By the way, there is a moratorium on trading picks. You can’t. If you do, I will fire you. The only way that we can trade a pick under any circumstance is if we get a player back that is in the 21, 22, 23 range. But we are not trading picks to try to make the playoffs. We don’t have enough prospects. We don’t have enough skill.’

“Then I go to the scouting department and I say, ‘Above all, it’s skill, skill, skill.’ They do not have enough.

“And then when I talk about the developmental part, they cannot bring players that are underage to the NHL. They failed, and failed, and failed with that vision.

“And to me, it means a completely new vision from any road that they’ve been driving on for the past 13 years. It doesn’t work their way.”