If any organization should have it figured out by now, it is the Edmonton Oilers. Firing the coach at the first sign of disappointment is not a long-term solution, and general manager Peter Chiarelli said as much Sunday evening. “I have no intentions of firing Todd (McLellan). I want to work with the coach, and I think he’s a very good coach,” Chiarelli said over the phone from Nashville. “As far as Todd goes, and (his staff), I am not considering firing them. At this point we’re going to solve it together.” The Oilers season has been an abject disappointment, but it is the team’s ongoing search for rock bottom that is most disconcerting. The Oilers pulled their record up to .500 just before Christmas, but have lost six of seven games since, outscored 28-10 in those games. Right now they’re barely competitive, outscored 20-4 in their past five games. “Everyone is under evaluation, including myself,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve had our challenges from a coaching perspective, and we’ve had our challenges from a player personnel perspective. We went into the season with certain expectations, and we’re not even close to them. “I see the situation we’re in. I see levels of improvement, but I also see the losses piling up,” he said. “There’s a plan in place, and a plan to bring up through the ranks, at the proper time, younger players. “But remember my press conference (on Nov. 28) with the ‘death by a thousand cuts?’ That’s still going on right now.” As a GM, Chiarelli failed to adequately replacing the injured Andrej Sekera on defence for the season’s first half. His salary-dump trade that sent Jordan Eberle to the New York Islanders for Ryan Strome is also a sore spot for fans, but the downgrade in wingers has been exacerbated by all the regulars having poor seasons for Edmonton.
Oilers' Chiarelli has no intentions of firing McLellan
Sportsnet | Jan 8