Oilers CEO Bob Nicholson said the decision to fire Chiarelli was made prior to last night's game against the Detroit Red Wings, and the news was delivered to the GM after the second period. Nicholson said at a news conference in Edmonton that Keith Gretzky will assume GM responsibilities for the time being, including the point role ahead of the February 25 trade deadline.
"It feels really good to get two points going into the break feeling good about our game", Larkin said. "But there's something in the water here in Edmonton that we don't have right and we've got to get that figured out".
"I know there are people out there that believe this team can't make the playoffs".
The firing of Chiarelli is the second personnel change the Oilers have made this season.
Many expected Chiarelli to get fired after the Oilers embarrassing loss to Carolina Sunday in which they were down 3-0 after 11 minutes and 6-1 later.
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The Oilers fired head coach Todd McLellan in November and replaced him with Ken Hitchcock. They knew the team was going to be drafting a generational talent in Connor Mcdavid that June, and now they have a guy who has won a Stanley Cup and had a reputation as one of the most respected General Managers in hockey in charge of building the supporting cast.
Draisaitl had a goal and assist, and Matt Benning scored for Edmonton (23-24-3), which has lost three straight. NY traded the other pick to Tampa Bay and got another first-round pick and selected Anthony Beauvillier.
There is no immediate replacement in line for Chiarelli, so Kevin Lowe, Craig MacTavish and Scott Howson will fill in for Chiarelli, according to ESPN.
Such is the reason Peter Chiarelli was making fringe moves leading up to his firing, which included acquiring defencemen Alexander Petrovic, Brandon Manning and picking up Colby Cave on waivers.
Chiarelli traded 2010 top pick Taylor Hall to the New Jersey Devils one-for-one for defenseman Adam Larsson. All the former GM of the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins had to do was surround them with support players and developing talent. It was understood by most that the Oilers' brass would be on a short leash this season, and 49 points in January simply wasn't good enough to keep Chiarelli around.
Incredibly he remained and signed Koskinen to a $13.5 million three-year extension Monday. The team ended its 10-year playoff drought during the 2016-2017 season when they advanced to the second round.