Times have been tough for the Edmonton Oilers this season. Players are struggling up and down the lineup, fans and media are upset and a team that was a trendy pick to win the Stanley Cup fell behind early in the playoff race.
In an effort to re-live and remember the good times, general manager Peter Chiarelli has taken to online auction site eBay.com hoping to re-acquiring some players that had once made his Oilers so special.
“Today’s Oilers just don’t seem the same to me. I prefer the look and feel of vintage Oilers, preferably from 2015 or 2016,” Chiarelli said from the desk in his basement, where he scans eBay everyday for the players he once traded away.
Chiarelli, who was Boston’s GM from 2006 to 2015, admits he’s never acquired an NHL player from eBay - normally, the league’s GMs and assistant GMs participate in a private ongoing dialog about available players. But he has purchased new and second-hand items from the site for years, and feels it’s a safe, easy place to get a gently used player he used to have at a bargain price.
“Nope, no players. Not yet, anyway,” Chiarelli said. “But I’ve bought a ton of stuff from eBay before. Jerseys, hockey cards, a Sega Dreamcast. One time I got this vintage table hockey game for 25 bucks, but when it showed up there was no puck and most of the players had no heads. Still, not a bad deal.”
The Oilers were expected to be a force this season, led by reigning Hart and Art Ross Trophy winner Connor McDavid and coming off of a trip to the second round of the playoffs in their first post-season appearance in 10 years. Chiarelli put his stamp on the team at the cost of premium players, high draft picks and money. In the last two seasons, the Oilers have traded forwards Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and defenseman Jeff Petry, spent two draft picks to acquire defenseman Griffin Reinhart only to let him go in the expansion draft, and signed forward Milan Lucic and defenseman Kris Russell to sizable contracts. Aside from McDavid, the rest of the roster hasn’t performed well this season, including goalie Cam Talbot.
Undaunted, Chiarelli is determined to find a sweet, sweet deal on the net and get back those players he remembers so fondly.
“I really miss having a Hallsy and an Ebs around. They remind me of my younger days. Heck, I might even buy another Justin Schultz if I can find one. Now that he’s won two Cups with Pittsburgh, I hear he’s worth a lot of money.”
Chiarelli doesn’t consider himself a collector. Just a normal NHL general manager trying to preserve a little piece of history that’s personal to him.
“If there’s a deal to be made, I won’t hesitate to spend the assets to get our team back to where it used to be. But I’d prefer someone with free shipping or at least a Buy It Now option. And he’s gotta be from the U.S. or Canada only. Stuff from Europe or China is too expensive.”
He also said he’s searching specifically for a 2014 Edmonton Oil Kings edition of Griffin Reinhart, a very rare version of the player, and has a few goalies on his “watch list” but has yet to make a bid on one.
“The tricky thing is being the winning bidder. It’s not fair that it goes to who has the highest bid. The item should go to who puts in the lowest offer. That’s the way the Oilers have always done business.”
This is obviously a parody and Peter Chiarelli never said this stuff. Whether or not he shops eBay remains a mystery.