I am so glad the Expansion draft has finally come and gone. Man, that was excruciating trying to get tidbits of information on Twitter and being forced to read all the drama leading up to it.
There were certainly a few head scratchers for me including Tomas Nosek, Luca Sbisa, Alexei Emelin and others. I’m not sure why Vegas didnt take Grubauer & Raanta either unless they just wanted to prove to Fleury he was the undisputed starter but the whole point of taking those two was to flip them for more picks to being with. James Neal made a ton of sense and seeing he was going to be a UFA next year anyways, I guess Nashville figured they’d just accelerate the process of letting him go while finding his replacement now. Florida letting two of their Top 6 guys go while keeping their #3C Bjugstad was puzzling. Overall, I think it was still a bit of a letdown in that so many teams just made side deals to keep their stars in the end.
As for the Oilers, I personally would have loved a side deal with Vegas to stay away from Reinhart and pick Pouliot instead but Chiarelli chose not to. I am certainly in no position to tell the GM how to do his job or pretend I could do it better so I won’t. I’ll save that for the know-it-all piece of s*@t bloggers who like to pretend they could do a better job when in reality they have no clue what they are talking about.
By basically just letting Reinhart walk for nothing you can look at it several ways. Here are a few things to consider now that the pick is official:
- Chiarelli did not want compound his mistake by throwing another draft pick to Vegas to keep him. He overpaid in a trade why make it even worse? I applaud him for sucking up his pride and letting Griff walk if that’s what he felt was best for organization. The fact Reinhart is a LD and not a RD certainly made his decision easier I’m sure.
- Surely, he must have tried to convince Vegas to take Pouliot instead but at what cost? With no 2nd rd pick this year even the biggest Pouliot detractors (myself) balked at a 1st rd pick price. Next year’s draft is supposed to be a really good one. Should he have traded a 2nd rd pick that draft? Still too much. I can’t argue. Try and move Pouliot another way.
- There was a lot of talk when the Reinhart trade was made and Chiarelli was “new here” that Bob Green & others within organization pushed hard to make the deal. By letting him go for basically nothing Chiarelli almost signalled to those within the organization that they were all wrong and he was biting the bullet. Gutsy, as I’m sure some were still pushing to hang onto Griff for one more year to see if he blossomed but clearly Chiarelli couldn’t be convinced again.
The Oilers likely have a deal in mind or worked out with Russell and also in a trade with some other team. With Sekera out most of the year and now Reinhart gone clearly shoring up the defense will be a major focus these next few days.
Now I’ve heard there is the typical noise from the usual know-it-alls on Social media who are up in arms the Oilers lost Griff for nothing which is nothing if not predictable. Keep in mind though the Oilers only really lost draft picks when they traded for Reinhart and draft picks are never a sure thing. Who they would have taken with those draft picks is up for debate but word is it wasn’t going to be Barzal anyways. I would have loved Reinhart to stay and prove all the detractors wrong but I can’t fault Chiarelli for admitting a mistake and moving on swiftly. Just remember though. Central Scouting ranked him Top 5. NY Islanders drafted him #4. Bob Green coached him and pushed hard for the player. If you were a GM new to a team & u had a chance to take this player based on all that for the cost of draft picks would you do it? Maybe. Either way he gambled and it didnt pay off. So what. No GM ever has been perfect no one ever wins every single trade. He trusted those around him & their opinions when he initially made the deal. Water under the bridge now. He’s won more trades than lost & took a similar gamble with Talbot trade that has paid off immensely. Why people want to continue to harp on the deal beats me it’s over with now move on. Unless your ultimate goal is to push out a Stanley Cup winning & now GM runner up who in only 2 years has turned this tire fire of a franchise into a highly respectable one.
Regardless, Griffin Reinhart is no longer an Edmonton Oiler but I wish him the best of luck.