Peter Chiarelli is finally gone in Edmonton.
Now I’d like to see Craig MacTavish, Scott Howson, Kevin Lowe, Keith Gretzky and Bob Nicholson gone too, but it’s kind of a start. It’s a start on a 4th rebuild in 13 years with no quick fix. Keith Gretzky will be the interim GM for the rest of the year, but here are some potential replacements going forward.
Kelly McCrimmon (Vegas) – I saw first hand for 10 years what a McCrimmon run team could do when he was with the Brandon Wheat Kings. He is excellent at realizing talent and even better at comparing his team to the league, knowing when to buy and when to sell. He is basically an equal with George McPhee in Vegas has been rumoured for the Seattle job. The Oilers better act quickly if he’s an option.
Mark Hunter (London) – Hunter was in the running for the Leafs job, but was eventually passed up for Kyle Dubas. If he was passed up for a 33-year-old in Toronto the Leafs obviously saw something. The NHL is becoming less and less of a past club, more teams are looking into the future which does not bode well for Hunter
Mike Futa (LA Kings) – Been with the Kings since 2007 and promoted to VP in 2014. I’m a fan of hiring guys with past scouting experience and not so much GM wise. My only problem with Futa is it seems too similar to the Chiarelli hiring in Edmonton. Built a team for the 2010 NHL, hard to say whether he can build a team for the 2019 NHL.
Mike Gillis – Made some good moves to create a cup team but also made many questionable ones. My biggest problem with Gillis (and I’m sure many Canucks fans think the same way) is he wasn’t realistic on properly approaching a rebuild. After the Canucks lost in the cup final, he tried too hard to make them stay relevant when it was clear they were in a rebuild…. Gillis wouldn’t commit and that doesn’t resonate well with most people.
Keith Gretzky – If he had any other last name, would he even have a job?