If there’s a former non-Isles GM out there that every New York Islanders fans love it’s Peter Chiarelli. Recently the former Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers GM was a special advisor to St Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong. And now, Chiarelli is being promoted in St Louis.
Doug Armstrong is still the President and GM of the Blues. So even with Chiarelli’s more official role within the Blues front office, Armstrong still has the final call. But he’s gonna have a seat at the table.
Now, let’s go over why that’s music to Islanders fan’s ears.
New York Islanders trade history with Peter Chiarelli
It starts with Chiarelli’s time in Boston. With a cap crunch looming prior to the 2014-15 season, Chiarelli had to make room on the Bruins roster to fall under the ceiling. So he sent defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders for a few picks (2015 and 2016 2nds).
Boychuk would have the best, statistical seasons of his career while on the Island. Including a 35 point first year with the team that saw the Isles hit 100 points for the first time since 1983-84. They also returned to the playoffs for only the second time in eight years.
Boychuk played a big part in that resurgence.
Boston did get Brandon Carlo (2015 second-round pick) out of the trade. Carlo has been a great shut-down D. So the trade isn’t nearly as one-sided as it seems, but it was a big win for the Isles. They got a top pair shutdown guy now in Boychuk rather than waiting a few years, years they couldn’t wait for.
(Note: Chiarelli didn’t draft Carlo so maybe that ends up different for Boston if he was in charge?)
The Edmonton Trades
But the Boychuk trade isn’t where Islanders fans developed their affinity for Peter Chiarelli in a seat of power for an NHL team. That came when Chiarelli was the GM of the Edmonton Oilers.
The first time Isles fans fell in love with Chiarella came at the 2015 Entry Draft. It was Chiarelli’s first trade as Edmonton GM. And he decided to get Griffin Reinhart (a fourth-overall pick from the 2012 draft) for a 2015 first and 2015 second.
The Islanders would turn those picks into Mathew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier. Meanwhile, Reinhart would play 29 games with the Oilers before being picked by the Golden Knights at the 2017 expansion draft, and then never play in the NHL again. He’s playing professional hockey in Wales now by-the-way. I don’t have to tell you how one-sided that trade was.
Two years later, the two teams made another trade. This time it was a one-for-one swap. Jordan Eberle to the Island for Ryan Strome. A top-line winger for a (maybe) second-line center.
Strome lasted just over a season in Edmonton before being shipped to the Rangers for Ryan Spooner (again, the trade was one-for-one). In his 100 games for the Oilers, Strome scored 36 points and didn’t really help them achieve anything.
Eberle would play 272 games with the Islanders and put up 169 points. In his first 100 games, Eberle had 69 points, just about double the production that Strome had. He’d also be a big reason the Isles progressed to the second round in 2019.
That trade was not as one-sided as the Griffin/Barzal/Beauvilier trade, but it was clearly a big win for the Islanders at the expense of the Oilers.
With those three trades, it’s easy to see why Islanders fans are happy that Peter Chiarelli is back, even if that’s in a VP role. The Isles have Tarasenko aspiration and thinking that Chiarelli is anywhere near negotiations sounds like it could be a good thing for the Isles.