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BLOG: Hockey Canada relationships come up big

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

The process to hire Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager happened very quickly.

Chiarelli became available on April 15. Bob Nicholson became the CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group on Monday and by Friday, Chiarelli had a new home.

The two were very familiar with each other from their time together at Hockey Canada. Nicholson is the former President and CEO of Hockey Canada, and worked with Chiarelli at the 2014 Olympics.

“I really got to know him when we went to Sochi, through the Olympic games, and I really like the way he communicates,” said Nicholson. “He’s a clear communicator, he’s obviously worked in Ottawa and worked in Boston and built those teams together. And how he looks at the game, he sees the game changing and I think he’s going to be flexible to make sure he makes the right changes to put this team going in the right direction.”

OEG Vice Chair Kevin Lowe, who was also part of Team Canada’s management team at the 2014 Olympics, was sitting next to Nicholson in the meetings with Chiarelli. It seemed like the right match for the former Bruins GM.

“One of the reasons it happened really quickly is because I’d known them from before and I really like them, I respect them and I respect their hockey minds and I respect them as people. It made it very easy to be comfortable with the situation,” said Chiarelli.

The process was fast-moving and that’s just fine for Nicholson.

“This has gone so quickly, one of the keys that we talked about was how is your team going to play? If the team is as quick as we got this contract done I think that will be great for the fans,” said Nicholson.

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