The Oilers announced some significant changes to the structure of their organization on Friday. Newly appointed CEO of Oilers Entertainment Group Bob Nicholson introduced Peter Chiarelli as President of Hockey Operations and General Manager at a press conference at the Hotel Macdonald.
“We are delighted to bring a person of Peter’s considerable hockey knowledge and experience to the Edmonton Oilers,” said Nicholson. “Peter has had success at all levels of the game and we look forward to his leadership.”
In addition, it was announced that Kevin Lowe would have his responsibilities transition out of hockey operations, but he remains Vice Chair of OEG.
“I support Bob in the changes he has implemented and I am very excited about the bright future for the Edmonton Oilers, the City of Edmonton and Oilers fans everywhere,” Lowe said in a press release. “It has been an honour to represent the Oilers both on and off the ice, and I look forward to my new role in the organization.
Nicholson says the transition with Lowe was not difficult. The two were in the meetings with Chiarelli together and both decided to bring in the former Boston Bruins GM.
“It was not difficult at all,” said Nicholson. “I can tell you that Kevin was in those discussions, with myself, when we talked to Peter and we both agreed through the process that Peter should be the guy that runs hockey top to bottom in this organization. I can’t say enough, the help Kevin has given me through this process and it’s very, very clear that Peter should have the title of President of Hockey Operations and General Manager.”
Former General Manager Craig MacTavish’s role is yet to be defined.
OEG also announced that Patrick LaForge has stepped down as President & COO.
“We thank Patrick for his dedication to the Oilers and Oil Country over the last 15 years. He made a significant mark on the organization and was the driving force behind many successful initiatives,” Nicholson said in a press release.
The trio of executives helping Nicholson grow OEG will be Stew MacDonald, responsible for marketing and revenue, Darryl Bossenkool, who will oversee finance and OEG transition business, and Bob Black, who will continue as Executive Vice President of the Edmonton Arena Corporation, and will head up new business for OEG.