April 24, 2015 (EDMONTON) – Oilers Entertainment Group (OEG) Chief Executive Officer & Vice Chair Bob Nicholson announced today significant changes to the management structure of the organization – both in hockey and business operations.
Peter Chiarelli has been appointed President of Hockey Operations and General Manager effective immediately. Chiarelli will report to CEO Bob Nicholson, and be responsible for all aspects of hockey operations.
“We are delighted to bring a person of Peter’s considerable hockey knowledge and experience to the Edmonton Oilers. Peter has had success at all levels of the game and we look forward to his leadership,” said Nicholson.
“I am honoured to join such a great organization with a long history of success. There is a strong, young core here with good complementary players,” said Chiarelli. “I hope to bring it to the next level with a measured approach. Daryl Katz and Bob Nicholson have a great vision here for the team and Rogers Place. I am very excited to be a part of it.”
Most recently, Chiarelli served as the General Manager of the Boston Bruins for the past eight seasons. He guided the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals twice during his tenure in Boston, including winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The Nepean, Ontario native has also served as a member of the management group for Hockey Canada’s National Men’s Team, including the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2013 Men’s World Hockey Championships.
Chiarelli graduated from Harvard University with an Economics degree in 1987 and he played for the Harvard men’s hockey team from 1983-87. He began his career in hockey after graduating with a law degree from the University of Ottawa and was hired as the Director of Legal Relations for the Ottawa Senators in 2000. In 2005, Chiarelli was promoted to assistant General Manager of the Senators and he served in that role for one season, before being hired by the Boston Bruins in 2006.
Kevin Lowe’s responsibilities transition out of hockey operations, however, he remains Vice Chair of Oilers Entertainment Group.
“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,” said Kevin Lowe. “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.”
OEG also announced changes to business operations.
Patrick LaForge has stepped down as President & Chief Operating Officer.
“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,” said Nicholson.
Working closely with Nicholson to continue to grow OEG business will be a trio of senior executives. Stew MacDonald will be responsible for marketing and revenue, Darryl Boessenkool will be responsible for finance and OEG transition business, and Bob Black will continue as Executive Vice President of the Edmonton Arena Corporation, and will also be heading up new business for OEG.
OEG Chairman Daryl Katz said, “I want to thank Kevin, Patrick and Craig for their commitment and contributions to the Oilers over the past many years. No one should question the heart, integrity, dedication or capability of any of these individuals. Each has done great things for the team and our city, but it was simply time for a change. We will honour their contributions and treasure their continued friendship. Once an Oilers, always an Oiler. I also want to commend Bob Nicholson on his leadership and welcome Peter Chiarelli aboard. Together, we are committed to making the Oilers a Stanley Cup contender.”