As the chatter goes on regarding free agency and making big trades the Oilers stay the course and build primarily through the draft adding select pieces to bridge between what they are and what they will become. Naturally everyone wants to be a Cup contender every year but quite frankly that isn't realistic. Managing contracts and payrolls is critical these days if you want to have long term success. I like what the Oilers are doing relative to a calculated approach to building a team from the ground up that should have success longevity if they are able to continue to add missing pieces. They do have an over abundance of secondary forwards and defence at this time that hopefully they can turn into more assets for the future or something for today that melds well with the youth. I believe that when you are building a team through youth it is critical to create and maintain the right culture to enable the development of good players into great players and in the end an awesome team. As I look at the team today some obvious holes exist with a proven #1 goaltender and a stud defenceman. Both these are critical for any kind of sustained success. Dubnyk might develop into a number 1 guy over the next couple years but the jury is out on that one. I am not sold that we have the makings of any one stud defender on the team right now or at least not int he next three years or so. The other miss for me is our second line center. Gagne is a good player but we need some size up the middle but this is something that will likely have to wait for next year or the year after. The third line actually is looking ok with Shawn and Ryan plus whoever - fourth line is a work in progress as they test differnt pieces in my mind. So, I like the "Stay the course" approach and I am really excited to watch the team this coming year!
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