It's the thought on most Oilers fans minds right now.
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Going into draft day Oilers fans expected big things from MacT after the pre-draft day promises he made. But 2 days and a bunch of wasted picks later Oilers fans are full of dissappointement over MacT's empty promises.
Going into the draft there where multiple holes on Edmonton's roster and every single one of them are still there because of MacTavish's failure to do anything significant at the draft. If the Oilers organization wants to be competitive next season MacTavish has to be active filling these holes on Friday. The roster going into Friday is.......
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
_________ - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - __________ - _________
_________ - Lander - ___________
J. Schultz - N. Schultz
Smid - Petry
Belov - Klefbom
As you can see they have 6 holes on their roster. 2nd line LW, 3rd line Center and RW, 4th line LW and RW and a backup goalie. The hardest player to find on this list is the 2nd line LW so I'll start there....
Edmonton needs to add size to their top 6 so we would need to find a big player that can protect the kids but still has skill because he has to fill a top 6 role. The problem is that big skilled players don't grow on trees and MacTavish will have a hard time getting one, through trade or free agency. I know a lot of you will dismiss this idea immediatly because of his former team but just hear me out. Jarome Iginla. He's heading into free agency this summer and hasn't shown any sign of re-signing with Pittsburgh so Edmonton has a chance to get him. He isn't exactly the big physical player we need but he's fairly tall and he would be an awesome mentor for the young kids because he has a good attitude and has tons of NHL experience. He could do to Hall, Eberle, Nuge and Yakupov what Jagr did to Giroux! Iginla also grew up in Edmonton and has expressed an interrest in the past about playing in Edmonton. It's completly possible he could come to Edmonton and he would immediatly add more talent to the Oilers.
Next we need to find a center and RW for the 3rd line. Bozak immediatly jumps out at me for the center position because he is in the same age range as the rest of the team and he is a good 2 way center with grit and skill. We might be able to persuade him to come out to Edmonton because of the young core that he would be joining and the impending success Edmonton will have in a couple years.
The 3rd line RW position I have to think for, for a bit. We still have Hemsky that we have to trade so he can equal a 3rd liner. The Islanders and Senators are the leading teams in the Hemsky sweepstakes so I would pick someone off one of those teams. On the Islanders Brad Boyes jumps out at me. He's a right winger that has skill but he also plays a good 2 way game and he would fit good on the 3rd line. The trade would also make sense for New York because Hemsky has more skill than Boyes and is younger but he's a bit of a red flag. But if he can get over his injury history he would be a perfect fit on New York.
Now we have the 4th line and the backup goalie position. I think the best solution for the 4th line is to re-sign Brown and Petrell because they're good role players and don't have any attitude issues. For the backup I still think Brysgalov is a good option because he isn't good enough to be a starter but he's good enough to push Dubnyk for the job.
Now if the Oilers where to do this the lines would be.....
Hall - Nuge - Eberle
Iginla - Gagner - Yakupov
Paajarvi - Bozak - Boyes
Petrell - Lander - Brown
J. Schultz - N.Schultz
Smid - Petry
Belov - Klefbom
This lineup would be good but I can't help noticing on defense that we only have 1 true top pairing defense (J. Schultz). If the Oilers want to make the playoffs next year we would need to add another ligit 1st pairing defense. The most likely name and proberly the most appeling is Jake Gardiner. He fits right into the age group of the team and he is good friends and has played with Justin Schultz who would be his linemate. Also Eakins is his old coach and that could sway MacTavish to target Gardiner. We would have to give up our 2014 1st round pick for him but if we do this it won't be in the top 10 so it wouldn't be a major loss.
So our defense would look like this if we traded for Gardiner........
J. Schultz - Gardiner
N. Schultz - Petry
Smid - Belov
This would give Klefbom a chance to develop for a year in the AHL and would help his developpement in the longterm. In my opinion this roster would finish around 8 - 10th in the west and would maybe make it to the playoffs but it's core is young and once it develops in a couple years it could be deadly.
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