Well another season has come and gone. Another lottery finish, another season of failed expectations. Now comes every Oiler fans favourite part of the year. Summer. Hope is in the air and all of us armchair GM's can tinker, trade, and sign whomever we choose to improve this team.
The Oilers top 6 currently looks like this going into next year:
There is plenty of debate on who will or won't be back next year; like many of you I am assuming that Gagner will not be back next year, hopefully replaced with a better 2 way center to round out our top 6 forwards.
However today I want to discuss the third line because as it stands right now, we really don't have any players to really dominate in that role. Hendricks and Gordon have quickly become fan favorites for their high energy, not afraid to sacrifice the body type of game. However on a top playoff team, both players would more likely be used in a 4th line, PK role only.
With the Oiler's having plenty of cap space this year, there is an opportunity to spend more to entice some UFA's to come play here. I picked two players for both LW and RW that could be targeted. First up at LW...
Matt Moulson: This one is probably the biggest stretch out of any of the players I'm going to suggest. First off while not a massive player, at 205 pounds he would provide some weight while at the same time being able to play the puck moving game that is being attempted to be played here. As well he has been a fairly consistent point producer and could slot up into our top 6 as well. Either him or Perron are suited to bounce between anywhere in the top 9, providing much needed depth.
Daniel Winnik: Not the shiny new toy that Moulson would be, but a much more likely target. Big body, not going to blow you away with point production but brings a calming presence and a straightforward game to our forwards.
Nikolai Kulemin: First up for the RW is Kulemin. After a rough end to the season, expect Toronto to want to shake up some positions and bring in some new blood. Big 225lb frame, consistent 20+ point guy and responsible defensively.
David Moss: Again, not a huge guy but definitely would not describe him as a small guy. One wonders if him and Gordon were friends and if Gordon could reach out to him to come play here.
You'll notice I didn't mention any centers. It's my belief that Arcobello will be brought in to play that position this year. He's won many of us over by fighting tooth and nail every game and though a small guy, isn't afraid to enter the fray. Surround the kid with some vets who've been playing in that role for years and we should see him produce. Here's what our forwards could look like next year.
There will still be plenty of work to be done. Defense is a whole other conversation. However I think this will give us one thing we have not had for a very long time. UFA day will be a very interesting one in Oil town. The options are there, it's up to MacT.