It's the middle of April! That, as every Oilers fan knows is the beginning of seeing every idiot with access to a computer begin to post their own plans on what they would do to improve the team. So without further adieu I present this idiots plan on what I would do to improve the team.
As it stands right now, this is the opening roster for next season (ignoring UFA's)
Klinkhammer- Hendricks - Gazdic
Well that was thoroughly depressing. Now ch ch ch ch changes!
Sign Derek Roy
Roy was a very welcome addition to the league worst centre depth that is the Edmonton Oilers. On top of that, he quickly became known as the Yak Whisperer due to the great chemistry he and Nail developed. A one or two year deal at 1.5 mil per would be a solid addition. However I don't see Roy being able to handle being a top 6 centre over a complete season.
Sign Free Agent Carl Soderberg
Soderberg is in a bit of a strange position, he's 29, has only played a couple full NHL seasons, and has average about 45 points each season. The Bruins look to be in all types of trouble when it comes to the cap and it appears as though they will not be able to sign him. If the Oilers could sign him for a couple years, that could really help to solidify their depth at centre and provide guys like Drasaitl ample time to develop.
Let's take a look at the forward core with a bit of shuffling
Your top line is your heavy minutes line that can match well against almost any teams top line. By splitting Hall from Nuge and Ebs you make other teams have to spread out their defenders. Soderberg would have the option of feeding the puck to two snipers in Hall and Yak. Roy and Purcell played well together over the final stretch, and Lander is a guy who can be a physical catalyst on any line. And of course your fourth line will once again be your wagon line. Big defensive responsibilities. If (read:when) there are injuries, Roy can move to centre, and depending on how his AHL debut is faring, Drasaitl could be called up.
Now, much harder... the defence.
Buy Out Nikitin
Trade for one of Kevin Shattenkirk or Dan Girardi
If the Oilers can only make one trade this summer. Make it a big one. A couple reasons I targetted these two. First off, they are both right shot defence men which the Oilers are severely lacking in. Second, depending on how the post season plays out, both could be available. Shattenkirk is the explosive, offensive minded defenceman the Oil were hoping Schultz could be. If the Blues were to face an early post season exit again, they could potentially look to shake up their roster. As for Girardi, while not as offensive minded, is a solid reliable D-man in all situations. New York has an unbelievable back end and again, if the price is right may be willing to part. On top of that, they are close to the cap and may have no choice but to move some players out. If either of these trades included a combination of our second first round pick, Marincin (good, cheap option that could excel playing with a vet), and possibly next years 1st/2nd would that be enough?
Sign Free Agent Francois Beauchemin
Veteran player. Canadian. Hits things.
Goaltending... this has gotten longer than I wanted so let's complete this fantasy by saying we sign Niemi as a free agent. Would you hate an Oilers roster that looked like this...