The Oilers defense isn't actually that bad at the moment. The past 3 or 4 years Edmonton's defense was the laughing stock of the league. But this summer MacTavish signed players like Ference, Belov and Grebeshkov and now Edmonton's backend is pretty good. But these new additions open up new problems. Edmonton has 10 NHL defensemen and only 1 true 1st pairing defenseman. This is what I think thry should do to fix this.......
For starters wd have to find out what to do with the excess defense. The Oilers have Schultz x2, Petry, Ference, Smid, Klefbom, Larsson, Belov, Grebeshkov and Potter who are all more or less NHL defensemen. Goimg into training camp the lines are something like....
Ference - Schultz
Smid - Petry
Schultz - Belov
These lines leave out players like Grebeshkov, Larsson and Kefbom who should all have a spot on the team. What should the Oilers do to fix this?
Nick Schultz and Smid are part of most trade rumors involving Oilers defensemen because they don't fit into the longterm plans of the team. Edmonton will most likely trade them, but for what?
Edmonton lacks a 2nd true 1st pairing defense to play with Justin Schultz. Eventually it will be one of Klefbom or Nurse but for at least next year the Oilers need a true 1st pairing defenseman. Who could it be? Could they go with an older guy like Boyle? A middle aged guy like Phaneuf or Coburn? Or even a younger guy like Gardiner?
I would go with a middle aged guy because there isn't really any older guys capable of playing 1st pairing minutes anymore and a 28 or 30 year old you can use for a year or two and then trade him for a good return to make room for Klefbom or Nurse.
Now this begs the question, who should Edmonton target? I know this is old but Coburn would be a good option. Philadelphia dug themselfs into a gigantic hole and need major cap relief. Coburn is the player they're shopping around. What did MacTavish and Holgrom get stuck on at the draft? MacTavish wanted Smid and a 2nd and Holgrom wanted Smid and 2 2nd's? Well offer him Smid, a 2015 2nd and a prospect like Gernat who has a future in the NHL but Edmonton has no room for him. Do you think Philly will bite?
So if the Oil where to get Coburn that would solve the 1st pairing issue but what would they do with the others? The Oil would still have 10 NHL defensemen and only 5 spots. They still need to trade Nick Schultz so they could trade him for a draft pick or a 3rd line winger that Edmonton desperatly needs. That leaves Schultz, Petry, Ference, Coburn, Belov, Grebeshkov, Larsson, Klefbom and Potter all fitting for 6 spots.
Most people would proberly have,
Coburn - Schultz
Ference - Petry
Belov - Grebeshkov
With Klefbom and Larsson starting the year in the AHL. I'm fine with Larsson being in the AHL, he could use the opportunity of being a no 1. But I think Klefbom is good enough to be on the big club. What would the Oilers do to make room for him? What's Potter worth? A 5th round pick? They could trade him for whatever they can get and make Grebeshkov the extra to make the lines....
Coburn - Schultz
Ference - Petry
Belov - Klefbom
There's always someone injured so Grebeshkov will still play a bunch anyway. Would you like these lines going into 2013-14. A 2nd true 1st pairing defenseman and fixing the log jam of the 3/4/5 defensemen? And having Klefbom in the NHL next year? I would.