Everything I read about the Oilers is the same. They NEED a top pairing d-man. They NEED to deal Hemsky for a third line winger. They NEED to get rid of Smid or N. Schultz. rnrnrnThey might have too many defensemen. That's usually a really big problem for teams around the trade deadline, right? They need a Top pairing d-man. Someone will trade them a stud right? No. The guys they want nobody wants to let go of. The guys they can get will be over-paid or washed up. So what's wrong with staying the course? We have all kinds of competent guys coming up. Not a lot of right handed guys, in fact we have just the one I can think of (Fedun), but we have Klefbom, Nurse, Musil, Marincin, and more than a few long shots. The truth is, sitting where the oilers are they are ok. With Ference, Smid, N. Schultz, on the left. Pretty set. I mean, there isn't a guy in those three that seems like the undisputed top guy, but none of them look like undisputed 3rd pairing guys either. One of them will really shine and one of them will be steady, and one of them will probably look bad. Cue the guys waiting to get in. Belov has a two way contract, he doesn't have to start the season in Edmonton. I'm sure he's expecting to. I'm sure the 3 guys I mentioned before are a little worried about their spot knowing he was one of the best defensemen in the KHL last season. Maybe one of these guys can play the right side. I'm not really a fan of two lefties playing together but it could work. I believe 2 lefties was a big problem for the Canucks last year. You need depth on the right side. Lefties are easier to come by. Klefboom and Marincin could both be ready for the NHL as well. Marincin played really well with J. Schultz in OKC last year. He didn't stop playing well after he left either. So ya, Mac could move Smid and/or Nick if he wanted to. but he doesn't have to. If the Oilers play the way I hope they do then the banging and crashing will probably cue the injury bus right. The situation isn't dire.... They don't need cap space. It's a situation of excess. rn rnSame with Hemsky. I hear a lot of Hemsky needs to go. Mac need to trade him for a competent 3rd line winger. A gritty one. I disagree. That third line winger is needed but Hemsky could be a blessing in disguise. RNH is going to be recovering from shoulder surgery. The fact is he might not be ready. If he isn't they should wait.... patiently. Hemsky will have better value once teams start playing and realize the need scoring. rnrnGagner has proven he can play top line center. Not a great job but he will get it done if need be. He will need to work on his face-offs. But that is no secret. He will need to work on his back-check, also no secret. He is capable though. I still don't believe Gagner has shown us everything he has to give. Many players have had breakouts at his age. He is starting the prime of his career. Remember Iginla before his first 50 goal season? not many people do. Check his stats. And how old he was when he broke out. So Gagner covers top line center while RNH mends. Who plays second line center then. Gordon isn't of the right skill-set and as great as Lander was in OKC offensively, I don't think he is ready. rnrn"Let's make Messier a center" says Glen Sather. The rest is history. Taylor Hall moves to second line center, but only for a short time. Pretty much just enough to get his feet wet and only until RNH is healthy. If it works out they can really have patience. If not they can look at other options. They have them. rnrnThe missing piece is really just some insurance. He should be big, great at faceoffs, gritty. Why haven't they looked at Steckell. Perfect fit. Too many centers you say? Like that's a problem. San Jose had more centers than wingers last year. It worked well for them. They had a strategy built around it. They had the weak center get both centers thrown out. Then the strong center came in and went up against a winger. no contest. cheating without actually cheating. Not saying they should do that but having an extra center on your checking line just makes sense right? Have Steckell center the 4th line and play the left handed Lander on 3rd line LW. Jones RW.rnrntemporary line-up to start the season.rnrnPerron-Gagner-EberlernYakipov-Hall-HemskyrnLander-Gordon-JonesrnJoensuu/Smyth- Steckel -Brown/EagerrnrnFerence-JustinrnNick-PetryrnSmid-LarsenrnPotterrnrnBelov, Lander, and Klefbom all have 2 way contracts. They don't need to start the season in Edmonton. Let them develop, and in Belov's case, get used to North American hockey. They'll all get their chance when it's time. Somebody always gets hurt. It is hockey after all. rnrnMacT has lots of work to do. Or does he? Gagner and Fedun need contracts. Easy enough. Sign Steckel and get ready for the season. rnrnTomorrow I'll tell you what Eager needs to do to be usefull to the Oilers and why having him, Smyth, and Potter in the press box is a good thing instead of Lander, Belov, and Klefbom. Also, how MacT can use his excess to motivate.rnrnIf you actually read this, leave a post. Good or bad I would love to hear your thoughts. Btw, I did make paragraphs. for some reason they come out as "rnrn" weird right?