At some point during the regular season I started wondering what the Oilers strategy is going forward. During the last three seasons I think everyone would agree that the goal was win now. Mcdavid and Draisaitl on entry level contracts was a recipe for opportunity. Chiarelli made several moves and whether you agree with all of them or not he made the effort and fell short, not surprisingly. Considering the train wreck he took on I would give him a passing grade.
Now I await signs of his intentions for the coming seasons. After announcing the contracts for Mcdavid and Draisaitl I started thinking how he would manoeuvre within the salary cap and try to build a winner. The only realistic direction I think he should be taking is one of patience. Chiarelli needs to hang onto his draft picks, try to unload some questionable contracts and hopefully make some trades to fill the Oilers needs and obtain some prospects. I cant see the Oil winning with the present team even if some of the recent picks pan out. The worst thing he can do right now is try to go for broke and trade the tenth pick for immediate help. One trade I would be ok with is trying to obtain the Habs 3rd overall pick and Pacioretty. I know there are rumours that Lucic could end up there. The Habs would probably be willing to give up their pick and Pacioretty if you were willing to include the center man they so badly need. Yes I am talking about Hopkins. If you could trade two six million dollar contracts and get another top prospect, and audition a speedy LW like Pacioretty would you do it? If he pans out sign him. If he doesnt, trade him at the deadline for most likely another first rounder minimum. The end result being more youth and salary cap room for a free agent of choice.
One more thing. The Oil already have 3 defenceman with no trade clauses for the 2020 expansion class and 2 of them are not named Nurse or Klefbom. This is a major oversight by Chiarelli considering he signed Russell knowing the expansion rules. Expect there to be some movement on defence to remedy this, possibly even with the Habs.