Recently, I had the opportunity to host roundtable for a number of SB Nation hockey writers. One of the questions I asked of them was "You are named General Manager tomorrow to make one decision and one decision only, and immediately after making your decision, you will be fired. What is it?" The answers were especially funny because I asked it to fans of the Devils, Islanders, Senators and Maple Leafs.
But the question does have some interesting implications for the Oilers. What if there were a man in charge capable of making timely and important decisions? Would the Oilers have rectified the Sheldon Souray situation before training camp began? Would Souray be a Panther? Would the Oilers finally have a center to win faceoffs and kill penalties? Would Kyle Brodziak have been traded? If so, would the Oilers have a replacement for him two years later?
Bring up Ales Hemsky and one person will want to trade him, the other wants to give him a six year contract. Dustin Penner? Send him to the Kings for Wayne Simmonds or give him a four year deal? Devan Dubnyk or Jeff Deslauriers or Martin Gerber - who should be playing where?
We've published a number of articles about possible moves and have an idea of the moves our writers would make. Ben would probably try to extend Hemsky's contract. Or maybe trade for his favorite recent Oiler. Or rename the arena Eberexall Place. Bruce would probably issue a non-negotiable edict placing Zack Stortini in the lineup until Stortini turns thirty years old. Lisa would promote Magnus Paajarvi. Scott would find some loophole in my rules to re-sign both Hemsky and Penner.
Our community has left clues as to their moves as well. SumOil might look to trade Hemsky. Yeti# would re-up J.F. Jacques. Tyler would revoke Robin Brownlee's press pass. DarrenV would nominate Khabibulin for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
Me? Well, It would be a difficult decision, either attempt to make the team significantly better via trade right now, so I don't have to watch loss after loss, or save my sanity through the rest of the season and cut Jason Strudwick and call up Shawn Belle. Actually, the latter solves the former, so Strudwick is gone.
You can choose a trade, a call up, a waiver move, a free agent signing, a contract extension, a personnel move or even an internal move like renaming the new arena go-go dancers. The only stipulation to the question - if you choose to trade someone, you cannot specifically name the return, as in "I'd trade Andrew Cogliano for Carl Gunnarsson", but you can specify the type of return you'd like, as in "I'd move Nikolai Khabibulin and a third round pick and I'd be looking for an engine block heater." Now that we're done with the rules and regulations, we ask the question, what would your first move entail?