RFAs Palmieri or Kane & Carlson or Benn & Franson. Trade for The Stone Bros., Colborne, Dwight King and one of Bernier, Markstrom, Enroth or Lehner.

When I tried to imagine what I'd do if I was in charge of the Oilers I decided to look who is out there for the Oilers to go after without it costing them and arm and a leg (read: young core talent). I don't see the Oilers seriously competing for the Stanley Cup (which should be the only goal) until their core peaks. If you look at the ages of the core talent, the best opportunity to win a Stanley Cup will come around 2017-2018. I know, this probably makes a lot of fans want to kick my teeth in, but it's a "fact" that most forwards peak around 25, most D around 27 and most goalies around 29. By "fact" I mean that this is is highly scientific, meaning not at all, based purely on conjecture and anecdotal evidence. But let's just say that's true.

They will just be coming into their own by the 2015-2016 season just in time for the new arena.

2015-2016 Oilers

Devan Dubnyk & Ladislav Smid will be 29, Jeff Petry: 28, Sam Gagner: 26, Jordan Eberle, Teemu Hartikainen, Colten Teubert, Justin Schultz: 25, Taylor Hall, Anton Lander: 24, Magnus Paajarvi, Olivier Roy, Tyler Pitlick, Martin Marincin, Tyler Bunz, Curtis Hamilton: 23 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, David Musil, Nail Yakupov, Martin Gernat, Tobias Rieder: 22 and Daniil Zharkov, Mitchell Moroz, Jujhar Khaira: 21.

But they will be at their best for the 2017-2018 season:

2017-2018 Oilers

Dubnyk & Smid will be 31, Petry: 30, Gagner: 28 Eberle, Hartikainen, Teubert, J Schultz: 27, Hall, Lander: 26, Paajarvi, Roy, Pitlick, Marincin, Bunz, Hamilton: 25 Nugent-Hopkins, Klefbom, Musil, Yakupov, Gernat, Rieder: 24 and Zharkov, Moroz, Khaira: 23.

With that said, I tried to think of how to build a better team with this core by increasing our size and talent with players that will be peaking at the same time. After the jump is the plan I came up with.


  1. Be competitive for the Stanley Cup by 2015-2016

  2. Know that 2017-2018 is the most likely year for a Stanley cup based on when the young talent in the organization is to likely peak. (forwards at 25, defense at 27 and goalies at 29)

  3. Maintain Core Group of Young Talent

  4. Increase the overall size of the Oilers.

  5. Get some big, talented-right shooting Defensemen. The future of Left D is solid with Smid, Klefbom and Marincin coming up and a few other Left Ds competing.

  6. Get a Big, scoring 3rd line center to compete for a 2nd line spot behind Gagner.

  7. Get some big wingers that can also score to play behind or even with Yakupov, Eberle, Hall and Paajarvi. If they can play with them we can balance the lines with size and scoring ability.

  8. Get a potential starting goalie to compete with Dubnyk for top spot.


All the skaters in this plan are under 25 and at least 6'-2" and have shown some offensive potential.


    There are a few unsigned RFAs out there that could be huge impact players:

  1. RW. Give an Offer Sheet to Nick Palmieri (RW, MIN, 6'-3" 220lbs) to a a 3 year deal at less than $1,545,980, probably in the $1,000,000 range. No Compensation lost.

  2. LW & RD. Make Two Offers:

    1. Give an Offer Sheet to Jamie Benn (LW, DAL from Victoria) for 5 years at $3,091,960 (compensation: 2nd round pick) & to Cody Franson (RD, TOR from Sicamous BC) for 3 years at $1,545,980 (compensation: 3rd round pick)


    1. Give an Offer Sheet to Evander Kane (LW, WPG from Vancouver) for 5 years at $4,637,940 (compensation: 1st and 3rd Round Pick) & to John Carlson (RD, WSH) for 5 years at $3,091,960 (compensation: 2nd round pick)

*I think the Benn/Franson offer makes more sense. It is cheaper and the Oilers could keep their 1st round pick. If they get matched, fine, nothing ventured, nothing gained, but also nothing lost. We don't need to keep stockpiling high draft picks. We've got plenty of young talent that can be supported with lower gamble picks.


  1. C. Trade for Joe Colborne (C, TOR from Calgary) before his value goes up. 6'-5", 16th overall pick. He's in the final year of his contract.

  2. RD, & RW. Trade for Michael Stone (RD, PHX, from Winnipeg in last year of contract), then trade for his brother Mark Stone (RW, OTT from Winnipeg) or sign Mark in the future. There is a possibility that Michael Stone could be signed as a RFA next summmer. Michael is a 6'-3" D who went 68th overall. Mark Stone is a 6'-2" RW who was Canada's best player at the last World Juniors.

  3. LW. Trade for Dwight King (LW, LAK, 6'-3" from Meadowlake, Saskatchewan) before his value goes up (if it hasn't already). He was scoring at a respectable clip last year 14pts in 27 games with just over 14.5 minutes of icetime.

  4. G. Trade for a young Goalie Jacob Markström (FLA), Jonathan Bernier (LAK), Jhonas Enroth (BUF) all in the final year of their contracts. Or for Robin Lehner (OTT), who has 2 years left on his contract. I know goaltending predictions are alchemy, but they need to at least have top star potential to be a future star goalie. There are only a handful of those in the NHL right now.


Any Oiler who most likely won't be here in 2015-2016 or later should be used to gather the necessary pieces for success in the future. Let Smyth finish his career here and move into a head office position or assistant coach position when he's done.


    Left Wing - Center - Right Wing

    Linus Omark - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky

    Ryan Jones - Eric Belanger - Antti Tyrvainen

    Ben Eager - Lennart Petrell - Mark Arcobello

    Darcy Hordichuk - Chris VandeVelde - Tony Rajala

    Philippe Cornet - Tanner House - Travis Ewanyk

    Left Defense - Right Defense

    Ryan Whitney - Corey Potter

    Andy Sutton - Taylor Fedun

    Nick Schultz - Bryan Rodney

    Theo Peckham - Alex Plante


    Nikolai Khabibulin

    Yan Denis

Draft Picks as Trade Bait

Not to mention, a first, second or third round pick for the right player. We may not be in the draft lottery next year but we may be drafting in the top half of the order.


  1. Other possible trade targets:

    1. Right D:

      1. Michael Sauer (NYR) in final year

      2. David Rundblad (PHX) in final year

      3. David Savard (CBJ) in final year

      4. Dylan McIlrath (NYR) from Winnipeg

      5. Erik Gudbranson (FLA)

      6. Connor Murphy (PHX)

      7. Jesse Blacker (TOR)

      8. Alex Petrovic (FLA) from Edmonton (36th overall)

      9. Brett Ponich (DAL) from Edmonton (48th overall)

      10. Paul Postma (WPG) from Red Deer

    2. C:

      1. Mark McNeill (CHI) from Edmonton

      2. Nick Bjugstad (FLA) from Minneapolis

      3. Luke Adam (BUF) in final year

      4. Philip McRae (STL) in final year

      5. Brock Nelson (NYI)

      6. Peter Holland (ANA)

      7. Jim O'Brien (OTT)

      8. Victor Rask (CAR)

    3. RW:

      1. Jordan Caron (BOS) in final year (25th overall pick)

      2. Brett Bulmer (MIN) from Prince George

      3. Carter Ashton (TOR) from Winnipeg (29th overall pick)

      4. Jimmy Hayes (CHI) 6-6"

      5. Alex Chiasson (DAL) 6'-4"

      6. Zach Budish (NSH) 6'-3"

      7. Akim Aliu (CAL) 6'-4" had a great 2 game stint. Would be great to steal a sleeper form the Flames.

      8. Brett Connolly (TBL) from Campbell River, BC (6th overall pick). Doubt Yzerman will give him up for anything.

    4. LW:

      1. David Ullstrom (NYI) 8 pts in 29 games last year with 11 min avg ice time. In final year of his contract.

      2. Jordan Caron and Carter Ashton are left shooting Right Wingers.

      3. Kyle Beach (CHI) from Kelowna (11th overall pick)

      4. Quinton Howden (FLA) from Manitoba (25th overall pick)


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