Craig MacTavish told Terry Jones that he was looking to turn over at least 20% of his roster this off-season.
"I’d like to add four or five players — one or two through trades and two or three unrestricted free agents,"
The 23-man roster should set up with 2 goaltenders, 7 defensemen and 14 forwards. At present, that roster looks something like this:
|Goaltenders||2||On Roster:||Viktor Fasth, Ben Scrivens|
|Defensemen:||4||On Roster:||Andrew Ference, Martin Marincin, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz|
|Possibilities:||Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse|
|Forwards:||10||On Roster:||Mark Arcobello, Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, Luke Gazdic, Boyd Gordon, Taylor Hall, Matt Hendricks, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, David Perron, Nail Yakupov|
|Possibilities:||3rd overall pick, Jesse Joensuu, Anton Lander|
If you were an Oilers fan who flew to Mars in 2011 and came back today, you might think time stood still in your absence. The team still needs all kinds of help on defense and competent forwards to help a bunch of young players and skillless fourth line.
"We had our pro scouts meeting Thursday and Friday. We had some good discussions there."
Words no Oilers fan ever wants to hear.
"This year there are not so many top free agents available. The guys who would normally be secondary targets are now the primary targets. It’s a good year to be a UFA."
It's always a good year to be a UFA because General Managers lose their minds in July and toss value to the wind. Luckily they almost all do it, so there is rarely an advantage gained.
"We need help on defence. We’re looking for a puck-moving defenceman, a guy who can carry the puck north and continue into open ice."
For a moment, let's forget that this is the only sort of defenceman a team should ever actively target, it's nice to see that the Oilers finally recognize the value of these sorts of players given that prior regimes have dumped a couple of really good puck-moving defencemen for nothing.
"We also need a defending defenceman. We’re not going to compromise our young prospects on defence,"
Let's assume that even a bad analytics guy wouldn't recommend the GM trade for Nick Schultz, sign Andrew Ference or trade for Mark Fraser. As our only given, that means it's the pro scouts who have recommended the above moves. As they pursue a "defensive" defender, they should ignore all recommendations of their pro scouts.
To review, MacTavish is looking to trade for two players and sign three. Ostensibly, that leaves a clear path to the NHL roster for Klefbom or Nurse and the 3rd overall pick. However, if MacTavish is looking for two impact players, he's going to have to move some set of combinations involving Klefbom, Nurse, the 3rd overall pick and/or current roster players. That leaves at least an additional two spots available heading into October.
Can MacTavish flip 33% of the roster over and make a competitive team? Will 7 new players be enough to make the Oilers competitive?