I found the following lineup in a draft article from June of 2013, shortly after Magnus Paajarvi was traded for David Perron. It was going to be the basis of an article detailing the path the Oilers should follow in the forthcoming free agency period:
While it's not a cup-winning team, the daydreamed version of the Oilers was far more competitive that the team the Oilers, who were really trying, managed to put on the ice. And notice, a number of the players added here were available after the first few days of free agency.
Even if Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid and Sam Gagner were eventually moved, the core of this team remained better. Add in Martin Marincin, before he was Oilered, follow that 2013 season up with Mark Fayne and this team is far from an embarrassment.
Instead, the Oilers made a ridiculous offer to David Clarkson, signed Andrew Ference to an asinine contract and...
Remember all of the warnings that all of the C&B writers, Pat, Hbomb, and a plethora of other bloggers and commenters issued about the Oilers being able to just "flip a switch" and understand player acquisition, negotiations, valuation, and player development after years of ignoring it while following some supposed "model"?
The Oilers are in the midst of the slowest switch flipping ever.