Top six forwards, which the Oilers allegedly need, range from Crosby and Zetterberg to Nagy and Jason Blake, so in other words the Oilers could be giving up every kid on the roster or they could be taking a kid from the Leafs to make the Blake contract a reasonable one to take on. (btw - the Leafs have no kid who would make that happen)
Now, Jason Spezza is an attractive player, an elite offensive player at a very young age and, if the Sens are dangling him then the Oilers should find out what they want for him. Truth is though that even with the rumours about Spezza being part of the Emery crowd on that club I can't see the Sens moving him. They just signed him to a longterm deal - is it probable that they soured on him that quickly? Unless they are going to blow it all up, which would mean moving Alfredsson as well, then moving Spezza makes no sense. And if they are blowing it up then you had better start with Pitkanen and Gagner or Cogliano as your starting point for a deal. Top ten offensive players under the age of twenty five don't fall off trees.
Your second tier guy would be a guy like Carter. Once again though the Stoll, Greene and Schremp deal likely won't get this done. One possibility though - a collection of prospects plus maybe Grebeshkov. The Flyers are a mess on the back end.
Personally I think the plan is to drop Cogliano to the third line and that Stoll will be moved. I think that they do sign Horcoff because he was on track for thirty plus goals last year and he can play both ways and he can win draws and he is great on the PK. Is he Zetterberg, Crosby or Malkin? No. But he is a better player then say, Oli Jokinen, whose failure to score an ES goal in 19 straight games during the spring caused Jack Martin to call him out. Jokinen is on his way out but if Gagner is the guy who is going to be your scorer down the road why bring in another guy cut from the same cloth?
I think the Oilers are looking at 2010-2012 as the years they contend. Moving one of three young defencemen who can possibly play top four minutes doesn't make sense to me when that window is not here yet. I've said it before and I will say it again. Next summer they sign one of Pitkanen or Grebeshkov longterm and move the other.
Maybe they bring in a Sykora type for this year but imo that makes no sense unless they move Cogliano as mentioned before.
Here's the deal - remember Detroit and their contracts. No underperformers, plenty of overperformers. Last season the Oilers had plenty of the former. Talking about negotiations with Glencross Olyzyk says they don't need a guy making big money in their bottom six. No kidding, they already have four.
So here is the plan:
- keep Pitkanen and Grebeshkov and evaluate them, when all is said and done sign one longterm and move the other
- evaluate Garon and sign him if he passes the test; its becoming clearer and clearer that an elite goaltender is not necessary to win the Cup
- sign Horcoff; his skillset is one that is tough to find, replacing him with a kid scorer means you have three kids down the middle
- is Cogliano the second or third line centre? I would play him on the second line and see if he has what it takes, then you can let Stoll try and recapture some of his lost magic
- begin to move the bad contracts - Moreau? Roloson?
- position yourself to move Souray, paying a guy that coin is ridiculous
That's a start. Its pointing towards 2009/2010. This year try and compete for a playoff spot. Unless a Pronger type deal comes available again then see what you have and make the moves next offseason.