A solid veteran signing in the off season to replace the soon to be bought out horcoff.
Signing a minute eater defenseman.
A trade for size, perhaps?
Further development of prospects and teh kids.
I don't think we need to change too much, but maybe I'm delusional.
This. Except maybe the minute eating D-man. A veteran D-man would be nice but it wouldn't have to be a top pairing type.
I think we do need to somehow sign a couple veterans that will actualy enhance the locker room and on ice production. A couple short term vets to help ease all these youngens into the line up. Going all kids is too much too fast. So far we havn't had any luck in signing good vets tho. Sutton was perfect IMO.
And it's unfortunate that the vets we do have. Smyth, Whitney, Horcoff have all played or priced themselves out of town.
For the Oilers to take the next step they simply need to do it. It's there to be taken right now.
Hall Eberle and RNH have started the season slow, which is something many of us assumed wouldn't happen given their play in the AHL. But the good news is that Dubnyk, Hemsky, Gagner, Yakupov and J Schultz have all played very well. So as soon as the top line gets on track, our debates about who is worse between Potter and Whitney become less important. This lineup should be able to out-score the kinds of issues the team has shown this year. Eventually it'll happen. The top line can't keep missing on the golden chances they are getting forever. And when it does they'll be back in the playoff mix. Which is what many of us were setting as the goal before the season started.
Longer term and to be a threat in the playoffs they obviously need to add top 4 D depth(Klefbom should help there) and size in the top 9.
Size is a problem, but it's more about the compete factor. This team just doesn't battle hard enough night in and night out. Yes, they will play hard one game, but then stand around like pylons and watch the next few games. Hard work goes a long way and until this team realizes this, they are never going to take that next step and be a playoff team.
I have not been able to catch that many games this year due to when the game starts. Like the last game against stars. (03:30 CET)
Oilers have a lot of problems, one player cannot fix all of them. One of the Oilers biggest problem is experience. The other two important problems Oilers have is, quality in the deffence and offesnive depth. The first problem, can only be solved through time, but can be improved now as well. Oilers next step is to deal with these problems.
Problem number 2, oilers need a Phaneuf type of deffender. Someone reliable with experience, a deffender that can have killer games and play 27+ minutes. Someone with consistency. Whitney also need to be replaced with a solid second line deffender who can team up with smid.
Problem number 3, Oilers really only have 2 dangerous offensive lines, the offensive depth almost stops there. MPS - Lander - Hartikanen is not a bad line, but they need time to develop. (see problem number 1) But the fourth line also needs atleast 1 player who can produce goals. Atleast 15+ a season, but at the same time, be able to shut down other star players.
Hordichuk, Eager, Whitney, Potter and Fistric are all players that need to go, and replaced by someone better. They have no future in the oilers. Assuming Oilers wants to be a contender for the Stanley Cup in a near future. If Oilers want to be a bottom team, they will all contribute great to that goal.
Ryan Smyth have been awful this year, however, if there is any chance he can bounce back to the last seasons form, he should stay.