What's Next?

Surprising many, especially after GM Steve Tambellini said it would be a slow day on July 1st, the Edmonton Oilers did a lot to change aspects of their team. Addressing holes in the toughness, face-off and penalty kill, they also added a sink or swim reclamation project on defense.

For the most part, Oilers management are getting good grades from media and fans on the moves they made and it's starting to look as though Edmonton is no longer the last place on a free agents list.

The real question is what's next? The Oilers have too many bodies and have placed some prospects who were likely looking to make a jump now on the backburner until space can be cleared to play them. In our view, the following are possible scenarios:

1) Cogliano is moved.

The signing of Eric Belanger has virtually guaranteed that either Cogs or Gagner go. Gagner has much bigger upside and a fair contract. The Oilers will likely keep Gagner unless a top 4 d-man is part of any return. Renney likes Cogliano and he's found a new way to define himself as a player, but it might be too little too late as the 40 point two-way veteran in Belanger makes more sense.

Word is, the Rangers had some interest which leads me to our next possibility.

2) Tom Gilbert is traded.

The Rangers also had interest, but a deal that was to include Gilbert and Cogliano for Brandon Dubinsky fell apart. May be as well since the Oilers can't really afford to move Gilbert until they replace him. Some say Jeff Petry is that guy, but he's still very unproven.

3) Oilers look for possible goaltending assistance.

There is some word that the Oilers briefly called the Vokoun camp and were told "not interested". That is until Vokoun was passed over by a number of other teams for either costing too much or having other options. The Vokoun camp called the Oilers back as they did a few other teams and there are 2-3 teams potentially interested in Tomas Vokoun including Edmonton.

If the Oilers land him, if will have to be to overpay for one year or give term. If they give term what becomes of Khabibulin? At least with a term Bulin's unmoveable cap hit becomes somewhat manageable.

4) Oilers send feelers out on some top four defencemen.

Kaberle, McCabe, White and others are still out there. Of more possible interest might be a Keith Yandle or Mike Green from Washington. Oilers would have to move some significant pieces the other way, but with the extra bodies might be prepared to do so.

5) Oilers move two for one.

Could a player like Scott Hartnell and a pick work if the Oilers can send Cogs and Omark? There is no indication something like this is in the works, but it might make sense. Flyers keep making waves which mean they'll keep needing to clear space. Oilers have too many bodies. Maybe a deal like this or another player like a Hartnell works for both sides.


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