Edmonton, it has come to my attention that you guys are bad at hockey. And that you have been bad at hockey since like 1988. And you are so bad in fact the rest of the league despises you despite not being a threat to anyone. And that people want to change the draft rules that would prevent the Oilers from ever selecting in it AT ALL ever again.
I am here to change that. But it will require plenty of hard trades, emotional detachment, and sentence fragments. Lucky for you, I am a master of all three.
Recognize your tradeable assets!
No one wants your shitty defense. No matter how much you try to convince yourself, Andrej Sekera isn't worth $33 million. Andrew Ference is no leader. Darnell Nurse is only good at beating up shit-wads on the Sharks.
Let's not bother talking about your goalies. Cam Talbot is just another buried backup in waiting like Scrivens and Fasth before him.
As for your forwards, now we have a group to work with. Most of it is a 7-layer dip of crap, shit, turd, poop, feces, scat, and piss. But there are a few pieces you could get a decent return on. Younger players who have been mildly productive, or at least slightly cheaper. Guys like Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and let's even include Jordan Eberle. Hell, we can even add in the affordable Connor McDavid.
Recognize trade partners!
Considering you could consider all the aforementioned names as "depth" type players, you have to carefully look at who would actually want them. Mid-tier teams probably have the cap space to just sign players for this sorta role, or can draft in players on their own. You have to recognize a team in need.
I think the Pittsburgh Penguins are low enough on depth to be desperate for a winger. Taylor Hall would make great sense there!
The Detroit Red Wings have all their centers collecting social security checks. RNH would be a good stop-gap until they can get some higher quality guys.
As for the Boston Bruins, all their wingers are pretty much set to be free agents. Jordan Eberle could maybe finally benefit from playing with high quality linemates.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Blackhawks are set to lose plenty of wingers and Marian Hossa isn't getting any younger. Nail Yakupov is an enigma, but I think they could whip him into shape.
Lastly, there is the Los Angeles Kings. With Vincent Lecavalier set to retire at the end of the season, the Kings are a little thin down the middle now. Especially with Jeff Carter getting more time playing wing. At the very least, maybe Connor McDavid could challenge Andy Andreoff for playing time next season.
As mentioned, your roster sucks. But now you will be flush with usable pieces. The Red Wings have a goaltender crisis looming, and it's a clear chance for the Oilers to capitalize. Jimmy Howard will be your savior in net. You also need some more defense and getting big time two-way center Nick Bonino will be huge.
Going back to Ference for a second, I think a large part of the reason he hasn't been as effective is that he is missing his old defense partner. Adam McQuaid will be reunited with him! You might even be able to get a draft pick back, since Boston clearly can't use them any better than you guys. Now you also need proven winners. And Chicago has got loads of them, especially with Bryan Bickell.
Since McDavid is prone to being a slump machine, and misses stretches of games at a time, getting anything back for him will be impressive. But I think with the Kings against the cap, Edmonton will finally have their leader they desperately need. You guessed it! Say hello to your team captain, Jordan Nolan! Another proven winner too!
Sign Ilya Kovalchuk to an insane contract.
And here's your finished product!
Maroon-Matthews (you'll totally win the draft lottery again)-Hendricks
I'd highly suggest you trade the first overall pick though. A solid two-way veteran grinder is far more suitable for your bottom six. I'd suggest Carolina's Jay McClement. The Hurricanes might do that deal.
Prediction: Kings continue to claw for the worst seeding possible and lose 4-1.