The Oilers traded Sam Gagner to Tampa for RW Teddy Purcell on Sunday and in Tampa it appears that Gagner may be placed on waivers on Monday for the sake of a buyout.

It seems strange to buyout a player with the potential upside of Gagner and playing alongside Stamkos, Gagner could be a 65-70 point player. But stranger things have happened.

Tampa is flooded with forwards and Yzerman has said he'd be looking to clear space. Calculating Purcells, buyout means the Lightning would have been stuck with a $1.5 million cap hit. If they buyout Gagner, it's a much more reasonable number at $633k.

Now imagine this...

What if Mac-T and Yzerman had that conversation and Yzerman let it be known that Gagner would be placed on waivers tomorrow. Only Florida and Buffalo would be in front of the Oilers on a waiver claim.

Now it's risky because I could see both teams loving to pick up Gagner at a cap number that wouldn't hurt either club. But, if he falls to Edmonton. Would the Oilers reclaim him?

We know that Mac-T likely had more than one trade lined up, or at least had a couple options. Could he realistically make the second trade too? -- trading one player twice in under 48 hours? I've never heard of it before and don't really know if the NHL allows it.

Can a player be traded after being picked up on waivers? I think there are rules to it, that a player must play at least a certain amount of games or be on the roster for a certain amount of time before being able to trade that waiver claimed player.

But, what if Edmonton would be happy taking Gagner back? Could they have gotten Purcell for nothing? Adding a proven RW NHL player with experience and a 65 point season under his belt for free?

That would be something...

Some people are upset, some people are suggesting Craig MacTavish is a miracle worker. Either way, MacTavish did one of the things he'd said he was going to do in moving Shawn Horcoff out of Edmonton and onto other pastures and he did so without keeping any form of buyout or retaining any of Horcoff's salary.

So now what?

Edmonton has zero healthy centres ready to play. Nugent-Hopkins is still rehabbing a shoulder surgery, Sam Gagner is not yet signed to an extension and Eric Belanger is being bought-out. That leaves only Anton Lander, a very unproven NHL player on the Oilers depth chart down the middle. Mac-T must have another move. He can't be that blind that there isn't an Ace up his sleeve?

Mikhail Grabovski

This guy has some elite skill and he makes those he plays with better. Grabovski just finished venting his frustration at Leafs coach Randy Carlisle for mis-using his skill-set and Grabovski is free to test the market without much fear of a huge salary, since he's one year into a five-year contract for which he was just bought out by Toronto. At $3.5 million for 3 years, he's a great fit.

Stephen Weiss

This guys got game, but he's going to have a list of teams including the Leafs interested and I think he's simply not got quite enough to offer for what he'll bring. Weiss has overpayment written all over his next contract and the Oilers just rid themselves of one of those contracts in Horcoff.

Manny Malholtra

No one is talking about Manny except Manny who believes he can still be a useful player despite his injury history. Vancouver is refusing to let him play, but another team might take a chance and he could be a steal on the 3rd or 4th line if he can stay healthy.

Maxime Talbot / Sean Couturier / Brayden Schenn

The shoe's about the drop in Flyer-land. Holmgren, despite his lack of cap space keeps making moves. It's like he can't help himself. It's going to force his hand and while Braydon Coburn is the public piece that the Oilers have been talking with the Flyers about, there is a very good chance we could see a bigger scale trade, the variety of Boston/Dallas, that sends a defenseman and a centre to the Oilers in exchange for draft picks, prospects or cap relief. The Oilers could answer a number of questions in one trade if the Flyers are willing to dance.

What about Magnus Paajarvi, Nick Schultz, prospect David Musil and the Oilers first round pick in 2014 for Couturier, Coburn and a 3rd rounder? Seems like an underpayment by Edmonton, but it sheds the Flyers of almost $3 million in cap space. We hear the Flyers are after Ray Emery and Emery will command at least $2 million allotted to wherever he lands.

Boyd Gordon

Can play 4th line centre, potentiall moving up to third line centre when needed. 57% faceoff man. Sound two-way game.

The Edmonton Oilers have taken big defenseman Darnell Nurse at the #7 spot.

So far, the reactions are mixed by Oiler fans. Many love this pick and many feel that Edmonton mistakenly passed up on Valeri Nichuskin - a big, heavy potential top-six forward.

To me, it was always down to two choices for Edmonton. Monahan (who Calgary selected at #6) or Nurse. Both of these players were considered high character guys and natural leaders that a team can lean on or rely on to compete each and every night for his team. They fight to the bitter end and Edmonton is well aware that this is a culture they need to embrace. I believe the Oilers felt that Nichuskin was a gamble to provide that.

With Nichuskin, there were questions or his commitment to the NHL (possibly unwarranted). It's likely that while the forward had more upside, Edmonton wanted the safer pick they knew could be a great locker room guy who also has upside when he grows into his frame.

Nurse brings 6.04 inches and 185 lbs that is only going to get bigger and bigger as he fills into his body. He was ranked as high as 6th and low as low as 9th by the major scouts, so not only is he a safe selection, but if you listen to him, he embodies what would and can handle the fish bowl that is playing in Edmonton.

He likes to hit, which Oiler fans will love. He likes to impose his will and style of game onto his opponents and he does more than just play tough. He can skate well for a big guy and will make that good first pass.

Nurse won't play right away, but that he could be a player that sees some time with the Oilers in the 2014/2015 season.

There are reports coming out of TSN that when the Canucks decided to see what the market would be for Cory Schneider, they got some hits. One was from the Edmonton Oilers who are rumoured to be willing to pay the asking price -- a high first round pick and a prospect.

This is way too much if I'm Craig MacTavish and I already have a pretty good goalie in Devan Dubnyk available to me. I don't believe anything more than a 2nd rounder and a roster player would be fair unless I've already got a trade in the works for Dubnyk to a team like the Flyers for Braydon Coburn.

A goalie tandem of Dubnyk and Schneider sounds great on paper, but it creates more of what Vancouver is dealing with now (on a smaller scale) and Edmonton has way too many other areas of need to be wasting the 7th overall pick when all Edmonton really needs is a solid back-up option in net.

Money better spent would be trying to move a 2nd round pick and prospect for Coburn out of Philly and going all in for Letang out of Pittsburgh. Give up your 7th overall, prospect and a roster player for Letang and you have the cap room for his $7.5 per season ask.

Letang/Smid, Petry/Coburn, J. Schultz/Belov, Potter and you have one of the most dynamic blue in the NHL. Two legit power-play threats, lots of stay-at-home toughness and shot blocking and room for injury should something happen.

The best part is, you can keep your young guys all in tact, with the only risk that your cap doesn't go up to the point that you can't afford to keep everyone. Around $22 million for your defense in 2014/2015, but the Oilers have Letang at one year on a bargain price.

Maybe this isn't realistic, but you can't do any of it should you trade your 7th for Schneider.
This time of year and with the lock-out ending, this is a buyers market in the NHL. Teams are looking to unload cap space, make room to maneuver should opportunities present themselves and with compliance buy-outs, opportunities will present themselves.

And, the same teams who are taking advantage of these buy-outs will likely make the same mistakes again.

Lecavalier doesn't go to Vancouver, the Flyers or Detroit unless they make room. Briere can't land in many of the some 15 teams who have expressed interest unless they move pieces first. Letang doesn't move to Toronto unless a bigger name blue-liner probably leaves first.

This isn't to name teams that might not be looking to make a splash, but just need to clear space like Chicago who wants to sign Bickel, or Minnesota who might move Clutterbuck to free themselves of the Parise and Suter cap dilemma they created last summer. Boston has to find a way to fit Horton, Rask and Bergeron.

Polished and experienced players will become available and many for song. Fortunately for Oiler fans, it's these depth players who may have some cap that Edmonton can and sort of wants to take on.

Mac-T has already stated his willingness to move his second-round picks. Look for these picks to land a few names that make very much depth sense for the Oilers. 
So if the rumors are true, and potential trades like Dion Phaneuf for Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky for Zack Smith were to happen, how quickly would the Oilers look very different than they do today?

If, and that's a big if; these rumors are true, this could be the fastest roster turnover in Oilers history.

With the trade rumors out there, the news that Edmonton has given Shawn Horcoff and his agent permission to speak to other teams about interest in Horcoff's services, and a press conference coming on Tuesday, it could be less than one week and the Oilers will be very different team.

The top six blue could be Smid/Petry, Phaneuf/J. Schultz and N.Schultz/Belov/Potter. That's a lot of different and in my opinion miles better than it was last year. Phaneuf for all his detractors has a lot of game left in him, he's got that nastiness Edmonton lacks and it spreads out the top six quite evenly. Add to that former Toronto Marlie and Eakins friend for life Paul Ranger to that defensive group, which I think the Oilers will, and I'm quite comfortable with the Oilers depth on the blue. Actually very comfortable.

Moving Ales Hemsky gives Edmonton Nuge/Hall/Eberle, Paajarvi/Yakupov/??, Zach Smith/R. Smyth/R. Jones, A. Lander/Mike Brown/??

That seems to leave a lot of question marks. I think there would be more as Lander should start in OKC and Ryan Jones may not be retained.. I fully believe Belanger is gone, as is Smithson and Petrell. The obvious hole exists at 2nd line center, where if Gagner is moved I would keep Horcoff. I'm not sure the Oilers agree.

The Oilers likely feel and they may be correct that Edmonton should be able to wait for compliance buy-outs. There are bound to be centers available from Danny Briere to Brad Richards, to Vincent Lecavalier or to down the depth chart with Adam Hall. All have been rumored to be moving on and that's what's going to make the next two weeks so exciting.

Depth players like R.J. Umberger and Ryan Malone could be picked up for a song and free agents like Viktor Stalberg, Clarke MacArthur and Eric Nystrom could be left when the big tickets go as they always do.

Edmonton should have enough options with the cap room they possess to fill that part of their roster moving guys up and down the lineup. Could or should the Oilers draft a player at the #7 spot like Sean Monahan or Alexander Barkov, both might be players in a deep draft that could get some time on the roster immediately. If they trade the pick, the value is likely enough that Edmonton could pick up an immediate second line center right there.

When the dust settles and the smoke clears come 48 hours after the completion of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Oilers could very much be the 2013 version of the every day Phoenix Coyotes. Wait for left-overs and build a very competitive team with the scraps. The only difference being there could be some very worthwhile scraps.

Edmonton has the elite talent to play top six. The missing pieces should be available in trade or buyout and it could all come together in a matter of 48-72 hours. 
In a quick presser that gathered Edmonton media as fast as it appears the decision was made, Ralph Krueger is out and Dallas Eakins? in.

There has been no official announcement as to who the Oilers will name next as bench-boss, but insiders all seem to be in agreement that Eakins is the "new man" and we do know that MacTavish and Krueger saw differently in philosophy related to hockey and the direction of the team. It appears as if, during the interview process for an associate coach, MacTavish found a match that made more sense than continuing on the same path.

To me, this looks as though MacTavish believed, if he's changing so many faces and there will be a lot of new learning and a bit of chaos to start this coming season, this would be the best time to pull a trigger. He made a quick move, was firm in his reasoning and fans will be left to wonder, is one coach with no real NHL experience better than another who had only 40 + games?

The match MacTavish believes he's found in Easkins will hopefully be the Oilers coach for the next three to four years.

I believe this to be a good move and the right time, but I'm also hoping this isn't the next Guy Boucher situation.

The Canucks fired their coach and a lot of people felt that then bench-boss Alain Vingneault was simply a scapegoat while the "sky-is-falling" attitude in Vancouver was and is solely the blame on GM Mike Gillis. Most of that is irrelevant now as Gillis isn't going anywhere and will look to find a new face to lead what will be a changing Canucks line-up into next season.

The Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider fiasco will need to be addressed and if I'm Vancouver I'm looking to move Schneider. But I'm not and Gillis has already come out on record that Luongo will likely be dealt (likely around the draft) and while I'm not sure Luongo is the smart choice, MacTavish did suggest there are questions surrounding Devan Dubnyk, so who knows.

Goal tending aside, the Canucks are going to need to get below the cap. While moving Loungo would get them almost if not completely there, Gillis has made it sound as though more changes will be coming. Can the Oilers, despite there not being a big trading history between Vancouver and Edmonton, find a fit?

There isn't really as large a need for Vancouver to get under the cap as some other teams we've already discussed, unless they choose to keep players like Derek Roy (who was a large let-down since coming aboard), Mason Raymond and Maxim Lapierre. If the Canucks try to keep those players aboard, then the Canuck blue line might be due for a shake-up.

Keith Ballard is the obvious choice, but like Edmonton fans who suggest it's easier said than done to off-load under-performing contracts, Ballard is an albatross that Vancouver will have trouble getting rid of.

Alex Edler has a hefty cap hit that kicks in this coming season and with Bieksa, Hamhuis and Garrison on no-trade clauses perhaps Gillis looks to move him. If that's the case, MacTavish should be all over that, but otherwise I don't see a fit.

Kesler would be a great pickup, if he somehow becomes available a boat load of teams will be interested, so really, the only fit from Vancouver I see will have little to do with making any kind of deal with the Canucks. It will be in picking up a UFA like Lapierre as a depth move.

Vancouver has cap issues, but I don't see Edmonton coming into play in any way.

More To Read