EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers are likely moving Sam Gagner ó to the wing on Friday and, if the buzz is true, out of Edmonton before the trade deadline.
It is only a matter of time before we start seeing casualties of a rebuild gone horribly wrong, and speculation is that it will begin with him.
But it probably wonít end there.
With a season as bad as this one, and a rebuild as far behind schedule as this one, hard moves are inevitable. The Oilers need three, maybe four, top-six forwards in the 210-225 pound range to round out the none they already have, they need a No.1 and a No. 2 defenceman and they need a starting goalie.
Thereís no evidence in Oklahoma City to suggest any of those ingredients are on the way any time soon and thereís no reason to believe an organization that drafted and developed itself into an eight-year desert walk is suddenly going to draft and develop itself into a contender.
Even if they tried, it would take four, five or even six years (dangerously close to the end of the Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle contracts) of everything going perfectly on the home-grown front before they are a top four team in the West.
In order to get the premium ingredients their scouts canít find, before the entire organization collapses on itself, there seems no other option than to serve up some of their young players.