The situation: The Oilers haven't made the playoffs since their run to the 2005-06 Stanley Cup final and will miss the playoffs for the eighth season in a row, the longest current streak of futility in the NHL ... Like he stated when he took over a year ago, Edmonton general manager Craig MacTavish wants to be aggressive leading up to the trade deadline ... Ideally, MacTavish would like to replace the second- and third-round draft picks he gave up in trades to acquire David Perron and Ben Scrivens, respectively, and add some prospects ... MacTavish has nine players who are eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, so he has plenty of trade bait to work with. Sam Gagner has long been rumoured to be on his way out ... The Oilers GM has engaged in preliminary discussions on a contract extension for defenceman Justin Schultz ... Players like goalie Ben Scrivens and defenceman Anton Belov, who played for the Russian Olympic team in Sochi, will use the final 22 games as an audition to stick in Edmonton ... The Oilers entered the Olympic break with a season-best 5-1-1 stretch.
Playoff hopes: 14th in the West, 18 points behind eighth-place Vancouver. The Oilers, 29th overall, also are only five points up on 30th-place Buffalo.
Schedule: 22 games remaining (15 home, seven road).
At home: Minnesota, Calgary, Ottawa, N.Y. Islanders, Los Angeles, Nashville, Buffalo, Calgary, San Jose, Anaheim, N.Y. Rangers, Anaheim, Colorado, Los Angeles, Vancouver.
On the road: Minnesota, St. Louis, Detroit, Carolina, San Jose, Anaheim, Phoenix.
Restricted free agents: Luc Gazdic, Philip Larsen, Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz.
Unrestricted free agents: Anton Belov, Ilya Bryzgalov, Mark Fraser, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Corey Potter, Nick Schultz, Ben Scrivens, Ryan Smyth.
No-trade clauses: Andrew Ference (no movement).
Cap space: $28.9 million US.
On the farm: Since he was demoted to Oklahoma City earlier this month, forward Mark Arcobello has scored four times and piled up 12 points in six AHL games. He deserves another look at the NHL level, as does 25-year-old undrafted defenceman Brad Hunt, who played three games for Edmonton in early January.
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