The NHL trade deadline has passed. The Edmonton Oilers are outside the playoff race. Attention is now being turned to the offseason where GM Peter Chiarelli has tough decisions to make.

On every NHL franchise are several players that fans identify as the core of the team. These players have the unfortunate circumstance of being the first players who get blamed when a team struggles. For the Edmonton Oilers, their core players have been the recipients of criticism from many fans, despite the futility of past management to surround the core with a competent blue line or depth forwards.

Lately it’s been Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Jordan Eberle, once considered the untouchable core, they now find themselves the subject of trade rumours. As the Oilers are in yet another disappointing season, it is understandable why fans are upset. People recognize the Oilers need on defense and are willing to throw star offensive players for any semblance of help on the back-end.

View full article at Oil on Whyte.