With only 20 games remaining the situation in the West is generally the same as it was at mid-season with a peloton of 8 western conference teams fighting over 5 play-off spots. With only a few games separating the teams the standing order changes almost daily where one small slip or injury sends a team plummeting and vice versa stringing a couple of wins together vaults them up the standings. Case and point the Oilers put a few wins together a few weeks ago and moved up as high as 2nd in the Pacific division while the Kings slipped to 9th in the conference – just one week later and the positions are exactly reversed with the Oilers on the outside looking in after a few loses. With the trade deadline soon approaching the Oilers find themselves both buyers and sellers. The team has so far made two depth moves to acquire Matt Stajan and Brandon Davidson. In the case of Davidson he will have continued value as a bottom pairing or 7th dman next year as the Oilers transition phase continues ... we don’t say rebuild in Edmonton As for bigger deals so far the Oilers have been unwilling, and frankly unable, to pay the rental price being asked for some guys on the market. The team will likely take it's chances and hope to have a seat when the music stops after game 82. Frankly this GM remains cynical any single deal could insure a spot in the tight Western Conference play-offs never mind avoid being quickly bounced in the first round and instead is more focussed on finding a 'hockey deal'. While not expecting star players the Oilers would however consider the possibility of sacrificing a chance at the playoffs by moving some players along with picks/prospects if it would return a useful roster player with reasonable value beyong this season. With less than 48 hours remaining to the deadline GM Niece will keep both buying and selling options open.