What started as a season of growth and promise is once again morphing into a disappointment for the Edmonton Oilers.
The team obviously boasts a wealth of young talent that includes Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Taylor Hall, but getting to that next level - contending for a postseason berth - has been a daunting challenge.
Through Sunday, the Oilers have the second-worst point total in the National Hockey League and are a distant 16 points back of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
So as they get ready to host the San Jose Sharks tonight on the NHL on TSN, what do you think this team needs to most?
Good health and a full lineup for the season? Is it size? Help on the blue line? Something to help them out at the trade deadline?
Do they need a new coach or a new general manager?
How about the first-overall pick for the third summer in a row?
So here was Dave's question to you: "What is the Edmonton Oilers' biggest need?"
And here are the answers that Dave liked best:
"A new general manager is needed, one who will make deals and not rely on number one draft picks. Obviously, it takes more than drafting Hall and RNH, which I could have done." - Gerry
"They need a new coach who'll be harder on them. What happened to Pat Quinn anyway?" - Andrew
"Since I don't see Tambellini or Renney here much longer, the Oilers need a GM-coach combination with a different vision." - Edward
"How about better luck and better health? It's all bad in those departments, especially when you lose your star player in the warmup." - Andrew
"They badly need a puck-moving defenceman. See how many passes miss their targets and watch things slow down in the neutral zone." - Raj
"More heart and one less forward named Hemsky." - Geoff
"We only get to pick one need? Forget me - my list is too long." - Dan
And Dave's Reply to All:
I'll follow that with what the Oilers don't need - Nail Yakupov.
A number one draft pick for a third straight year might sound nice, if not embarrassing, and although it might be tempting to take Yakupov if he is still considered the proverbial "best player available," it is time to realize that a long list of speedy forwards has taken the Oilers nowhere. One more is hardly the answer.
I don't suggest the Oilers should have taken defencemen in each of the last five drafts, but it's worth noting that these players were available in the first round when they drafted - Ryan McDonagh, John Carlson, Nick Leddy, Cam Fowler and Adam Larsson.
Ideally, they'd have a couple of them. Now, it's time to get at least one who's that good. Trade players, trade picks, draft Ryan Murray, but, somehow - yes, the blueline has to be addressed.