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The Oilers need a rugged forward or two like David Clarkson to help make the team tougher on the ice.
Since assuming the role of general manager for the Edmonton Oilers, Craig MacTavish has said all of the right things and is promising change in Oil Country for next season.
At the season-ending manager's address, MacTavish stated that the team could feature six-to-eight new faces in the lineup entering the 2014 season.
While Edmonton certainly has the assets to acquire some physical forwards via trades, the first step should be to look to add players via free agency.
Two potential targets for the Oilers could be Nathan Horton and David Clarkson.
Horton, 27, has a long history of serious injuries and would represent a significant risk/reward move for the team. When healthy, Horton has proven that he possesses high-end offensive talent as well being able to play the game with toughness that the Oilers currently lack on their forward lines.
Horton is coming off a six-year, $24 million contract with the Boston Bruins and will likely command $3.5 million per season on his next deal, but at 27, he still has plenty of good hockey left ahead of him.
David Clarkson is another rugged forward who proved last season that he also has the ability to provide offense when called upon.
The New Jersey Devil had a very strong season on a subpar Devils team. Clarkson registered 24 points in 48 games but managed to rack up 78 penalty minutes in the process.
The Oilers need a player or two who isn't afraid to play the body, and if they could move a player like Ales Hemsky to free up salary space as well as a roster spot, an addition of a physical power forward would help to make Edmonton harder to play against next season.