The Edmonton Oilers need help on defense, that much is clear. The Oilers currently have a handful a second-pairing types, a young third-pairing guy, a seventh defenseman and three AHL-level defensemen on the roster. In that group, only two of them are capable of regularly carrying the puck out of the zone or consistently passing to the forwards to set them up for zone entries. The forwards are under fire for a number of things, but the constant support they must offer to the defense on break-outs is eating into their effectiveness.

The Oilers aren't in a position to contend for a playoff spot without at least one significant upgrade on defense, probably two. Denis Grebeshkov might be coming back next season and he'll be a significant addition, but July is too late too take advantage of the 2013 opportunity.