As the reality of another lost season grips fans of the Edmonton Oilers, the time has come to talk of "next year": the draft, the men who offer hope and finally a defensive pairing worthy of the Oildrop. I've long since given up on hoping for some kind of grand intervention by Oilers management for this season. Ryan Whitney's in real trouble, things are unlikely to end well. Alex Plante made "face plante" an unpleasant headline and Corey Potter is doing his best to show you why he was in the minors all those years. Ladies and gentleman, I give you Ladislav Smid and Tom Gilbert (courtesy behind the net) QUAL COMP CORSI REL Gilbert's signed through 2014, Smid is free a year earlier. When we get around to talking about next season--and I think we're there--Tom Gilbert and Ladislav Smid are actual NHL players. That's two.