Over the next week or so, I'll be sifting through the Oilers roster, explaining how I would approach the deadline if I were the Oilers management. I'll do so by grouping the players, and hopefully will cover most of the team in 3-5 groupings.
The first group will be the most traditional deadline group for NHL teams, the pending UFA's. The Oilers have 3 such players:
(1) Mike Comrie
(2) Fernando Pisani
(3) Jason Strudwick
Jason Strudwick will presumably have no value on the trade market, and as such is an unlikely candidate for a trade prior to the deadline.
Comrie and Pisani are both unrestricted this summer, and both could potentially be "value" signings for the Oilers if the team is trying to make the playoffs next season, as I would be if I were GM. Pisani in particular, as he isn't currently duplicated on the roster in the same way Comrie is. In trading either player, the Oilers would need to balance the potential return from a deadline trade vs. the potential value in extending the player at X dollars for Y years. Obviously there's no need to weigh those factors against each other if the player won't sign an extension, or has no trade value. But, if you can only get a 6th for each player at the deadline, and can get them signed for ~ 1mil each for a year or two, I'm not sure dumping them at the deadline would be the best move. With Comrie, it may depend on your other moves; you may not choose to keep Comrie if you are planning on keeping Nilsson, Cogliano, Gagner, bringing in Omark and Eberle, etc.
To summarize, I would certainly be on the phone to see what (if anything) would be available for each of the three players. I wouldn't expect to move Strudwick, and would expect to be able to move Pisani and Comrie. That said, I probably wouldn't move Comrie or Pisani if I could extend them at favorable terms AND wouldn't get much for them in a trade. Even if I ended up trading them, I suppose talking about an extension would give me a chance to let them know I'd be interested in re-signing them in the summer, at the right price.