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February 25, 2014 | 6:24pm ET
Oilers looking to make multiple trades

Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish is hoping to pull the trigger on a few deals between now and the trade deadline, he openly admitted on Tuesday.

"We're hopeful that we can get a number of things done, going into this deadline," he told the local media.

"It's not rocket science where we are right now and what our strategy is going to be moving forward. We've got a number of guys that are UFAs that are veteran players that are going to illicit attention around the league from teams that are preparing for a playoff run that will be in all of those conversations.

"It's a tough market to predict at this point, but we'll be having those discussions. It's been pretty quiet through the Olympic break, but I think that starting today it will start to heat up on a day-to-day basis."

The Oilers are expected to move the likes of veterans Ales Hemsky, Ryan Smyth and Nick Schultz by March 5's 3pm ET deadline. All three players are set to become unrestricted free agents July 1.

MacTavish hopes to acquire some draft picks in exchange for those assets.

"I'd be disappointed if we weren't able to get our second or a third rounder back and potentially more than that," he said. "If we're sitting at the draft with our first pick and then we're not picking again until the fourth round. I think that'd be disappointing so that's exactly what we're going to try and do, is get those picks back."

In addition to the team's pending free agents, the Oilers are expected to pursue several other possibilities.

The Oilers, according to a well placed source close to the team, thought they were inches away from trading forward Sam Gagner to the Los Angeles Kings prior to the Olympic break, but a deal fell through at the last minute.

Gagner, who has two-years left on his contract beyond this season, has drawn the attention of several teams and could be moved by the deadline.

Teams have also contacted the Oilers about wingers Nail Yakupov and Jordan Eberle, and if the right deal presented itself, MacTavish seems willing to listen.

"We're going to be aggressively speaking to teams and letting them know what we're trying to do," he said. "These conversations generally go the same way with the managers that I speak with to try and determine what they're trying to do and what they're motivated to do and what we're trying to do and see if there's a fit."

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