Two or three unrestricted free agents.

One or two new players through trades.

When Edmonton Oilers G.M. Craig MacTavish completed the Father’s Day Walk/Run at Laurier Park Sunday, that was the shopping list in his back pocket as hunting season officially opens today in the NHL.

Between now and the July 1 beginning of free agent frenzy the second year general manager, like the rest of his brethren, can do more to determine the fate of his team than in the other 49 months of the year combined.

And with the Oilers now possessing the longest out-of-the-playoffs streak of any NHL team at eight straight after finishing 28th overall and patience having pretty much reached its expiry date, there’s some urgency involved.

“I’d like to add four or five players — one or two through trades and two or three unrestricted free agents,” said MacTavish.

Trades are the first priority.

“It would be nice to get something in place before free agency,” said the general manager.

Getting something done before the June 27-28 draft would be nicer and he’ll get a feel for that this week.

“The managers meeting at the final really gets everybody talking a little bit more. This week will be a busy week for everybody to see what the fits are out there.

“We had our pro scouts meeting Thursday and Friday. We had some good discussions there.

“This year there are not so many top free agents available. The guys who would normally be secondary targets are now the primary targets. It’s a good year to be a UFA.”

MacTavish isn’t playing his cards close to his vest at this point. You could consider this advertising.

“We need help on defence. We’re looking for a puck-moving defenceman, a guy who can carry the puck north and continue into open ice.”