The best deal for the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline is to make no deal at all.That would constitute a victory for interim general manager Keith Gretzky. He’d likely be most successful Monday sitting in the chair where Peter Chiarelli ran the roster into the sewer, if he did absolutely nothing.Zero. Zip. Zilch.Glen Sather used to operate with the theory on trade deadline day that some of the best trades you don’t make. In the case of the 26-29-6 team that sits 26th overall, it doesn’t make sense to do a deal.There’s the definite danger here of saddling the new general manager to be hired at the end of the season with someone he might not want. And goodness knows, Chiarelli left his successor with enough of those already.There’s another thing to consider here.It might be a mirage, and it most definitely is a small sample size, but something appears to be happening with this hockey club at this moment.It might be more beneficial to the next GM to let it play out and see what he can learn from the final 21 games of the schedule that begin in Nashville on deadline night with the first game of a five game road trip with stops in Toronto, Ottawa, Columbus and Buffalo to follow.You may have noticed. The Oilers are 2-0-1 in their last three games including a 2-1 win Saturday on Hockey Night In Canada over the Anaheim Ducks without Connor McDavid. Strange things can sometimes bring hockey club together. The two-game suspension to McDavid might have that effect.There’s no suggestion here that the first back-to-back wins in more than a month — and first back-to-back wins at home in two months — suddenly have revived the Oilers playoff chances. They remain mostly mathematical.The Oilers, who prior to winning their last two games had lost 11 of their previous 12, have 58 points in the standings. Going into games last night, Dallas and Colorado were in possession of the two wild card spots with 65. And there were four other clubs, Minnesota with 64, Arizona and Chicago with 61 and Vancouver with 60 to leap frog. Even if 88 points got you a wildcard spot that would require the Oilers to go 15-6 the rest of the way. If it’s 90, make it 16-5.But this hockey club has been playing exactly like you should want them to play in this situation.With the exception of one game at home against San Jose, they’ve been playing ‘We’re Not Dead Yet’ hockey. They’ve been working hard, playing for each other and not pulling the parachute or folding their hand.Mikko Koskinen has ended his six-game losing streak and played exceptionally well in his last two games in goal, back to looking like the guy who was 11-3-1 and won his first seven starts at home, three of them with shutouts.Ken Hitchcock seems to have them being back to buying in like he did when he went 9-2-2 in his first 13 games as coach here. And this is definitely a guy who wants to coach here next year.There’s more to be gained here by watching this play out than in doing a deal for the sake of doing a deal.There have been some wonderful success stories of general managers hitting home runs with deadline deals. The moves Kevin Lowe made as Oilers GM in 2005-06 with all the cap room he had available coming out of the lockout got the Oilers to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final. If goaltender Dwayne Roloson hadn’t got injured in Game 1, they might have won it and both he and coach Craig MacTavish would have ended up with a very different image today.In this case, Chiarelli left no cap room to make anything like that possible.There have been far more cases of general managers making dumb deals out of desperation to just make a deal to try keep up with others who did.If there might be anything Gretzky (with Oilers Entertainment Group CEO & Vice Chair Bob Nicholson no doubt over his shoulder) can do, it would be to move a player to open up more cap space for the new GM to work with here. Maybe there’s somebody out there desperate enough with all the injuries in the last few days to absorb one of those contracts, but the guys in question have five or fewer goals and, in the case of Tobias Rieder, none.Gretzky is proving to be a good hockey man with what he’s accomplishing as assistant GM in drafting and developing as evidenced with the Oilers AHL farm team in Bakersfield stretching their winning streak to 16 games Saturday night.I’m sure there’s a temptation with Gretzky (and Nicholson) to do a deal with the opportunity they have to show something for their day.They should think twice about it.E-mail: email@example.comOn Twitter: @ByTerryJonesOil Spills podcast: Trade deadline approaches with Edmonton Oilers in sell modeThe Edmonton Oilers are indeed sellers for the 2019 NHL trade deadline coming up on Feb. 25. They dealt goalie Cam Talbot to the Philadelphia Flyers for Anthony Stolarz in order to clear salary cap room for defenceman Andrej Sekera, who returned to the Oilers lineup from injury.But can the Oilers under interim general manager Keith Gretzky reasonably do much else besides give players away for middling draft picks to try to clear salary off the books?Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes, Google Play or Soundcloud. You can also listen via the player below.