The Edmonton Oilers have been stuck in rebuilding mode for some time, but the hope this season is that this youthful bunch — laced with first-round picks — returns to a place this franchise used to dominate.
Indeed, the Oilers — a once-dynastic franchise — has not qualified for the playoffs in seven straight seasons. But there is a benefit to Edmonton's on-ice failings: The Oilers have been able to stockpile high-end talent in defenseman Justin Schultz and forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.
Many inside and outside the organization believe Edmonton's collection of talent will eventually lead the Oilers back to a Stanley Cup, which would be their sixth. For now, though, a playoff berth would do just fine.
Edmonton opens against Winnipeg on Oct. 1.