NHL 2013-14: Oilers hope this is the year for playoffs after seven long seasons in Edmonton

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.

The postseason.

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.