An introspective look at the Oiler's

A new season is coming up. Hockey scribes all over the land are writing of doom and gloom for the upcoming Oilers hockey season. Here is a realistic look at what to expect from this team, and who to watch. The Oilers made news in the offseason by trading future hall of famer Chris Pronger for superstar in waiting Joffery Lupul, blue chip Ladislav Smid, and 2 draft picks. Petr Sykora followed his former linemate to Edmonton a few weeks later bolstering the already impressive offence.

The Oilers are equiped one of the most feared top three lines in the league with forwards Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hempsky, Joffery Lupul, and Petr Sykora as already established NHL scorer’s. Waiting in the wings to join them are Alexie Mikhnov, Marc antoine Pouliet, and Rob Schremp. With only to spots open for these three players, look for Schremp to be sent to the minors this year and next year being his big league debut.

The defence is the question mark of this team, and the reason many have ranked them so low in preseason forecast’s. Why? They have much needed cap room that their own division rivals miss to address any need they have on the backend if the defence falters. They still posses solid defencemen in Jason Smith, Steve Staios, Marc Andrea Bergeron, Daniel Tarnqist, aswell as emerging star in Matt Greene, and Ladislav Smid.

Goaltending is solid this year with a good but not great Dwayne Roloson, and a very good backup in Jussi Markannen. This will not be a issue this season.

Kevin Lowe will have cap room to address the defense if need be, or to bolster any other need this season.

Player’s to watch from training camp are Alexie Mikhnov who is expected to take Sergie Samsonov spot on the second line, aswell as Smid, and Jan Hedja who both come in as new stalwarts on the back end.

Expect this team to light up a few conference rivals, and battle Calgary for top spot in the division.

Their lineup on opening night should look like this.

Smyth Horcoff Hempsky

Lupul Sykora Mikhnov

Torres Stoll Pisani

Moreau Reasoner Jf Jaques

Smith Bergeron

Tarnqist Greene

Smid Staios