Hockey fans in Edmonton have struggled through the past few seasons, as their team has been, at times, the only thing standing between the Leafs and the absolute worst record in the NHL. However, all that failure should eventually turn into a very talented hockey club, as the Oilers have been gifted some of the best young players in the world, and all those players have to eventually turn them into a good team, right? Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Linus Omark, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, the latest addition to the squad, are all top-level talent, but it remains to be seen how soon they’ll be able to fix this struggling franchise that was, just a few short years ago, competing for the Stanley Cup.
Edmonton added a few new faces this offseason, including one that should be familiar to anyone who follows the team. Ryan Smyth was brought back to the team that he helped lead to the Cup Finals, and will likely finish his career back where it started, but that wasn’t the favorite acquisition of Samson Threw, our lead writer at Oil on Whyte.
My favourite move of the summer was the addition of Belanger. I think most would agree that he is the replacement for Cogs, and while I like Cogs, I would much rather have Belanger. He has experience, he can still produce, and he can actually win a faceoff! If he can find chemistry with the Swedes then we have an awesome third line that can be responsible defensively and contribute a lot of offense. In my opinion Eager and Hordichuk are great replacements of Jacques and Macintyre. They are better hockey players, and while Hordichuk isn’t as tough as ‘Big Mac’ he should be more of a deterrent as people will actually fight him, and he can play more than two minutes a game.
Read the rest of his preview here.