**Rating system for “Plus/Minus” Series**
+3 = Major Upgrade
+2 = Upgrade
+1 = Slight Upgrade
0 = Same as prior year
-1 = Slight Dowgrade
-2 = Downgrade
-3 = Major Downgrade
Team: Edmonton Oilers
2010-11: 62 points, #15 in Western Conference
Returning: Nikolai Khabibulin, Devan Dubnyk
Arrivals: N / A
Departures: N / A
Unfortunately, there are no changes at the goalie position in Edmonton.
Returning: Ryan Whitney, Tom Gilbert, Ladislav Smid, Theo Peckham, Jeff Petry
Arrivals: Cam Barker, Andy Sutton
Departures: Kurtis Foster, Jim Vandermeer, Jason Strudwick
Vandermeer and Foster weren’t exactly impact players, but bringing in Barker and Sutton to replace them won’t help improve the Oilers blueline. Minnesota couldn’t wait to get rid of Barker, and Anaheim was thrilled that someone took on Sutton’s contract.
Returning: Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, Jordan Eberle, Magnus Paajarvi, Gilbert Brule, Linus Omark, Ryan Jones
Arrivals: Ryan Smyth, Eric Belanger, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk
Departures: Andrew Cogliano, Colin Fraser, JF Jacques, Steve MacIntyre, Liam Reddox
The Oilers will benefit from the addition of top 9 forwards Ryan Smyth and Eric Belanger, and upgraded their fourth line as well by switching out Jacques/MacIntyre for Eager/Hordichuk. They will also benefit from the improvement of their young players like Hall, Eberle, Paajarvi and Omark. It’s possible but unlikely that first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins make the team out of camp.
OVERALL RATING: +2
2011-12 Prediction: #11-#13 in Western Conference
The Oilers are well on their way toward becoming a perennial playoff team, but until they address their major needs on defense and in goal, that won’t happen. Scoring goals is great, but you need to keep pucks out of your net too.
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.