Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Despite not making the playoffs since 2006, the Oilers are upbeat this summer.
It’s certainly not a new sentiment, but perhaps this weekend signaled the end of Groundhog Day in Edmonton. After all they added top defensive prospect Griffin Reinhart, goaltender Cam Talbot, and, of course, Connor McDavid.
It doesn’t plug all the holes Edmonton has as the team’s defense and goaltending are still significant question marks at this stage despite the promising additions made. Still, it’s a big infusion of new talent and as a result Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli feels less pressure to make a splash during the free agent period.
“I’m actually pretty good with where we’re at now, so if we can’t get those things, I’m OK,” Chiarelli told Edmonton Journal.
It will be interesting to see if the Oilers have a bit of an easier time luring free agents this summer. The optimism that comes with getting McDavid combined with the team’s new look from a management level might lead to them being viewed in a different light.
Regardless of what they do between now and start of the regular season though, Edmonton will have a lot to prove going into the 2015-16 campaign. The young core can’t be expected to turn the team into a powerhouse over night, but it will be up to the Oilers to provide evidence that this is truly the start of a new era.