With the NHL regular season officially less than one month away, one can’t help but think about the rivalries and hostilities that will be renewed this season when the puck drops on October 1st. The Oilers will have a new division this season with some familiar foes in it, once again grouped with the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames. Gone are the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild but Edmonton will still see plenty of them given they still remain in the Western Conference. New divisional opponents include the Ducks, Sharks, Kings and Coyotes which should help stir up some bad blood between them as the playoff race heats up.
So who is the current greatest rival to the Oilers heading into this season? Of course the Edmonton Oilers have a long and storied history with the Calgary Flames, battling for bragging rights in the province. But lately the battle of Alberta has been lacking the blood and hatred that the 80’s and 90’s witnessed. Sure the game has changed, but the hate level between these two teams should still be sky high.
There are some nights when these two teams collide that emotions run high and more than one fight breaks out, but it doesn’t have the same hype that it once had. It could be because both teams haven’t been very good over the past couple of years and have little to play for in terms of playoff implications.
The Vancouver Canucks and their fan base are one that every other hockey fan loves to hate, including the Oilers. A heated rivalry has sparked here as of late which will surely continue into this season.
Lately when the San Jose Sharks come to town, a physical and high spirited affair has ensued and with the Oilers seeing more of the Sharks this season, this is a rivalry that could become worth keeping an eye on.
Of course the Minnesota Wild have had the Oilers number over the past few seasons which doesn’t bode well with the players in Edmonton. This could spill over into a spirited affair when these two teams clash this season, but being out of the division just doesn’t have the same level of excitement to it.
One rivalry that is sure to bring renewed hostilities is that of the Winnipeg Jets. Seeing the Jets four times a year will help rekindle those spirited contests from the 80’s and early 90’s when the Oilers repeatedly denied the Jets their chance to advance past the first round of the playoffs.
The Jets have one of the most passionate and vocal fan base in the league which will help ignite some passion when these two teams collide.
The rivalries will heat up come October but for now we want your opinion on which team you think is currently the Oilers greatest rival. Take part in our daily poll and let’s see how the readers vote.