3 Reasons Why the Oilers Can Contend for the Stanley Cup in 2022-23

Potential Edmonton Oilers UFA signing Jack Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Potential Edmonton Oilers UFA signing Jack Campbell. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /
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Last season was a roller coaster ride for the Edmonton Oilers, but after making some mid-season additions and a coaching change things finally came together, culminating in a trip to the Western Conference Finals.

The Colorado Avalanche were a juggernaut, simply too much for the Oilers to handle, but now that the dust has settled on most of the offseason moves in the NHL, where do the Oilers stack up?

Are they closer to competing for a Stanley Cup than they were last season?  There are three main factors that I believe make 2022-23 Edmonton’s best chance to win the Stanley Cup with this current core.

Reason 1: The Competition at the Top of the League has Gotten Weaker

Last season, the Avalanche, Panthers, and Lightning emerged as Stanley Cup favorites, but each of those teams has had significant departures this offseason.

Tampa Bay lost two impact players in Andrej Palat and Ryan McDonagh, and most of their available cap space was spent extending Mikhail Sergachev to a monster contract extension worth $8.5m per season.

The Lightning will still be good, but their former championship roster is getting thinner each year.

The Panthers were the best offensive team in the NHL last season, but after losing Mason Marchment, Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar, and Claude Giroux, not even the addition of Matthew Tkachuk will likely be enough to bring them back to last season’s level.

Moving to the Western Conference, the Avalanche team that sent the Oilers packing last year has seen some notable cap casualties this summer. Darcy Kuemper and Andre Burakovsky left in free agency and it is looking unlikely that Nazem Kadri will return either, leaving the Avs without a meaningful replacement.

Colorado will still be a force, but they aren’t going to be as unbeatable as they were when the Oilers faced them last spring.

With the departures of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, the Flames may be poised for a regression despite doing their best to remain in the mix.

The parity in the NHL should be a lot tighter this season with some of the league’s titans coming back down to earth, and that bodes well for an Oiler team that didn’t lose any of their core pieces.