5) A wonderful setting:
The arena formerly known as Rexall Place housed many special times for the Oilers and their fans. However, Rogers Place is a majestic setting for arguably the best team in the NHL today.
Outside of being a wonderful setting for a game of hockey, Rogers Place is helping to transform downtown Edmonton. It’s a world-class arena, with just as much to see and do outside as well as in.
6) A well-timed firing:
With the Oilers flagging during the 2021-22 season, the Oilers had no choice but to fire Dave Tippett as head coach. However, it was their good fortune that his replacement Jay Woodcroft galvanized the team and they progressed to just their second Western Conference final since 1991-92.
Subsequently, Woodcroft received a well-deserved three-year contract extension and last season resided over the NHL’s goal-scoring leaders, who also officially finished with the best ever power-play percentage in league history. He still has to prove he can make better decisions during the pressure of the playoffs, but there’s plenty of reason to be encouraged with how he runs the team.
7) A promising resurgence:
The Oilers signed Jack Campbell to a five-year, $25 million deal ahead of last season, but it didn’t quite go to plan as he endured his worst campaign since entering the NHL. Fortunately for the team, Stuart Skinner stepped up as the main goaltender and subsequently finished runner-up for the Calder Memorial Trophy.
Heading into the 2023-24 season, Campbell looks rejuvenated following a stellar preseason where he played closer to what he’s truly capable of. If this carries through into the regular season and Skinner plays on a similar level to last season, the Oilers will have one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.
8) Genuine hope:
As alluded to by several of the previous points, these are exciting times to be an Edmonton Oilers fan. They have a team capable of going all the way, with many media personnel including ESPN‘s Greg Wyshynski picking them to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Of course it has to be appreciated that the game isn’t played on paper, with teams having to actually go out and prove themselves on the ice. However, everything is set up for the Oilers to finally bring the Holy Grail back home and for this, the fans should be extremely thankful.
All the staff here at Oil on Whyte wish each and every one of you a happy Thanksgiving. Stay safe and have a wonderful time, whether it be with your family or friends.