After making one of the most remarkable Stanley Cup runs ever, the Oilers offseason got off to a really sour start. Their best player, defenseman Chris Pronger, requested to be traded for family reasons. About a week later he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks, where the Oilers picked up promising young winger Joffrey Lupul (Edmonton also picked up a prospect and some draft picks). On top of losing Chris Pronger, the Oilers also lost two of their rent-a-players that they picked up from their playoff run, defenseman Jaroslav Spacek, and extremely creative winger Sergei Samsonov. Edmonton also decided not to re-sign good face-off man, and two-time Selke trophy winner (for best defensive forward), Michael Peca, who was unimpressive during the regular season. Edmonton was however able to lockup a lot of their good young talent, who led the way offensively for them last season. Their top 3 scorers: ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff, and Jarret Stoll were all re-signed to multi-year deals. On top of that, they managed to sign two of their top playoff performers, goaltender Dwayne Roloson, and their local boy, Fernando Pisani. Just recently, they added a 2nd line winger in Petr Sykora, who could put up good numbers if he is paired with the right players.
Notable Additions: Joffrey Lupul, Daniel Tjarnqvist, Marty Reasoner, Petr Sykora, Ladislav Smid
Notable Losses: Chris Pronger, Michael Peca, Jaroslav Spacek, Sergei Samsonov, , Todd Harvey, Georges Laraque, Ty Conklin, Radek Dvorak
2005-06 MVP: Chris Pronger
2005-06 Best Scorer: Ales Hemsky
2005-06 Best Defenseman: Chris Pronger
2005-06 Most Improved Player: Ales Hemsky
2005-06 Best Rookie: Matt Greene
2006-07 Outlook: Edmonton took some tough losses during the offseason, they look very young, but the good thing is that they gained a lot of experience during the run they had in the 2006 playoffs. Edmonton’s most important player will definitely be Dwayne Roloson, as they do not have much depth left on defense. Their offensive game will be looked at to carry them all season, the addition of Joffrey Lupul and Petr Sykora makes them more dangerous offensively than last season. One player that has the potential to really turn in an elite performance, is winger Ales Hemsky, he is extremely creative with the puck, and even though he will not rack up a ton of goals, he will definitely help set them up with his great playmaking skills. As amazing as it was to see an 8th seed go to the finals last season, I do not see the Oilers getting that chance next year, as they will have a tough time making the playoffs with their weak defense corps.