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And, how'd they do? Part 2: Edmonton

Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers tied with the Canucks at 88 points, and did so in almost the exact opposite manner - scoring a division high 235 goals while allowing a whopping 251. Of all the teams, the Oilers made the most dramatic changes this offseason, even though they lost out in the Marian Hossa sweepstakes. Oddly, they didn't do anything to shore up their goaltending - Mathieu Garon and Dwayne Roloson appear slated to return in the fall.

On defense, the Oilers aquired Lubomir Visnovsky from the Kings. Like his new teammate Sheldon Souray, he's got a great point shot on the powerplay. Unlike his new teammate Sheldon Souray, Vosnovsky can actually play a little defense. Leaving the Oilers are Matt Greene (sent to LA in the Visnovsky deal) and Joni Pitkanen (traded to Carolina for Erik Cole). The Oilers have a lot of offensive firepower from the blueline, but not a lot of great defenders. Edmonton still has a few million in cap left, and former Oiler (and Alberta native) Jason Smith is still looking for work. Maybe that's not going to happen, but I do think that if the Oilers improve either defensively or in net, they'll be dangerous.

Up front, the Oilers moved Raffi Torres and Jarret Stoll and lost Curtis Glenncross to free agency. Geoff Sanderson and Marty Reasoner are also free agents and have not yet been signed by any team. Meanwhile, Kevin Lowe added Erik Cole and former first rounder Gilbert Brule. I don't know much about Brule - he hasn't scored a lick in the NHL, but he's still young and, I assume, has talent. The Oilers have a good crop of young forwards. They have just two guys - Pisani and Moreau - over 30 and Dustin Penner is one of the older guys at 25. I think they really wanted Hossa to give them that one superstar up front, but even without him the Oilers have a deep squad that could really give opponents some fits.

I've picked on Kevin Lowe quite a bit in the last few years, and he's deserved it. But, after a disaster of an offseason last year, he's had a very good summer. Although I think the Oilers need to fix their goaltending and improve their defense, they've got the firepower to put up a lot of points. As of right now, I think Edmonton is the most improved of the NW teams and should challenge for the division title next year.