Young Oilers hope this is the year for playoffs

Updated: September 23, 2013, 5:54 PM ET
Associated Press

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Edmonton Oilers have been stuck in rebuilding mode for some time, but the hope this season is that this youthful bunch -- laced with first-round picks -- returns to a place this franchise used to dominate.

The postseason.

Indeed, the Oilers -- a once-dynastic franchise -- has not qualified for the playoffs in seven straight seasons. But there is a benefit to Edmonton's on-ice failings: The Oilers have been able to stockpile high-end talent in defenseman Justin Schultz and forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle.

Many inside and outside the organization believe Edmonton's collection of talent will eventually lead the Oilers back to a Stanley Cup, which would be their sixth. For now, though, a playoff berth would do just fine.

Edmonton opens against Winnipeg on Oct. 1.


Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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