How the Edmonton Oilers Can Be Legitimate West Contenders After the NHL Lockout

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How the Edmonton Oilers Can Be Legitimate West Contenders After the NHL Lockout
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The owners and the players are at a standstill. Neither side is budging. It looks as though the 2012/2013 version of the lockout is here to stay.

When the NHL eventually returns, whether it's this season or next, some teams will improve in the blink of an eye.

In 2003/2004, the last season before the 2004/2005 lockout, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks had 40, 47, 46 and 43 losses respectively.

Bottom of the standings.

Since the lockout, those four teams have either won the cup or have made significant strides to get real close.

Can the Edmonton Oilers, who have been at the bottom of the barrel for the past few years, even think about challenging for a divisional crown immediately?

Certainly.

 

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