For many Oiler fans this was the year we had been looking forward to. There are many things that provided optimism. The second year of a management team is enough to give hope. Players often siting the different coaching styles as a hurdle. The Oilers young prospects showed signs of improving and this year, if healthy, there is no reason to not expect vast improvement from the team simply from the further development of their current assets.rnrnLast year the Oilers went through three tenders before settling back on their original one. This year that goalie is coming off a gold medal win at the Worlds and has been given the full support as the undisputed starter for the team. Some people say that having a second good goalie lights a fire under a tender and it might. What is for sure is that it is much easier to rebound during a game when you know you have the confidence of your team. Plus it is completely how underrated it is for players to have confidence in the goalie. Anyone that has played at a senior competitive level or anyone that watches a team with a poor goalie, they play a whole different style of hockey. Give them any instruction from the bench you want but they are going to automatically play a smaller box and you will often see players screening their own goalie or others leaving their zone to double team an attacker to battle for the puck. This almost always leads to a shooting gallery for teams that have strong blue liners. I think the Oiler fans can remember this sort of team collapse after Roloson was injured during their last playoff run.rnrnThe Oilers added a great prospect and a strong winger with their first pick in the draft. With the expansion rules stating that Puljarvi doesn't need to use a protected spot if he plays this year, it gives the Oilers an option on wing. They also have 4 strong centers. We have seen the Oilers play with 1 center in their whole line until Sam Ganger came back from injury early. So having the right guys down the middle should help. Doesn't hurt that the top 3 of McDavid, Draisatl and RNH have seen plenty of ice time in the last month and all seem more than ready to dominate this season. Letestu isn't great but he is a good 4th line center that can win draws.rnrnThe Oilers also added Lucic, which isn't an upgrade on Hall but he does offer a different skill set and quite frankly it was better than filling that hole with a current player in the system.rnrnLast season was interesting for some of the Oilers defenders and we should be able to expect improved play from some key blue liners. Klefbom has developed into the defender we all hoped he could be but I don't think he has scratched the surface of his potential. Sekeras had a decent year but was really thrown to the wolves. He was never a number 1 defense man and I think this year he will have less pressure and more success. With the emergence of Davidson giving reason to consider him in the second pairing, was a great boost for the Oilers who before this was leaning hard on Nurse and Reinhart to find their way at the NHL level. Most fans have written these two off but I don't think we have seen the last of either and I think they will be career defense men with the right development.rnrnFinally the Oilers will have the new arena Katz promised in his bid to buy the Oilers years ago. I am sure fans thought that the Oilers would try to add a more competitive team to coincide with the new Rexall Place but it seems Katz has once again proven that the team is only a money maker for him and not an interest like he once claimed. Anyone doubting this, try to buy your kid a hamburger or even a chocolate bar at the new arena ($20 and $5 respectively). rnrnYet there is a cloud over a year which the simple existence of Connor McDavid should be giving Oiler fans hope. We were sold on a concept of rebuilding for the last decade. Oilers having great high picks during this time. The theory was, when this young squad matured, that the Oilers management would do what needed to be done to put a competitive team on this ice. Many argue that this should have been the year.rnrnInstead the Oilers did all they could to keep their team from being a playoff hopeful. I remember reading a comment from a poster on this website. They said that many of them were surprised by the trade at first and "then moved on." A trade that would overshadow everything else done this offseason (Unless your a leafs fan living in your own first overall pick world). Many considering not just a bad trade but calling it the worst trade ever.rnrnRegardless of how you look at this, the Oilers traded their best player for a prospect. Hall just played some of the best hockey he has ever played in the World Championships. He not only showed that he was a top winger in the game, he showcased his ability to play an elite two way style that the Oilers desperately need with their blue line. The trading of Hall, a player who was very clear he wanted to spend his career in Edmonton, was a nightmare for the club in the hockey world. Hall was vocal about how he was treated and many veteran players, reporters and commentators have agreed.rnrnNot only did the Oilers get rid of their first of their first overall pick, their most developed and their best. They have all but given up on another first overall pick in Nail Yakipov. You can argue this is because of Nail but I think if you look at any Oilers writer you will find an article about how poorly the Oilers treated this young prospect. It all comes down to a personal problem Eakins had with him in his sophmore year. Coming of a Rookie year where many thought he was close to a Calder cup, he played only 4 minutes (the second lowest on the team) during his first game and the next couple months only got worse for the player that the team not only didn't develop but they actively ruined their prospect. No other NHL team would abandon a first overall pick like the Oilers have done to Nail.rnrnA kid that still has skill will most likely be traded for nothing and I truly hope he is given the chance to show his skill on his future team.rnrnStill I think the worst thing the Oilers did this offseason was not do anything to improve their blue line. I don't remember a year in the last decade where there was this much talent in UFA, RFA or being shopped for trade than there was this offseason. The Oilers still have cap space and there are still defenders on the market and nothing. It can be argued that the Oilers didn't improve the blue line because of the expansion draft next year. There are ways around that and they could have added rental players. Grabbing veteran defenders like Hamhuis or Campbell could have added depth at a decent price. Even signing someone better and having Vegas poach him saves the Oilers losing prospects like Davidson, Nurse or Rienhart.rnrnSo an exciting season of watching young talent like McDavid and Draisatl is about to start and Oiler fans will never get to see how good the team could have been. After a decade of rebuilding they are essentially starting from scratch.