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  1. A very brief review of what happened in 2016-17: -THE EDMONTON OILERS MADE THE PLAYOFFS. It happened. I saw it with my own eyes. Not only that, but they won a playoff series vs. San Jose before bowing out in seven games against Anaheim in the second round. -Connor McDavid won the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy with a 100 point regular season, and the Ted Lindsay Award for being awesome. At least I'd like to think that's why he was awarded the Ted Lindsay Award. -Cam Talbot played 178 games. I believe that's accurate. I guess when the alternative is Jonas Gustavsson playing goaltender like Roberto Aguayo kicks, there really isn't another option. Oh, wait... there IS another option: send Gustavsson packing and bring Laurent Brossoit up from Bakersfield. Brossoit was solid in eight games played, posting a 1.99 GAA and .928 SV%. -For the first time since 2006, I did not attempt to bludgeon myself unconscious with my remote control at any point during the season. This offseason: -Jordan Eberle is traded to the NY Islanders for Ryan Strome in a trade clearly made to make some financial room. -Connor McDavid signs an 8 year, 100 million dollar contract. -Leon Draisaitl signs an 8 year, 68 million dollar contract. -FANTASTIC. Peter Chiarelli needed to get these done, and while it came at the cost of trading Eberle when his value was lowest, locking 97 and 29 up long term was priority no. 1 this offseason. Random Thoughts: -Defensemen Oscar Klefbom and Darnell Nurse need to keep progressing. Klefbom in particular showed he's a legit top-pairing guy, although being paired with Adam Larsson certainly doesn't hurt. Hopefully Nurse stays healthy all season and is a solid second pairing guy with some of that grit we hockey fans love so much. -Eric Gryba needs to suck as little as possible until Andrej Sekera returns from his torn ACL around Christmas. "I can't wait until Sekera comes back" are words I never thought I'd type, but then I remembered Eric Gryba would get regular playing time until Sekera is back. -Cam Talbot cannot start 73 games again this season. That's absolute lunacy. Chiarelli must feel Brossoit is a capable backup and although I'm just some dude who likes watching hockey and doesn't know much, I'd agree. Brossoit played well enough in his appearances last season that I believe he has earned the backup role with the big club. Now get him some time and give Cam a reasonable amount of rest. -If Kailer Yamamoto doesn't make the final cut, he most certainly will be up at some point this season. Hopefully he can put a bit more muscle on, as he's all of 5'8" and 155 -Patrick Maroon will continue to thrive on McDavid's line. I love Big Rig and hope he's the next to sign an extension. -Oscar Klefbom... still dreamy. Expectations: I'm trying really hard to keep expectations in check. Really hard. The previous ten seasons have me struggling to accept seeing success. I expect Kevin Lowe to appear at any time on my tv, flip me the double birds and scream "IT'S ALL A DREAM, BITCHES!" Then I wake up and see Connor in a Coyotes jersey and poor Hall, Yakupov, Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins looking like zombies on yet another death march to April. But let's assume that this is in fact not a dream. Conference Final is the expectation this season. I cringed a little bit while typing that because it seems so strange to have these expectations and have them be legitimate. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was on these boards claiming that the Oilers had "lowered property values in Detroit simply by playing there." Ah, memories. It's good to have hockey back. Here's to a fun season.