Originally written on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 11/16/14
The new NHL season is right around the corner. At this time of the year, fans of all 30 NHL teams carry new expectations, new hopes and new dreams. Everyone is a contender. The Cup is a possibility in any NHL city.  However, while a new season injects passion and optimism even in the most unrealistic of places, it's important to remember that at the end of the day there's a harsh divide in talent in the NHL. Someone has to finish last. With that in mind, Sports Illustrated recently released their NHL rankings for 2013 and it's safe to say their placement of the Edmonton Oilers will surprise you.  Did SI really rank Edmonton third because that's what they truly believe or did they do it simply to create a debate and views for their site? That point is up for debate but we'll attempt to stick to analyzing their rankings rather than the business behind them.  The Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers check in at the first and second spots, respectively. Some fans may disagree with them being at the top of the list but you'll find few fans that will object to them being considered two of the best teams in the league. Then there's the Edmonton Oilers, sitting in unfamiliar territory in the list's third spot. When SI last ran their rankings some time ago, the Oilers were ranked 25th. Why such a big jump?  The list indicates that SI considers the Oilers among the best due to the fact several of their players have been competing during the lockout. Their young talent (Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, Eberle) should have little to no rust when the season gets rolling. This logic is reasonable but Edmonton isn't the only team that should have their stars in optimal condition due to play in the AHL or abroad. It might be a stretch to think this point alone pushes the team into the elite tier.  Is Edmonton's loaded offense enough to offset questions between the pipes, on the bench and at defense?  Is the combination of Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin strong enough for the Oilers to compete? How will rookie head coach Ralph Krueger manage his club?  These are just a few of the questions that should have prevented Edmonton from making the third spot on this list. It's laughable that clubs such as the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues and the defending champion Los Angeles Kings all enter the year ranked behind the Oilers, a team that went 32-40-10 in 2011-12. A shortened year may benefit Edmonton's young legs up front, but it's a bit of a reach to think that a team that might sneak into the playoffs in the Western Conference is somehow worthy of being ranked in the top-3. No one doubts that Edmonton will improve this year, but let's keep our expectations based in reality until the team proves otherwise. 
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: 49ers looking for young, offensive mind as next coach

Sheldon Richardson: I'm on the same level as JJ Watt

Kendrick Perkins: Rajon Rondo wanted out of Boston

Report: Jim Harbaugh being encouraged to take Michigan job

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

UNC wearing Jordan-era throwback uniforms

Brian Kelly: Justin Brent gets 'distracted,' is in my doghouse

Five free agent signings that should happen in 2015

Reporter asks Rajon Rondo awkward question about trade

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

UNC rocking Jordan-era throwbacks

Reporter asks Rondo awkward question

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.