Oilers and Rangers: Can the Two Conference Finals Losers Return Next Season to Go One Better?

The Stanley Cup is the biggest prize in ice hockey, but who's names will be engraved on it this year?

The Oilers and Rangers are two of the most successful teams in NHL history. With a total of 9 Stanley Cups, these 2 teams will always be among the teams fighting for the trophy.

This year, both teams were eliminated in the Conference Finals. The Oilers against the Avalanche and the Rangers against the Lightning. Although the Bet UK betting calculator showed that the Rangers were the underdog in the Conference Finals against the Lightning, we saw that this team managed to extend the series to 6 games. On the other hand, the Oilers have lost to the Avalanche in 4 games.

The last 3 years 

Over the last 3 years, we have seen both teams give their fans great games. However, the Oilers have managed to finish in the top 2 of their division in all 3 of the past years. The Rangers, on the other hand, have not been one of the top teams in their conference in recent years.  

New York Rangers roster

This year, the New York Rangers had amazing players to show off. From star Artemi Panarin, who scored 22 goals and 74 assists on the season, to Adam Fox, who contributed 11 goals and 63 assists, this team was truly great this year. 

Edmonton Oilers roster

The Oilers reached the Conference Finals, where they were defeated by the Avalanche. This year, the Oilers had some standout players, including Connor McDavid with 44 goals and 79 assists and Leon Draisaitl with 55 goals and 55 assists. 

What will bring the next year 

Both teams have managed to reach the Conference Finals in a tough NHL season. Most fans of both teams expect their team to reach the NHL Finals next year. Now, no one can really say for sure what will happen. But both the Oilers and Rangers have created great teams and with some minor adjustments, they could reach the NHL Finals.  

A big part of the expectations for next year also has to do with what will happen at the 2022 NHL Draft. Both the Oilers and Rangers will select their new young players from the final 4 spots in the first round.

Players who likely won’t return for next season

Oilers 

For the Oilers, we start with starting goaltender Mike Smith. The 40 year old Mike Smith has had a season with ups and downs. However, the last few games in the playoffs were not that great, and if we add a couple of weak goals he could not stop, we know why Mike Smith probably will not be on the Oilers team next year.

On top of that, we also have Evander Kane. The 31 year old Evander Kane had an amazing half season and playoffs with the Oilers. However, his stakes are a little higher than what the Oilers can offer him. At the same time, there are a lot of other teams that want to give him a starting spot.

Rangers 

On the other hand, the New York Rangers will not have any absences of starting players. For one, star player Artemi Panarin is tied to the Rangers through the 2025-26 season. Adam Fox has a contract until 2028-29, Mika Zibanejad until 2029-30 and both Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow are locked until 2026-27.

In a few words, the strong team that the New York Rangers have built over the last 2 years will continue to strive for the Stanley Cup.

Wrap Up

Both teams have produced great teams in recent years. This year’s loss in the Conference Finals can only do them good and give them motivation to reach the NHL Finals next year. The foundation for reaching the Finals has been laid for both teams. Let’s see what next year has to offer.

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