Part six in a seven-part review takes a look at the teams that failed to reach the postseason and what kind of impact each of them will have on your keeper-league squad. This week, we take a look at Edmonton and Los Angeles.

Patrick O'Sullivan


Edmonton Oilers
Possibly on the way out…
Petr Sykora, Jussi Markkanen, Daniel Tjarnqvist and Jan Hejda are unrestricted free agents in a month. Sykora will free up a ton of cap space ($2.9 million) and Petr Nedved is now off the books as well. With Shawn Horcoff ($3.6 million) and Fernando Pisani ($2.5 million) overpaid, along with Joffrey Lupul set to make over $2.5 million next season, the Oilers are surprisingly strapped for cap space.

The team will be looking to add…
Edmonton will try and lock in a cheap backup goaltender so that they can bring in either a pair of $3 million players – one sniping forward and one offensive defenseman – or they will just blow $6 million on one big star and hope that Rob Schremp and Robert Nilsson earn spots with solid camps.  

General fantasy outlook…
The team has a lot of money tied up in $2 million-plus contracts. Besides the above, they also have Steve Staios making $2.9 million (not a misprint) in the coming season. They have some kids with great offensive potential, but they need to get lucky with a couple of them. Schremp and Nilsson have the potential to form a solid second line with Marc-Antoine Pouliot and put up 60 points each this year…but they could also wind up getting cup late in training camp. With Edmonton’s great draft position this year and next, the future looks bright, but don’t count on big things in the coming season. Ales Hemsky is coming off a brutal year and he can look forward to another brutal one if GM Kevin Lowe fails to bring in a sniper for him this summer.

Los Angeles Kings
Possibly on the way out…
A ton of defensemen and goaltenders: Aaron Miller, Jaroslav Modry, Jamie Heward, Mathieu Garon and Shawn Burke are all going to be UFA’s. Also keep in mind that Mike Cammalleri’s contract is up and he will be looking for a big raise this summer. If he does not sign by September, you can start to become worried – players who miss some or all of training camp tend to get hurt early in the season. Cammalleri has had a couple of healthy seasons lately, but prior to that he was a bit of a ‘Band-Aid Boy’.

The team will be looking to add…
With Jack Johnson playing a full season next year, the team will just be looking for a couple of defensive rearguards. They will also look for a 1A goaltender to push Dan Cloutier (and replace him if and when he gets injured – which is almost a certainty).  

General fantasy outlook…
The Kings will be one of the best teams in the NHL in about three years. With Johnson, Anze Kopitar, Cammalleri, Alexander Frolov, Dustin Brown and Patrick O’Sullivan already on the team and future franchise goalie Jonathan Bernier on the way (three years), Los Angeles will be a force. O’Sullivan, don’t forget, finished the season with 12 points in 14 contests. Also watch and see if the team can bring Jan Marek across the pond. Marek was acquired in the Sean Avery deal and could be a solid second-line winger who posts 60-plus points. Other youngsters on the way over the next couple of years include Marc-Andre Cliche, Scott Parse, Lauri Tukonen, Trevor Lewis and Brian Boyle – all are sure to be NHLers with varying degrees of success.

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