The 2016/17 NHL season is one of unusual optimism in Edmonton. The Oilers will play in a fancy and new downtown building, 2nd-year-man Connor McDavid is on the radar when it comes to MVP picks, and the Oilers have made some changes to their roster in the last several months. After missing the playoffs every year since their 2006 run to the Stanley Cup Finals, maybe this is the season that things finally go right in Edmonton.

On the matter of roster changes, GM Peter Chiarelli wasn't exactly sitting on his hands during either the offseason or the preseason. Long-time Oilers Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov are both out of Edmonton.

Milan Lucic, a long-time Boston Bruin, is the biggest addition to thenorthern Alberta clubthis season. Lucic was the most-coveted free agent and Chiarelli made sure that the Oilers got him in July.

Edmonton's complete October 2016 schedule

It won't be long before Edmonton's skills are put to the test. The Oilers, after a solid preseason, will open their regular season on Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames. Edmonton's entire schedule for the month of October is below.

(All times are Mountain Time)

October 12th Calgary Flames8:00 PM

October 14th @ Calgary Flames 7:00 PM

October 16th Buffalo Sabres 5:00 PM

October 18th Carolina Hurricanes 7:00 PM

October 20th St. Louis Blues 7:00 PM

October 23rd @ Winnipeg Jets 1:00 PM

October 26th Washington Capitals 7:30 PM

October 28th @ Vancouver Canucks 8:00 PM

October 30th Ottawa Senators 9:00 PM

Opening schedule looks soft

The Oilers' October games are not ones that look particularly challenging.

Little is expected of Calgary this season while Buffalo, Carolina, Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Ottawa are touted as fairly-mediocre teams at best. Washington and St. Louis are the standout teams that Edmonton will face early in the season, but at least the Oilers will host those two games.

Of course nine games to open the season in October, only two of which look tough on paper, does add some weight to expectations.

In seasons from the past, Edmonton may have been looking to average a point per game against such a schedule. However, this season the expectations promise to be higher.

Edmonton Oiler Zack Kassian recently spoke with Oilers TV about the vibe in the Oilers' clubhouse:

"Going into any season everyone's excited but considering we have a brand-new facility here and the buzz around the city and the new players we picked up...everyone's looking forward to (the new season) and excited."

There are a possible 18 points to be earned in October for Edmonton.

In my view, a successful start to the season should see the Oilers get 12 out of those possible 18 points. Much less than that and October will have to be considered a poor start for this optimistic team.

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