Opening Night Roster Shows A Lot of Change

Although the actual jobs won in training camp were few and far between, the change in roster makeup year over year is exceptional for these Edmonton Oilers.

A season ago, Dwayne Roloson was not the starting goalie, Ladislav Smid wasn’t in the opening night lineup (last night’s was his first on opening day since 2006), Erik Cole was a left winger and Fernando Pisani a center.

What a difference a year makes.

Opening Night 2008
  • Line 1: Horcoff-Cole-Hemsky
  • Line 2: Gagner-Cogliano-Nilsson
  • Line 3: Pisani-Moreau-Penner
  • Line 4: Brodziak-Pouliot-Stortini
  • D1: Souray-Visnovsky
  • D2: Grebeshkov-Gilbert
  • D3: Strudwick-Staios
  • G: Garon

The important notes are Cole at LW, Garon starting and Pisani at center. Lots of experience along the blue, but as always with the Kevin Lowe Oilers balance is a concern at the starting gate.

Opening Night 2009

  • Line 1: Horcoff-Jacques-Hemsky
  • Line 2: Comrie-O’Sullivan-Stone
  • Line 3: Brule-Penner-Cogliano
  • Line 4: Gagner-Moreau-Stortini
  • D1: Souray-Staios
  • D2: Grebeshkov-Gilbert
  • D3: Smid-Visnovsky
  • G: Khabibulin

Incredible, isn’t it? Of the 12 men who skated at forward for Edmonton last night, just over half of them (seven players: Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner, Cogliano, Gagner, Moreau, Stortini) were in the opening night lineup one year ago. Gone from opening night 2008 are Cole and Brodziak (traded), Pisani and Pouliot (injured) and Robert Nilsson was a healthy scratch. The blue is pretty much identical and the goalie is new.

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