What Do the Training Camp Lines Tell Us?

Tomorrow, the Edmonton Oilers will open Rexall Place to the fans who can witness the first scrimmage sessions of training camp for the year. The Oilers have put some interesting combinations together to start camp off, and while we can't hold too much weight on the lineups, one might be able to tell a few things from the combinations, since they were the first to be thought of by the coaching staff.

Here is how the lines shape up to start off the Oilers training camp, and for many team tryouts...


O’Sullivan- Horcoff -Hemsky
Reddox -Potulny -Fretter
Stone – Schremp – Linglet
Brennan – Comrie – Bates
Souray – Visnovsky
Aresene – Taylor
Wild – Bendfeld

Team B

Penner – Gagner – Eberle
Jacques – Pouliot – Stortini
Trukhno – O’Marra – McDonald
Emmerson – Lerg – MacMurchy
Grebeshkov – Gilbert
Chorney – Plante
Nickerson – Young

Team C

Moreau – Cogliano – Pisani
Nilsson – Brule – Minard
Cornet – Paukovich – MacIntyre
Czuy – Kytnar – Lazo
Smid – Staios
Motin – Strudwick
Prout – Dudas

So if we're going to examine these combinations with far more detail than we probably should, here is what I take these line match-ups to mean.

O'Sullivan is going to get a good look at the 1st line LW. The Oilers must feel he's going to submit a boat load of shots on net, (or at least are hoping to) so putting him with Hemsky, coaches must hope a little spark of chemistry ignites.

Penner and Gagner is a combination that showed real signs of life over the last two years and perhaps the Oilers want to see if they can recreate some magic on the same line. Eberle is an odd choice here, but maybe the Oilers want to give him a good hard look right off the bat with some higher level NHL'ers before they write him off as a non-factor this year.

Souray and Visnovsky are paired together, which is not a huge surprise, but an interesting combo when you think about the powerplay. When they often put these two together last season, it was a bit too much shooting on the same side and wasn't all that effective. Gilbert and Grebeshov and Smid and Staois means the Oilers are looking to see if the same pairings from last year are going to be how they start the season and it won't surprise me one bit.

Brule and Nilsson kind of look like they are in nowhere's land, so it'll be interesting to see if this line-ups means anything in terms of where they sit on the team, but Pouliot with Jacques and Stortini sounds like the type of fourth line many expected the Oilers to start with.

Comrie is slated way down, but that could be his officially signing after these line-ups were made or what we stated when we started this article... that it's quite likely these lines don't mean a thing and we really just kind of like to read into things. After all they have Cogliano slated to play 3rd line centre between Moreau and Pisani, and we know how badly we hope that doesn't happen in order for Cogs to have a big year.


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