With such an awesome history, the Edmonton Oilers' all-time lineup was not easy to come by. I grew up as a fan of the Oilers, so not putting some of the players on the team was hard to do. That being said, I did make this a four-line team and not an "all-star" team.
Jari Kurri Wayne Gretzky (C) Ales Hemsky
Ryan Smyth Mark Messier (A) Glenn Anderson
Esa Tikkanen Todd Marchant Mike Grier
Kelly Buchberger Craig MacTavish Georges Laraque
Paul Coffey (A) Kevin Lowe
Charlie Huddy Steve Smith
Jason Smith Dave Manson
The first line is pretty self explanatory. You need Gretzky and Kurri together and the thought of Hemsky playing with those guys just makes me drool on the keyboard.
I see my second line as a group of grinders and goal scorers. I can see all three guys going into the corner, coming out with the puck and placing it into the back of the opponents net.
The third line is a trio of players who can put the puck in the net, but can also play defensively - someone you would ask of any third line. Todd Marchant is on my team no matter what because of that playoff over-time goal he scored against Dallas on April 29th 1997.
My fourth line I put together to protect Gretzky. I know Dave Semenko did an admiral job in his day, but this fourth line would protect Gretzky so much better that his career would have continued for another five years. Oh. I also think these guys are not just a bunch of thugs either. They should produce some goals too.
The defensive pairings.
My first pairing was a no-brainer.
The second pairing I found the haredest to do. The Oilers have had a fair number of offensive minded defensemen in their history, but I felt these two would have good chemistry and would not hurt them defensively either (unless Smith is playing with the puck behind his net again. Sorry Steve!!)
For the third pairing I wanted a couple of crease-clearing, body-smashing, shot-blocking defensemen and I think I got two of the best in Oilers history for that.
The goaltenders were pretty easy to pick. They have been the two best in Oilers history and, on a side note, Grant Fuhr was the reason I always wanted to play goalie during road hockey. I could watch his saves over and over again!
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