It was just the first day of Edmonton Oilers training camp, but it felt like everyone — the players, the coaches, management, the fans out there in the twitterverse — had already been at it for weeks, if not months.

Which they pretty much had in what has become a 24/7, year-round hockey environment in Canada.

Still, on Day 1, there were things like enticing new line combinations to ponder: Sam Gagner centring Taylor Hall and Ales Hemsky, No. 1 draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between Ryan Smyth and Jordan Eberle, Shawn Horcoff with Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark. For whatever that was worth, this being training camp.

At first glance, it sure signified the Oilers deepening pool of high-end skill at forward is going to make for some compelling training-camp competition for roles, and for ice time during the regular season.

You had better be willing to earn it.