The CFL season opener takes place in Hamilton tonight and a Ticat team with some differences takes the field tonight at Ivor Wynne for the last season before demolition.
Looking at the offensive line, the Ticats stick with import strategy with the returning Simmons at left and new comer Dile at right. Dyakowski (Canadian genius) is back at right guard, with UBC product Husband at right guard. O'Neill starts at centre. Hage is listed as backup, but I don't know if he will even dress after a long recovery from last season's knee injury.
Reigning rookie of the year Williams and the finally here non-import Giguere start at wideouts, with second year Grant and non-import signing Fantuz at the slots. Stala is a backup although I'm not sure if he will come on with five receiver sets or six. Brown is back as the non-import fullback, although I'm also not sure how many four receiver sets the Cats will run, but I'm sure he will be in for short yardage.
Burris starts (duh), with Porter backing up and no doubt has the sneak job. Cobourne is back as the running back.
The defensive line is a work in progress and all import. Boudreaux and NFL third round pick Crable are the ends, with the returning McElveen and Rose in the middle.
The linebacking corps differs from last year with Johnson and Williams back and non-import and former Argo Eiben. Knowlton is listed as a backup.
Changes from last year on the corner. Rookie Windsor (obviously a non-import) product Bucknor is on one side and the recently acquired former Cat Tisdale on the other. Bucknor wasn't even drafted as far as I can tell, being signed as a free agent. This is unusual and hopefully he won't be burned too badly.
Imports Smith and Young are back as the halfbacks and import Young is back as the safety.
Congi is the kicker and Australian Bartel is the punter. Hopefully Bartel won't be put in some weird situations.
So five non-import starters on offence and two on defence.
The Riders also go with two import tackles in Fulton and Patrick with an all-Canadian interior.
The Riders have an import wideout and slotback, Harper and Dressler with two Canadians, Bagg and Getzlaff at wideout and slot and non-import fullback Hughes. Durant starts at quarterback with Willy (that's his last name) as backup, with Sheets as running back.
Both starting defensive ends are imports, Hawkins and former Bomber Willis, with import George in the middle with non-import Shologan.
For linebacker, the Riders go with two imports on the outside, Brackenridge and rookie Kromah with 2010 number 1 draft pick Shomari Williams in the middle.
The Riders go with an all import secondary, with Jackson and Graham as the corners, Russ and McKenzie as the halfbacks and Patrick as the safety.
Milo is the kicker and punter.
So that's five non-import starters on offence and two on defence, one more than the minimum. That's usually a good sign.