RANDOM THOUGHTS AND A GDB...SORT OF

Jason Gregor
October 12 2012 01:38PM

The Oilers AHL affiliate, OKC Barons, start their season tonight against the Colorado Avalanche's affiliate, Lake Erie Monsters.

As the lockout drags on I'm certain many of you will check out the odd AHL game on the web, go on a road trip (four seats left) or just follow them here at the Nation. Between Lowetide, Willis, Brownlee and myself we will give you regular updates on the happenings in OKC.

Before we get going, let's see who knows the Barons. Can you name the five players from left to right in the above photo?

I'm certain Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall, when he gets down there in a few weeks, will garner much of your attention, I'm much more interested, however, in the progress of Teemu Hartikainen, Tyler Pitlick, Anton Lander, Magnus Paajarvi, Colten Teubert, Taylor Fedun and Justin Schultz. Their development is key to the future of the Oilers.

Hall, RNH and Eberle will be the leaders in Edmonton, but if the Oilers are going to become a legitimate contender in two or three years they will need those other guys to prove they can contribute and succeed in the NHL.

THINGS TO WATCH

  • I'm certain Paajarvi will be a regular NHLer, but does he have the tools to fit in the Oilers top-six? Hall, RNH, Eberle Sam Gagner and Nail Yakupov are the skilled guys, but will Paajarvi be the right piece to fit in amongst them? Will he turn out to be a better 3rd line guy, who kills penalties and chips in with 15-18 goals?
     
  • Does Hartikainen have the speed and hockey sense to play with RNH and Eberle? His big frame is exactly what the Oilers need in their top-six. Can he become like Tomas Holmstrom or Johan Franzen, a big body that is difficult to move and works hard down low? If so, he'd fit perfectly in Edmonton.
     
  • What type of player is Pitlick? He had a slow start in OKC last year but got better in the second half. Todd Nelson will start him on the second line and second PP unit and wants to see him develop his offensive skills. I see him as a possible 3rd line guy in the NHL who might develop into a 2nd liner. He needs to add some sandpaper to his game.
     
  • I see Lander as a vital 3rd line centre who takes draws, kills penalties and hopefully adds some offence. His best attribute is his desire to win. The Oilers need more guys like him; players who will do the ugly little things to win.
     
  • I've said for months that Schultz will benefit the most from the lockout. Nelson told me earlier this week that Schultz looks great, while Eberle was really impressed with his vision and passing skills. He'll play loads of minutes in OKC and should flourish on the PP with RNH and Eberle. Forty games in the AHL will make him a much better player.
     
  • How will Fedun rebound from his broken leg? The Oiler's management feels Fedun's hockey sense is his best quality. Could he replace Nick Schultz in a few years? I see him as a similar player.
     
  • Teubert needs to stay healthy and play consistent. If the lockout lasts the entire year, he could pass Andy Sutton, Theo Pechkam and Corey Potter on the depth chart. The ugly part of the lockout is how many #6/7 D-men could lose their job strictly by not playing. Teubert could benefit in this scenario.
     
  • TRIVIA answer...Ryan Martindale, Cameron Abney, Brandon Davidson, Dan Ringwald and Olivier Roy. I had all of them but Ringwald.

LINE UP

Paajarvi - RNH - Eberle
Josh Green - Ryan Martindale - Pitlick
Hartikainen-  Lander - Mark Arcobello
Curtis Hamilton - Chris Vande Velde - Dane Byers

Martin Marincin - Schultz
Taylor Fedun - Alex Plante
Brandon Davidson - Teubert

Yann Danis
Olivier Roy

PREDICTIONS

GAME DAY PREDICTION: Tonight is the first of four meetings over the next 12 days between the Barons and Monsters. The Barons will start the season with a 5-2 victory.

OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: RNH and Eberle combine on a PP goal in the first period. The Monsters will start Calvin Pickard, former Tri-City American, in goal and RNH and Eberle will light him up like they did in the WHL. Eberle pots two goals and quietly states he plans on beating the Barons goal record of 42 set by Colin McDonald in 2010/2011.

NOT-SO-OBVIOUS GAME DAY PREDICTION: During the starting lineup introductions, RNH shocks everyone. When they announce his name, he takes off his gloves, reaches down to the ice, scoops up a fist full of snow, smashes it in his hands and then tosses it up in the air above his head. The Monsters share the same rink as the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the fans aren't sure if they should boo his Lebron James impersonation or applaud it. 

Meanwhile at the Pint, Wanye is hosting the LOCKOUT PARTY, details HERE, and when he catches wind of RNH's epic snow toss, he goes and grabs some salt and tries to mimic RNH. He fails horribly, and runs to the washroom crying that he has salt in his eyes.

QUICK HITS

  • Why is Hall allowed to go the AHL?  When the NHL allowed teams to send players down between Sept 10th and 15th, Hall wasn't healthy so they couldn't send him down. Teams aren't allowed to send anyone down after the 15th, but due to his injury the Oilers asked the NHL for an "exception status" for Hall. It was granted and he will be going down within the next two to three weeks.
     
  • The main reason the NHL is fighting so hard to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix is because the City of Glendale paid for a new rink. The NHL doesn't want to leave a city that put up money for their arena. The city of Edmonton hasn't done so, and while it is a longshot the Oilers leave, the NHL won't feel nearly as bad because the city has yet to build a facility. If the Katz Group and the City can't agree to an arena deal, I wonder if the city builds ones themselves? Bettman doesn't want a team to leave a market that has funded, partially or completely, a new facility. Food for thought.
     
  • The Oilers AHL franchise record for most goals in a season is 57. Dan Currie had 57 in 75 games with the Cape Breton Oilers in 1992/1993. He had 50 in 66 games the previous year. John Leblanc was the other farmhand to pot 50, when he tallied 54 in 1989/1990 with Cape Breton. If the lockout lasts all season, I wonder if Eberle can become the third.
     
  • Tom Roulston scored 63 goals with the Wichita Wind in the CHL in 1980/1981, which was equivalent to the AHL. So he could have record, but he wasn't in the AHL.
     
  • Do you know an amateur coach who does an excellent job and should be recognized? If so, send me an email to gregor@theteam1260.com and tell me what makes them so great. We have lots of excellent coaches who donate their time and make sports enjoyable for kids. Each Friday on my show we honour our Elite Sportswear Coach of the Week. They get lots of great stuff from Elite and an interview on the show. It doesn't matter which sport they coach, just tell me what makes them so special. It is nice to see volunteer coaches recognized for their hard work.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#1 Puritania
October 12 2012, 12:16PM
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When did the Barons players do a photoshoot during a Coyotes game?

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#2 David S
October 12 2012, 12:16PM
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Who cares about random guys in Barons Jerseys? What we NEED to know is who that Octane beauty is. Yesssss! *Fistpump*

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#3 Quicksilver ballet
October 12 2012, 11:32AM
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Left to right.

Lawyer,Fireman,EMS technician,Policeman,Dominos Pizza franchise owner.

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#4 match16
October 12 2012, 12:55PM
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David S wrote:

Who cares about random guys in Barons Jerseys? What we NEED to know is who that Octane beauty is. Yesssss! *Fistpump*

Catriona, the ONLY octane beauty... where have you been?

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#5 Harlie
October 12 2012, 11:29AM
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from left to right...

Skinny Bubbles without the Glasses Raj Sherman That JTT kid from Home Improvement James Van Der Beek Nicholas Cage

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#6 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 12 2012, 12:37PM
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If OKC can't get the fans in with a lineup like that then this should be the last year there.

That is one solid lineup.

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#7 Hat Pughes
October 12 2012, 03:00PM
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"Curls get the girls" huh....lmao

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#8 oiler/hab
October 12 2012, 03:29PM
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HEY THERE DIEHARDS!!!!

The game can be seen at

http://atdhenet.tv/index.html

so..there!!!

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#9 dessert1111
October 12 2012, 04:44PM
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I'm skeptical if the atdhe stream will work, but there is also this one that I think will: http://www.thefirstrow.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html

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#10 billylikestodrinksoda
October 12 2012, 04:53PM
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#94 sized hole where my heart used to be... wrote:

ATDHE only has KHL games, at least thats what it shows when i checked ATDHE earlier and also the direct link to the hockey page that u gave, i cant seem to find anywhere that will stream the AHL for free

http://www.thefirstrow.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html

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#11 dessert1111
October 12 2012, 11:12AM
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You got the third line right winger as Tyrvainen, he's hurt and Arcobello's slotted there instead.

Thanks for the OKC articles and hope you keep them coming :)

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#12 Mantastic
October 12 2012, 11:23AM
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martindale, abney, davidson, ???, roy

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#13 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
October 12 2012, 11:28AM
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does anyone know of a good link for the game? i usually go to adhe for sports but i doubt theyd have any AHL games on their site, any suggestions for alternatives to "just googlng it" and adhe???

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#14 geoilersgist
October 12 2012, 11:34AM
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@#94 sized hole where my heart used to be...

there is vipboxsports as well. it might have it since they have pretty well everything on there

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#17 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
October 12 2012, 11:53AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

You can go here http://ahl.neulion.com/ahl/

Slight fee, but good quality.

thanks Gregor, food for thought, but I'm a "starving student" so i cant really afford a game package, unfortunately I'm looking for a link among the more illegal variety

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#18 The Soup Fascist
October 12 2012, 12:46PM
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David S wrote:

Who cares about random guys in Barons Jerseys? What we NEED to know is who that Octane beauty is. Yesssss! *Fistpump*

Or the jeans / high heels in the background - mercy!

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#19 Archaeologuy
October 12 2012, 12:52PM
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martindale-abney-davidson-ringwald-roy

Dang, I answered before I scrolled down to see you answered. I cheated by saving the picture and it had the names in the title.

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#20 Morgie99
October 12 2012, 12:58PM
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kidgloves wrote: I've been watching the khl since the season started, and like I stated in an earlier post it is some damn entertaining hockey everybody is fast everyone can dangle its a very up tempo style played by all teams. I haven't seen a boring game yet the nhl should be wary this league is at par with the nhl. nhl players don't stick out as better and in fact a few (evander kane) have looked down right average in this league...on a side note I saw babchuk play in a game and although his offensive side looked terrible he played well defensive taking the body on more than a few occasions and creaming a guy in front of the net to save a goal...

i DON'T DOUBT IT

CAN'T WAIT FOR A CANADIAN PROVIDER TO START SHOWING GAMES

whoops, sorry for caps

I'd have no problem watching this instead of nhl

maybe that realization is what it takes for the nhl to figure things out

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#21 Will Colford
October 12 2012, 01:19PM
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Dream of dreams progression for our prospects:

Harti becomes the big body winger on our top line that fore checks like mad and throws his weight around. Maybe he doesn't need to fight like Lucic, he just needs to hit and support and chip in offensively.

Paajarvi becomes our much younger Ryan Smyth that can be a key component on a shut down line and PK, but can also jump up on the depth chart when needed.

Tuebert replaces Sutton / Peckham as our hard hitting nasty defense that teams hate playing against. I'm not sure he'll have Sutton's passing or hockey sense, but his mobility should make up for it.

Lander becomes the new Horcoff on a shut down third line that doesn't quit.

Yak is as good as he's looked in the KHL and Hemsky becomes expendable, maybe we can trade him for a decent back up for Dubnyk.

Fedune becomes another Nick Schutlz. Just makes really smart solid plays.

Schutlz becomes our Duncan Keith, and Klefbomb becomes our Brent Seabrook.

Schultz, Klefbomb. Smid, Petry. Schutlz, Tubert. Fedun.

Could end up being one of the best d cores in the league.

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#22 094
October 12 2012, 01:28PM
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#94 sized hole where my heart used to be... wrote:

thanks Gregor, food for thought, but I'm a "starving student" so i cant really afford a game package, unfortunately I'm looking for a link among the more illegal variety

try here ;) http://atdhe.eu/hockey

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#23 #94 sized hole where my heart used to be...
October 12 2012, 01:36PM
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094 wrote:

try here ;) http://atdhe.eu/hockey

ATDHE only has KHL games, at least thats what it shows when i checked ATDHE earlier and also the direct link to the hockey page that u gave, i cant seem to find anywhere that will stream the AHL for free

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#24 094
October 12 2012, 01:39PM
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#94 sized hole where my heart used to be... wrote:

ATDHE only has KHL games, at least thats what it shows when i checked ATDHE earlier and also the direct link to the hockey page that u gave, i cant seem to find anywhere that will stream the AHL for free

They may update it later, atleast thats what I hope.

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#25 I'm a Scientist!
October 12 2012, 01:59PM
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Thanks for the article Gregor! Having these sorts of reviews and updates really helps fill a void!

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#26 David S
October 12 2012, 02:05PM
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match16 wrote:

Catriona, the ONLY octane beauty... where have you been?

Catriona. Mmmmmm...

Wait. What?

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#27 gcw_rocks
October 12 2012, 03:09PM
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I am most interested in Schultz, Martindale, and Fedun. Schultz 'cause he is the shiny new toy, Martindale because of the buzz around him this camp (always had the skill, let's see if the desire holds. It would be huge for the Oilers if this kid steps up), and Fedun for obvious reasons.

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#28 Oilbridge
October 12 2012, 03:22PM
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L to R: Martindale, Abney, Pitlick, Davidson and Roy

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#29 Fresh Mess
October 12 2012, 05:58PM
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The Baby Oilers had a wicked team in Sydney in those days.

Van Allen dishing to Currie was awesome. Currie was big and had great hands, I figured for sure he would make it to the national league.

Bill Macdougal (spelling) had some sweet moves. He actually produced some points in one brief call up to Edmonton.

I really liked Mad Max Middendorf. Guy had a lot of jam and could score.

Pokey Reddick in net. Good team.

Following hockey was more fun for me then.

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#30 Smythyyyy
October 12 2012, 07:21PM
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@#94 sized hole where my heart used to be...

here's a link to a radio broadcast:

http://www.live365.com/index.live#stations/okcbarons?play=2

You can also check:

http://theahl.com/stats/schedule.php

for available webcasts for any of the upcoming games.

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#31 Suntory Hanzo
October 12 2012, 07:51PM
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@Smythyyyy

Or just 630 CHED

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#32 Smythyyyy
October 13 2012, 11:57AM
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Suntory Hanzo wrote:

Or just 630 CHED

I don't think CHED will air every game, will they? The ahl site will at least point you to one that definitely does.

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