Why The Success Of The Oklahoma City Barons (Probably) Matters

Jonathan Willis
March 27 2012 09:19AM

The Oklahoma City Barons, as of this writing, are the second-best team in the AHL, with 91 points in 68 games and a plus-39 goal differential. If it weren’t for the 20-game winning streak the Norfolk Admirals are on (not hyperbole: the Admirals have literally won their last 20 contests) they’d be the best team in the league.

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Robin Brownlee
March 26 2012 08:45PM

While it's not surprising an overwhelming number of fans of the Edmonton Oilers consider Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the favourite to win the Calder Trophy, most Western Conference coaches think Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog is the top rookie of 2011-2012.

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Robin Brownlee
March 26 2012 04:58PM

Might the most significant free agent signing for the Edmonton Oilers this off-season be an undersized, 51-year-old left winger from Moosomin, Saskatchewan? Could be, if the Phoenix Coyotes don't get Dave Tippett's name on a contract.

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Drafting Defensemen: The Lessons of 2008

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 01:21PM

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft boasted one of the strongest groups of high-end defensemen that we’ve seen in a long time. After Steven Stamkos went first overall, the next four picks were defensemen. After that group was picked, there were still defensemen like Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner and John Carlson available in the first round.

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The Red Menace

Jonathan Willis
March 26 2012 10:02AM

Oilers fans are, as has been noted here and myriad other places, in an interesting position. If the team loses, it does a better job of securing the second overall pick. If the team wins enough between now and the end of the season, they could conceivably slide out of the draft lottery entirely.

One thing that seems to be making it easier for fans is the so-called “Russian Factor.” The consensus top pick in this year’s draft is Nail Yakupov. The likely second pick – though there is some debate on this – is Mikhail Grigorenko. For many fans, that makes it easy to drop down – they want to see the Oilers pick a defenseman anyway, and they really would prefer the Oilers not draft a Russian.

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