Ryan Martindale and the current OKC Barons are finding their way after a wild and crazy first half of this AHL season. The NHL players are where they belong–a higher league–and the players showing well in OKC may join them someday soon.

(All Barons photos by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved).

Jonathan Cheechoo has had an enormous impact since arriving and the veteran of both the NHL and AHL is among the leading scorers on the team since the calendar turned to 2013:


  1. Mark Arcobello 14, 5-6-11 -11
  2. Toni Rajala 10, 4-4-8 even
  3. Josh Green 14, 3-5-8 -7
  4. Jonathan Cheechoo 5, 1-6-7 +3
  5. Phil Cornet 7, 4-2-6 +2
  6. Ryan Martindale 10, 3-3-6 E
  7. Anton Lander 12, 1-3-4 -9
  8. Kristians Pelss 9, 0-3-3 +1
  9. Antti Tyrvainen 5, 1-1-2 E
  10. Tyler Pitlick 8, 0-2-2 -7
  11. Dane Byers 14, 1-1-2 -4
  12. Tanner House 11, 1-0-1 -2
  13. Chris VandeVelde 12, 1-0-1 -4
  14. Erick Lizon 8, 0-0-0 E
  15. Curtis Hamilton 9, 0-0-0 -4

Arcobello posted impressive offensive numbers but struggled for long periods during the month plus that we’re looking at here (Jan plus one Feb game). Rajala has been splendid since coming back from Stockton and Green is recovering from a slow, injury riddled start. Cheechoo was an outstanding signing based on early returns, and two more prospects (Cornet and Martindale) are showing signs of life offensively since the gifted kids flew North. Pelss is not delivering above .5 points-per-game but the club clearly believes in him as a 2-way player. 

Note: Chris VandeVelde was recalled by the Oilers today, he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow for the Oilers in Detroit.


  1. Taylor Fedun 13, 0-4-4 -5
  2. Brett Clark 5, 0-3-3 -1
  3. Martin Marincni 12, 1-2-3 +4
  4. Nathan Deck 14, 1-1-2 -8
  5. Alex Plante 5, 0-1-1 +1
  6. Andrew Hotham 8, 0-1-1 +4
  7. Colten Teubert 12, 1-0-1 -6

Barons signing of Brett Clark (in photo with Mark Arcobello) and more recently Randy Jones (who hasn’t played yet) has changed the look of the defense for 2013. Taylor Fedun continues to play well and Martin Marincin’s numbers improved after a long slide in December. Andrew Hotham has been a solid addition as well, but prospect Colten Teubert has struggled in these weeks. 



  1. Olivier Roy 10, 2.71 .898
  2. Yann Danis 5, 5.13 .819
  3. Niko Hovinen 1, 3.00 .903
  4. Tyler Bunz 1, 10.56 .667

Roy had the best run through these weeks, while the starter (Danis) struggled through what was clearly a period of transition. Hovinen (in photo) played well in that blowout game last week and Bunz got 28 chaotic minutes in goal on January 25. Oliver Roy is having the best season for an Oilers goalie prospect in the entire system, but it’s a weak year for the group overall. 


The Barons are back in action tonight (against Grand Rapids) and the roster has turned over a great deal over the last month. Based on recent weeks, we should expect the big names to be Jonathan Cheechoo, Mark Arcobello, Toni Rajala, Josh Green and Phil Cornet up front; Taylor Fedun, Brett Clark, Martin Marincin and newcomer Randy Jones on defense; and Yann Danis and Olivier Roy in net. 

It has been a season of constant change in OKC this season. I’m sure coach Todd Nelson will welcome roster stability whenever it arrives.

  • Lowetide

    Cheech was signed by OKC, What does it take to make it
    possible for the Oiler to call him up ? do they need to offer him an NHL Contract ? Is there any chance of that ? He may deserve a third
    or forth chance ? I still feel he has something left, of course it depends
    on the big clubs needs.

    Sounds like he has had decent numbers in the A.

    And yes, i know he only brings a certain aspect to the game
    and he is not a centre, nor overly big..

    Just asking !

    • Lowetide

      The Oilers would have to do what CAL did this week to get Danny Taylor (the goalie) to the NHL. Sign him to an NHL contract. Oilers did it a couple of years ago with Charles Linglet. Happens fairly often.

      • Lowetide

        It would have to be the perfect storm i would think, but
        deep down , do you think the Oilers, and they run OKC,
        are thinking there is a chance Cheechoo could be of use
        at some point ? He has the experience….

        And if he did not work out, does he have to go through
        waivers ? Right or wrong, i would like to see what he can
        do given another chance.. Look at Souray ? We all thought
        he was done.

        • Lowetide

          I think he’s an extreme long shot. Part of the problem is that the Oilers are absolutely stacked at RW–Hemsky, Eberle, Yakupov, etc and even if you move one guy to LW (as they are now) there’s no room on a skill line for him.

          Cheechoo is an interesting story, it would be nice to see him back in the NHL. However, most of the time a scorer ends up in the minors it is one of three reasons: he lost his scoring touch, his footspeed wasn’t NHL level anymore or he endured an injury that slowed him in some way.

          • John Chambers

            Looking at the highlights of the Barons game, Cheechoo looks like a man among boys. Scores a great goal on a power move to the net. Sure looks like he still has NHL skills. Wonder what happened there?

  • Citizen David

    Not many bright spots on this roster. I’ve always been a Marincin fan. In four or five years he will be a stud. How’s martindale in his own end? Tobias Reider is back on a role. Very much looking forward to seeing if he can make the jump to the A next year.

  • Lowetide

    Martindale scores from Rajala and Curtis Hamilton to tie it. Martindale and Rajala have been playing very well since the new year, but this is the first sign of life from Hamilton in forever.

    Hope he can keep it going.

  • John Chambers

    I’m sorry. There isn’t one interesting prospect on the entire team. They’ve gone from being the most exciting pro team in North America to a forgettable bunch in a matter of weeks. Magnificent Stu, you’ve let us down.

    • John Chambers

      Hmmm. Eberle, Hall, RNH, Yak, MPS, Lander, Hartekeinen, Marincin. Gernat,Musil anchoring the hottest junior team in the country. Tobias Rieder on an 11 game point streak with 12 goals in that stretch. Wow. Stu has let us down? Tough crowd.

      • John Chambers

        With all due respect …

        You’ve cited three 1st overall picks + another top-10 from ’08 still fighting to make the big leagues.

        In five draft years from ’08 – ’12, we have one player (Eberle) who is an absolute homerun, and a whole pile of guys who may never play 200 NHL games.

        After the first round Stu turns into Kevin Prendergrast.

        I guess I’m just pessimistic bc after 6 non-playoff seasons the organization is still shallow on depth. I’m still stewing over the Moroz pick.

        • Skidplate

          After the first round, every NHL scout looks like Kevin Pendergrast – especially with only a five year body of work. Name one other scout that consistently has hit home runs after the first round over the last five years? Its not his fault he had 3 number ones. With all due respect…..

          • Doc Unk

            Look at what st Louis has done since 2005 with late first round and other picks. Oshie, Perron, Berglund, Tarasinko, Schwartz, wait til jaskin comes up next year out of Moncton etc. Zero top five picks.

          • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

            Tarasenko was 16th overall, and the best on that list. Oshie was drafted 8 years ago, well before MBS’s time. We were talking about the the players drafted over MBS’s time – and 5 years is not a lot of time to judge – look at St.Louis’s record over that time – other than Tarasenko (Scwartz may evolve into something but its too early to tell, 1 assist in 8 games this year) they had Pietrangelo (4th overall) and not much else so far.

  • John Chambers

    That is awesome to hear that we have Cheechoo in the system. This guy once scored 56 goals in the big show so it isnt out of the question to think he can be given a shot if things go south. Hmmmmm nice story.

  • Doc Unk

    An interview with Chechoo would be very interesting. I keep reading all sorts of reasons why he struggled and would like to know the real story.

    Your skills just dont disappear over night. One of the suggestions floating out there was he had some sort of hernia issues that affected his ability to skate…….would be very nice to if this guy has any abilities that may transfer back to the NHL.

    He may still have the ability to be a good third liner in the NHL.

    • longbottom/P.Biglow

      I believe I heard an interview with either Tenser or Gregor or both you just have to check the podcasts. He mentioned in it that in Ottawa he suffered a knee injury that took a long time to heal up.

  • Skidplate

    How does Ryan Martindale’s game look? I don’t know anything about him but I just checked and he looks like he has good size. Does he have potential as a future 3rd line center?

  • Doc Unk

    Hey LT, I have predicted from day one that this team wouldn’t make the playoffs however how can this franchise have blinders on and not give anyone a chance from OKC especially if they r playing well. Even if we have studs in any position. We’re .500 and can’t score 5 on 5. That’s been an issue from the start of the season plus constant break downs on our defense thats costing us games. Management won’t make a trade so let’s give players a chance from OKC. Only if they deserve it. Or r we going to blame another season on injuries and say next year is our year.

  • Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate

    The addition of Moroz,Gernat,Zharkov,Reider and others should improve OKC’s prospects going forward next season.How many teams get 3 first overall picks ? And play them in the minors? The GM would be hung who did that. There are alot of teams with their first round picks in the AHL playing top minutes. The Oilers have a collection of 2cd- 7th round picks. Expectations? We develop 2-5 players every 3-4 years out of that group who will play more than 200 games in the NHL.

  • Oilfred

    Can we all agree that the Oil management might know what they are doing.

    We crucified them for not having enough vets on this team at the beginning of the season.

    Maybe they didn’t want people to get in the way of Justin getting his ABs in OKC.

    In retrospect it seems genius.