hall by ferguson

The dictionary describes ‘defunct’ as “no longer existing or functioning” but I think “forever is a long damn time” should be added for full effect. The Oklahoma City Barons are defunct, a memory, soon to be a distant bell. Putting five years of effort and development into a few paragraphs is impossible, so I won’t even try. What I will do this week (with some help) is attempt to reflect in words and photos the impact of the Oklahoma City Barons on their city and OilersNation as a whole. We begin today with the facts.

arcobello ferguson griffins


  • The Oklahoma City Barons never missed the playoffs.
  • Attendance went down every season
  • Curtis Hamilton played in the most games (208) (All information via hockeydb).
  • Mark Arcobello led the franchise in goals (60).
  • Mark Arcobello led the team in assists (101).
  • Mark Arcobello led the team in points (161).
  • Alex Plante led the team in PIMs (336)
  • Martin Marincin is the only man to play in all five seasons.



  1. Curtis Hamilton 208
  2. Chris VandeVelde 192
  3. Mark Arcobello 188
  4. Phil Cornet 173
  5. Teemu Hartikainen 164



  • G Yann Danis: He was amazing
  • D Brad Hunt: Stunning offensive talent at the AHL level
  • D Brandon Davidson: Nuts and bolts defender improved greatly in OKC
  • C Anton Lander: He should have been there from the beginning of the 2011 season, but had to overcome the organization to have success and reach his potential. Amazingly, he did just that thing.
  • L Teemu Hartikainen: Big Finn meant Big Funn when he was on the ice, skill size and he worked hard on his speed. Man I cheered like hell for that guy.
  • R Mark Arcobello: He came out of nowhere and locked down an AHL job, then he took it up a notch and found his way to the NHL. Amazing story. 

I cheated a little (Arco’s a C) and apologies to Andrew Miller who would have made the list otherwise. So many wonderful names (hockeydb identifies 155 but admit that could be wrong) over five seasons, I feel guilty leaving off Martin Marincin, and Phil Cornet, Chris VandeVelde and Richard Bachman.

This week on the Lowdown, I go to the real experts—Patricia Teter, Eric Rodgers and Neal Livingston—to get their lineup for the all-time Barons, and I’ll burden Jonathan Willis with the same task on Tuesday during his regular slot.

Heartbeats Accelerating

Up next: Memories from Patricia, Eric, Neal and Jon. My sincere thanks to Rob Ferguson for his wonderful photographs, in this post and those you’ve seen over the years. All rights reserved.

  • oilersfan497

    Ever since we won the lottery I check for news about the Oilers 20 times a day. I always try to find news about McDavid, so an article like this on oilersnation makes me sad. I saw a new post so I was excited but it didn’t talk about McDavid, or any other important Oilers (other than Lander for a little bit) so I was let down.

    Sorry for complaining so much though. 🙂

  • oilersfan497

    An amazing run – thank you Barons. And a huge thank you to the fans that showed up, game after game, and a huge boo to the ones that stayed away. You have lost your team, and you helped see it go. There are hundreds of towns and cities throughout Canada and the USA that would give their eye teeth for an AHL team. You had one, and you blew it. Shame on the ones that stayed away, and bouquets of roses to the faithful OKC Barons TRUE fans. May we hope that one day soon another AHL or ECHL team will play in your wonderful city and the next time more people will support the team.

  • Spoils

    The Bolts are the youngest team in the NHL and they are making the finals.

    Stralman – free agent signing (28, 5″11 190)
    Hedman – 2nd overall 2009 (24 6″6 230 lb monster) (25Min)
    Coburn – 6″5 220 (30 years old)
    Garison 6″3 222 (30 years old)
    Sustr -6″7 220 (24 undrafted) (only 10min)

    And the lightning were probably the worst of the 4 conference finalists on D…

    Oilers have one guy over 30 and one guy over 220.

    The Oilers do not have a Hedman on their team…

    So much work to do for PC.

    • filthymotherpucker

      TB is an eastern conference team, so your statement is invalid. I’d say probably 4 western teams could’ve made it to the cup final via the eastern route.

  • YFC Prez

    Sending Leon to the rockets was brilliant. Memorial cup mvp , one goal away from winning it. The whole experience puts him miles ahead of where he was.

    Let’s just cool it with the Sam Bennett comparisons. Oiler fans have been doing this for years with Hall and Seguin and they’re both great players. We have a gifted big center man coming up, a player type that we’ve wanted for years and so many oiler fans wanted to add another player smaller than both Hall and Nuge.

    I’m stoked oilers have Leon coming up.

  • Spaceman Spiff

    Nice piece here, but it’s hard to get too verklempt, one way or another, about moving out of OKC.

    Even a diehard NHL fan will admit: At best, the only thing you should really care about your AHL team is whether or not it’s doing its right and proper job developing talent. Everything else – attendance, the market, the media – really shouldn’t matter much.

    About the only thing that matters is location.

    To these eyes … it always seemed a bit strange that the Oilers would choose OKC, of all places, for its AHL team. Not a hockey market at all. Full stop. The fact that attendance decreased as the team improve tells you all you need to know about OKC. As much of a wealthy, sports-mad market as it is, it’s not Dallas. OKC fans won’t instinctively show up for anything athletic. It’s a basketball/football town with a huge Division 1 NCAA scene.

    In my mind, Bakersfield is almost as questionable. Not sure really how sports fans in a dustbowl-ish region of California will pick up on hockey, but maybe there’s a feel-good story there.

    But in the minors, even feel-good stories don’t last.

    When the Toronto Maple Leafs put their AHL team in St. John’s, Nfld., in the early 1990s, it inspired many a Toronto-based writer to marvel at the folksy embrace that Newfoundlanders had on their team. And, with the team producing players like Yannic Perrault and Felix Potvin on The Rock, it seemed like a match made in heaven.

    But, in practice, it didn’t take long for the Leafs to realize that fans paying $20 for decent AHL seats are far more fickle than the ones paying $800 for nosebleed tickets at the Air Canada Centre… and that flights out of St. John’s are about as frequent as flights out of Casablanca circa 1941.

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    This guy is really having a hard time coming to grips that the Barons are no longer in OKC. I miss the Cape Breton Oilers. I say if it doesn’t work out in Bakersfield, move the AHL team to Canada again.

    • Canadian Hockey Fan

      Abbotsford BC has an amazing arena – they were the Abbotsford Heat AHL for Calgary until last year. Most of the folks in town are pretty pissed off that they don’t have an AHL team any longer. In fact most of the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley folks don’t like losing their AHL team. I hope Bakersfield works out, but remember Abbotsford – just in case…………..

      • Canadian Hockey Fan

        I mentioned Abbotsford in previous posts, but I think it’s pretty much a lock that the Canucks move their farm team from Utica to Abbotsford for the 2016-17 season.

  • Canadian Hockey Fan

    Todd Nelson also did a great job in OKC – when the tank was in full flight the Oilers were calling up and sending down players faster than moisture rises and rain falls.

  • I will miss ‘my’ Barons deeply. I can’t understand why the attendance wasn’t better. It was very good Hockey at a very affordable price. I would get great seats on the Red Line, 20 or so rows up have a beer (or two) and spend under $75.
    When Hockey came back to OKC with the old Central Hockey League, we would have 8,000 or more at the Blazers games. The Hockey was way, way worst, but it was fun. I will still support the Oilers, but it will be tough watching McDavid playing @ Bakersfield next year. (tongue firmly in cheek)