The NBA Is A Blessing & Really Not A Curse

Photo courtesy of Keith Allison on Flickr. All rights reserved.

The NBA announced this week that the season had been resurrected following a tenative aggreement between the players and owners that is nearly a 50/50 split of basketball related incomes along with a slew of “b-sides” that slightly changed the previous collective bargaining agreement. The decision to finally have a season, which begins on Christmas Day, comes with a feeling of consternation. There are some that desperately missed the NBA, but the majority of sports fans didn’t miss the doldrums of an early season. Including this afficianado.

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Winning While Wounded: A Barons IR Tale

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.

Oklahoma City as well as our fair neighbors in Edmonton have been kicked in the shins. Kicked in the shins, and jabbed in the face. No stranger to injury filled seasons, the Oilers organization seems to find themselves in another bout with Mr. Gimpy. Tis the season for the grind of professional sports to wear down even the toughest of competitors. For the Oilers it’s all about the defensive injuries plus one young phenom. Cam Barker and Corey Potter are dealing with ankle injuries that won’t be healed any time soon. Andy Sutton gets the honor of wearing the badge of “first-groin-pull-of-the-season” and isn’t expected to be out as long as the ankle-biters, but out nonetheless. Then comes the jab in the face. Taylor Hall, with an undisclosed shoulder injury that might keep the offensive threat out for nearly a month or more. Ouch. This pushes a ton of weight onto the shoulders of two Oilers goaltenders and a random assortment of minor league up-and-comers.

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The Trouble With Defense

Photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

After a ghastly defensive game on Saturday evening we  started to see a developing trend with our Oklahoma City Barons. Colten Teubert and Taylor Chorney, the two most recent call-ups to the fill the injured defensive gaps in Edmonton, aren’t the greatest blue line prospects, but they did provide some rock solid work in the minors. Like Petry before them, we never realized what we had until it was gone. More precisely, our young Barons defenders are nearing a struggle. A struggle involving consistency on a blue line that needs to be good in the post-November/December second half of the season. The trouble with the defense is knowing when to adjust.

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So Long Motin, Hello Confusion

Photo courtesy of Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

A big atta-boy to to dohfOs and his Swedish Oil blog for digging up the latest story on a Swede wearing copper & blue. Announced today, the Barons/Oilers have allowed defenseman Johan Motin to land in the SEL for the remainder of the season. Playing for Timra, Motin will continue to work on his game, and hopefully up his value. The details are still foggy, but reports semi-confirm that Tambellini nullifed the final leg of his entry level contract, that at the AHL level depreciates in value each season. Motin had long done what he’d been asked to do including suffering in Springfiled, moving to OKC, embracing a demotion to Stockton, and then returning to Oklahoma City. The unfortunate twist to this story is that Motin was in the midst of a fantastic season in OKC despite not cracking the lineup consistently. 10 games, two assists doesn’t leap of the page, but watching him play the nasty aggravator was impressive. He was the closer around the boards and emerged as the most aggressive defensive player through the first six weeks of the season.

So Motin is gone, and so is his tenure as an Oilers prospect. But the head scratching begins.

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The Barons & Oilers Unintentional PR Stunt

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography. All rights reserved.

I’m not necessarily one to give too much credence to NHL general managers when it comes to good publicity. However, the unintentional PR stunt that is going down right this very moment amongst Barons/Oilers players is quite satisfying.

It begins with the move of Colten Teubert to the now road warrior Edmonton Oilers. The kid was drafted from Regina in 2008 by the Los Angeles Kings, but never saw full-time pro action until last season. The 39 games he spent on the farm as a part of the Manchester Monarchs was not too shabby. 58 PIM, 2 goals, 5 assists isn’t all that bad for a rookie prospect. However, when he was tangled up in the Dustin Penner trade, Oilers fans were left wondering just how significant this player was going to be. And as the defensive depth didn’t improve all that greatly in the draft nor the off-season, Teubert needed to be good…or else.

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