C.J. Stretch Back With OKC, Signs Second PTO

AHL Hockey: Mar 09 Barons vs IceHogs
C.J. Stretch is back! Photo by Steven Christy.

C.J. Stretch, a guy that really added scoring depth to the Barons roster for a ten game stretch, is back with the team per a second PTO. Keep in mind, that the Barons elected to end his PTO (professional try out) the first time around, when the window of availability could have run another fifteen games (PTO length is 25; consecutive contracts allowed).

In those ten games he had four goals and two assists. His most consistent linemates were Josh Green and Toni Rajala but rarely did those three play at the same time. There was at least one occasion where C.J. was on the right wing, but that was a result of Eric Hunter being a Stockton Thunder center callup.

The “why” of this signing is quite interesting.

First off, today at 3EST is the deadline for trades/acquisitions of AHL clubs. Meaning that from this point forward, Stretch would have been unable to be placed in Oklahoma City or sign any type of contract for the remainder of the AHL season. Only affiliated loans are allowed.

The second point is about need. With Josh Green rib injury still an issue (or so we are to believe) maybe the team is looking for a better option in the moment. Ten games was long enough for Stretch to learn the system, know the players, and for the coaching staff to understand what he brings to the table. For the record, I like Stretch on the wings. He’s a young, tenacious, unafraid type of forward that teams love. Wing would be great, in my eyes, but he’ll play center. I’m almost sure of that.

Centermen who can score are rare on the farm. Primarily with a Lander-less lineup. Arcobello, CVV, Martindale, House are your top four centers in order. Not quite what the doctor ordered. So the team wants a better scoring opportunity from the second line on down, and they’ll get that in Stretch.

I like this late hour get. It’s the easiest answer to your question of center scoring, and scoring in general. Smart move, Bill Scott.

Official Release:

The Oklahoma City Barons signed forward C.J. Stretch to a PTO, General Manager Bill Scott announced today.

This marks Stretch’s second stint with the Barons this season. The 5-11, 195-pounder from Irvine, Calif. appeared in 10 games with the Barons this season and scored six points (4-2-6).

He played the majority of the season with the Ontario Reign of the ECHL. During his 60 games with the Reign, he recorded 62 points (38-34-62) and served 95 penalty minutes. Stretch scored five goals in Ontario’s four-game sweep of the Utah Grizzlies in the first round of the ECHL Kelly Cup playoffs.

Prior to turning pro, Stretch played five full seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League. In 341 games over four seasons, he scored 248 points (85-163-248) and served 342 penalty minutes.