At last night’s Oklahoma City Barons weekly radio show, there was an excited glow about the next couple of weeks, but mainly for the opening series of the OKC vs Charlotte first rounder taking place this weekend. The best of five seemingly favors the team that is seeded higher (or is it lower), and in this case the Barons at #5 will start at home for back-to-back games over the #4 Checkers who’ll get the final three at home. OKC, out of the gate, will get two straight days of bonus hockey in the city. That’s huge for promotions, ticket sales, and overall hockey activity.
But before we get there (series preview, west predictions, etc. etc. is forthcoming), a bit of news from Edmonton that has huge implications on the Barons as they prep for the first round of the Calder Cup.
Courtesy of the Edmonton Oilers twitter feed, no OKC Barons will be recalled to be used in the final three games of the Oilers season. Via twitter:
Coach Krueger says there will be no more call-ups from the #OKCBarons in order to respect their AHL playoff prep for Friday
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) April 23, 2013
Prepare for half the roster to pull a groin, thus making a call-up necessary. Watch, it’ll happen.
The “no call-ups” statement is good. Yet this also means that Anton Lander and Teemu Hartikainen will stay put with the big club likely until the NHL season wraps up on April 27th, the day the Barons will head to Charlotte for Game #3 of the quarterfinals. It’s hard to argue a swap of two from the farm for two in Edmonton simply because the two in Edmonton are the two that belong there. And thus Nelson and his staff will focus on the current roster “as is”, and look forward to bringing back Lander and Hartikainen to only make the team even better.