Lee Moffie Signs (Apparent) AHL Contract With Lake Erie

It didn’t take long for Michigan defender Lee Moffie to find another suitor worthy of a contract after the Edmonton Oilers passed on signing him sometime around mid-August. Thanks to the good sleuthing of Patricia Teter, Lee Moffie has appeared to have signed an AHL contract within the Colorado Avalanche organization, but more specifically the Lake Erie Monsters.

Moffie is a decent gamble, especially at the AHL level, and if the Oilers didn’t have in their possession a nicely crowded (and young) defensive prospect roster, the Barons might have rolled the die. Instead Moffie will play with the Monsters this season, a team the Oklahoma City Barons will meet at least four times, twice on the road, twice at home. We’ll get an up close feel for his game.

Good on Lee for signing so quickly. I think the Monsters have found a good prospect, and a tad more seasoned one at that even though he’ll play as a rookie this upcoming year.

For your information, the full list of Avalanche Training Camp invites:

1 Semyon Varlamov G
2 Nick Holden D
3 Karl Stollery D
4 Tyson Barrie D
5 Nate Guenin D
6 Erik Johnson D
7 John Mitchell C
8 Jan Hejda D
9 Matt Duchene C
10 Mark Olver C
11 Jamie McGinn LW
12 J.T. Wyman RW
14 David Van Der Gulik LW
15 P.A. Parenteau RW
16 Cory Sarich D
17 Steve Downie RW
18 Andrew Agozzino LW
20 Bryan Lerg LW
22 Matt Hunwick D
25 Duncan Siemens D
26 Paul Stastny C
27 Guillaume Desbiens RW
28 Paul Carey C
29 Nathan MacKinnon C
30 Sami Aittokallio G
31 Calvin Pickard G
32 Kieran Millan G
34 Kent Patterson G
35 J.S. Giguere G
36 Garrett Meurs C
37 Colin Smith C
38 Joey Hishon C
39 Trevor Cheek LW
40 Alex Tanguay LW
42 Brad Malone C
43 Michael Sgarbossa C
44 Ryan Wilson D
45 *Mikael Tam D
46 Stefan Elliott D
47 Gabriel Beaupre D
48 Mitchell Heard C
49 *Gabriel Desjardins LW
50 *Lee Moffie D
51 Markus Lauridsen D
53 *Michael Schumacher LW
55 Cody McLeod LW
56 *Daniel Maggio D
57 Chris Bigras D
58 Patrick Bordeleau LW
59 #Dillon Donnelly D
60 Spencer Martin G
61 Andre Benoit D
62 Troy Bourke LW
63 Michael Clarke C
64 Joseph Blandisi C
65 Mason Geertsen D
90 Ryan O’Reilly C
92 Gabriel Landeskog LW

* – AHL contract
# – Amateur Tryout (ATO)

One Year Oilers Deal For Linus Omark, Barons Impacted?

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy.

Sir Linus, the wizard with the big mouth and big game, has returned to Oil Country after a banishment to Switzerland with Zug. The Swiss exile began last season and earned him 69 points in just 48 games. There’s no denying that once Omark left the good graces of the Steve Tambellini era that we’d likely never see him playing in North America again. Our hunches were incorrect, and the newly hired Craig MacTavish makes a “bold move” in rehiring the winger.

The details of the deal are interesting, and still not entirely realized at this point. We know that it’s a one-year deal, and that it’s likely a two-way offer. You’ll recall that Teemu Hartikainen turned down a similar offer because of his desire to have a one-way deal. I’m shocked/intrigued by Omark agreeing to a two-way deal given the recent history of the Oilers sacking him away in Oklahoma City. Do I think Omark lands in the AHL at some point in the season? Maybe, but I hope not. Speculation dictates that MacTavish has made some closed-door promises that assured Linus he would play heavy NHL minutes.

I’ll let the Oiler’s writers convince you that he will play in the NHL lineup (Copper & Blue, Lowetide, Black Dog Hates Skunk) are good starts), but for now let’s speculate about Oklahoma City just a bit.

You will probably recall that Linus Omark wasn’t entirely fond of Oklahoma City the first go round. It wasn’t entirely the city’s fault, but rather the circumstance. Linus wanted NHL minutes, felt slighted by the big club, remained cranky in the minors. He then moved on to greener pastures in the picturesque land of the Swiss. Todd Nelson, despite a valiant effort, had a difficult time reeling in the talented Omark. Very few will admit this, but while Omark was a Baron much of the offensive play was built around one player. That player was remarkable, doing things that we’ve not seen any other minor league prospect do before or after his time. That made things difficult for the coaching staff in OKC, and the rare appearance of Omark in a Barons sweater has to give meat sweats to a Todd Nelson who runs a really tight, and very productive ship.

Dallas Eakins is the guy in Edmonton, and that becomes a bigger story than maybe we realize. His no-fuss tendencies make you wonder what type of relationship he will have with Omark. Keep in mind, Dallas is capable of wrangling in the greatest of mouths, and various temperaments. He helped shape the game of Nazem Kadri, lest we’ve forgotten.

In the end this is a huge story for the Oilers. Omark went from an asterisk to what will likely be a full-time NHL player. I never dreamed that he would make a return to North American hockey within the same organization that drafted him. Color me surprised, excited, and eager to see him prove the universe wrong.

Omark, The Return

Photo by Steven Christy

The caption should read, “Yes. Sir.” And with that glorious nod of the head, Linus Omark signs a one-year deal with the Edmonton Oilers. Sign and trade, keep until February, or run him like the thoroughbred he is – it doesn’t matter. Today he’s an Oiler! Hey, if Lowetide can post an Omark photo, so can we.

BBG&CS: Blue Moon, Rajala’s Situation, Helmer, Torts, Stretch, and Team Spirit Burgers

Oklahoma’s Blue Moon on August 20th:

“There are two definitions for blue moon. One defines it as the second full moon to occur in a calendar month. Usually, we get just one full moon per month. The last one was August 31, 2012, and the next one will be July 2015. However, Tuesday’s blue moon is a “seasonal blue moon”, meaning it’s the third of four full moons in a season.” — via KOKH-TV and photo courtesy KTUL.com


| Toni Rajala’s situation offered “No Good Solution”

“Craig MacTavish isn’t purging the system of everybody under 6’ – keen observers will recall the signing of Andrew Miller, a player the Oilers’ Twitter account originally listed at 5’8” before hastily changing that to 5’10”. In a summer where a bunch of depth players were cleared out, 5’9”, 165 pound Mark Arcobello landed another contract. So that’s not it – and those who want to see all the small skilled prospects purged from the system had better keep their knives sharp because MacTavish has added those kinds of players and will doubtless continue to add those kinds of players when it makes sense to do so.” – via Jonathan Willis at OilersNation.com

Several other articles on Rajala deserve recognition as well today: Neal Livington’s excellent article Toni Rajala – Realization That Sometimes NHL Isn’t For Everyone (Even the Good Ones) here at Tend the Farm; and Bruce McCurdy’s Edmonton Oilers Release High-Scoring Prospect Toni Rajala (via Edmonton Journal) and his Twitter reactions to Rajala’s departure.

| Bryan Helmer recounts his 20 years of professional hockey with friend Andrew Rodger:

“I couldn’t even believe I was going to a New Jersey Devils training camp to be honest with you,” Bryan reminisced. “To get sent down to Albany, it was the River Rats back then, and becoming a professional hockey player was a big thrill. I can still picture the day I signed the contract. I was so excited!  My signing bonus was $2,500 and I thought it was a million dollars,” he continued. “I didn’t know at the time how much other guys made and I thought that $2,500 to sign your name on a piece of paper was quite a thrill!” via Andrew Rodger, at the NHL Alumni Association

| The Spengler Cup Teams have been announced: Genève-Servette, Rochester Americans, HC Vitkovice Steel, Team Canada, HC Davos and CSKA Moscow were officially announced as participants at the 87th Spengler Cup, held in Davos (SUI) from 26 to 31 December 2013.

“This year, CSKA joins the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League, HC Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga and Geneve-Servette and Davos of the Swiss National League A. Defending champion Team Canada, which was able to recruit several locked-out NHL players last year, also returns to Davos.” — via Ria Novosti at en.ria.ru; see also Russkiymir.ru

| In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or vacationing in Bali and missed the news, the new sparkly 2013-14 AHL Schedule has finally arrived!

 The American Hockey League today released the complete schedule of regular-season games for the 2013-14 season, the league’s 78th year of operation. The season, comprising 1,140 games, begins on Fri., Oct. 4 and concludes on Sun., Apr. 20; each of the league’s 30 clubs will play 76 games, 38 at home and 38 on the road.” – via TheAHL.com

| Corey Pronman’s Top 10 Prospects for 30 NHL teams is currently in progress. If you have not browsed through the team listings and rankings, take a look! Here is his review of Oklahoma’s Matt Donovan (NY Islanders):

 “Year in Review: Donovan was one of the top scoring defensemen in the AHL in his second pro season. He started off the season with average play, but was good from midseason on.

The Good: Donovan is a talented player with a lot of offensive tools. He has the ability to make really flashy and significant plays, as he has top-end puck skills, good vision, and is also an above-average skater. Donovan moves the puck well, can lead a rush, and can be a good quarterback on the power play.

The Bad: Donovan has been used in tough defensive situations, but he can still have notable defensive lapses. He also has a tendency to take ill-advised penalties.

Projection: He could be a quality second pairing defenseman” — via Corey Pronman at HockeyProspectus.com

| John Tortorella talks Roberto Luongo and his family’s Beverly Hillbillies cross country trip with their dogs: 

About Roberto Luongo: “I’ll tell you, from talking with him he has told me he is working very hard as far as conditioning and getting ready for this season. He knows there is a lot of talk and probably a lot of questions coming his way with how it all unfolded here. I think he’s prepared for that and the bottom line is he told me “I just want to play.”

And about his dogs: “Four big dogs, four great dogs. Wherever we go, we don’t fly. We have a van, a conversion van that we bought and it’s like Jed Clampett and the Beverly Hillbillies going across the country. You’ll hear us wheeling in there towards the end of the month when we pull in with our van.” — via Brad Ziemer at the Vancouversun.com

| NHL Analytics & the Minnesota Wild:

 “The Wild are private about their inner workings. All requests for comments and information on analytics were funneled to Fletcher, and he provided only a short interview. If the Wild have a competitive advantage with their analytics, they don’t want anyone to know.

“I think it’s developed over the last couple of years in every sport,” Fletcher said. “I would assume most teams would use analytics in their decision-making process. We’re always looking at stats and numbers and looking for ways to make better decisions, whether it’s signing players to contracts or how we draft players or how we sign free agents or how we value players. It’s part of everything we do.”

As in determining what players are worth?  “Absolutely.” — via Chad Graff at TwinCities.com

The NHL still wrestling with expanded video replay:

“ … there will be a new use of replay in the NHL this coming season. All four-minute high-sticking double minor penalties will be reviewed to verify that the perpetrator’s stick actually made contact with victim’s head. That’s hardly as sweeping as baseball’s plan that will, by some estimates, make 89 percent of all plays eligible for review. But for the NHL, there is still something significant in the small step it is taking. It’s actually a bit of a milestone.”  – via Stu Hackel at SportsIllustrated.com

Sonic Burgers with Team Spirit! – Available only in select locations — “Oklahoma City, Ardmore and Lawton with either an OU or OSU logo; a Smokehouse Cheeseburger will be served in Tulsa, with the same logo options.” — p.s. GO POKES!

“Starting Monday, Oklahoma City-based Sonic Drive-in will be serving new cheeseburgers stamped with an edible logo of a local college football team, including the University of Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. The burgers have local flavor, too, like hardwood-smoked barbecue brisket atop the patty.” — via NewsOK.com

| Iowa Wild’s inaugural Ice:

| C.J. Stretch with Teemu Selänne – the Legend – at the Fedorin Cup in Anaheim Saturday evening. Great photo, C.J.!

You know that place in The Daily Oklahoman? The one between Big Game & Club Soccer? That’s where you may find some Barons coverage. For the rest of the news, check out BBG&CS every weekend.  —

Rajala: The Realization That Sometimes The NHL Isn’t For Everyone (Even The Good Ones)

Photo by Steven Christy.

In November of 2011, defensive prospect, Johan Motin, was in the throws of one of the most impressive six week runs of his pro career. Prior to that time he’d ben somewhat dreadful. But 2011 was different. Johan was driven to become an instigating defender, and in the bottom pairing he was wonderful. Even out playing the twin towers of Colten Teubert and Alex Plante. That’s what made the announcement of his departure somewhat odd. He looked valuable, maybe for the first time in his career.

The rest of the story is simply that Motin asked for a release on the final year of his entry level contract, and Steve Tambellini obliged. He played for Timra in the SEL, looked brutal, headed to SWE-1 with Orebro HK, looked better. For a nearly #100 draft pick, he realized his worth was rapidly downgraded in Oil Country, and he moved on. It was the first time, as a Barons fan, I realized that sometimes players leave because they want to leave.

Johan Motin isn’t of the same caliber as Toni Rajala, but the mindset and approach to the situation are eerily familiar. As we watched the banishment of Linus Omark play out, the choice of Teemu Hartikainen to play for more money in the KHL, and now suddenly the Toni Rajala situation – the realization that the NHL isn’t for everyone is now a very real mantra.

First things first. Toni Rajala was one heckuva player. I wrote about that merely days ago. The best naturally gifted forward the Barons possessed last season (post-lockout), he’s surely someone that NHL clubs want in the chamber. The tomfoolery that is NHL GM’ing has pigeon holed itself into finding players that “fit a certain mold” rather than keeping the very best, regardless of who they are. Short and sweet, if Rajala wasn’t of any use to the Oilers in the near future, at least hang on to him as a fine asset. Instead, Toni chose a different path. Could he really be of no use to your team two seasons from now? Is he not worth the gamble?

The world continues to catch up with Western sports leagues. Remember when US basketball teams dominated international play? I do. These days US teams struggle in the Olympics, and the sheen of gold is often a shade of bronze (or worse). Regardless, there are options out there for players, and the NHL isn’t mutually exclusive when it comes to the best talent in the world. The NHL pool is much more talented than any other league, but there are some fine players residing elsewhere, making a good wage, playing really well. That’s a conversation for people (not me) that know more on the subject.

The head scratching continues on this one, as it does for Linus Omark and to some extent Teemu Hartikainen. Omark was banished, for all impractical purposes, Hartikainen was offered a contract, but chose better wage elsewhere. Rajala’s decision might be a bit of both.

Toni was indeed nearly a point per game player, and was well above that benchmark in the ECHL. He was a much more than average offensive player in the minors. Mini Linus, Tiny Toni, whatever you called him, there was no denying his competitive greatness and his naturally gifted presence on the ice. But let’s be honest, the Oilers found him a square peg in a round hole. Toni was smart enough to know this.

So he leaves the Oilers organization before his time was really ripe. Who knows, maybe he’ll return one day a more complete player. But who’s to say that he couldn’t have become a more complete player in two years as a farm hand.

The bottom line remains this. He was a good player. He will continue to be a good player. He will just be a good player earning a better wage in his early 20’s. The growing trend of Oilers leaving the fold at a young age is disconcerting to some, but I find it refreshing that young people see value elsewhere. They find direction beyond the traditional, yes with the help of an agent, but ultimately on their terms. And if you see as Rajala’s absence a bad thing, then you are simply human. It is difficult watching talent rich folks leave what we know to be “our” organizations.

I think he could have been a great Oiler, but what do I know? Perhaps his swan song was one season in Stockton/OKC, and that was it. I think he could have been of great value to another NHL team, but what do I know? Perhaps NHL GM’s think size, weight, hair color, upbringing, skate lace choices are more important. Any way you slice it, we must realize that the NHL isn’t for everyone, sometimes even the good ones.

Toni Rajala Bound for Greener Pastures?

This morning incredible — shocking — jaw dropping — news was released from the Oilers via Bob Stauffer:

He then went on to say:

And wrapping up with:

Following the buyout, the Edmonton Oilers will no longer own Rajala’s rights. He is free to play wherever he desires, which from Stauffer’s comments seems like Europe.

We will continue to update this story as we learn more details. In the meantime “shocked” doesn’t even begin to describe the feelings for OKC and Oilers fans. Stunned, speechless and yes, incredibly sad here at Tend the Farm. We were incredibly positive about Rajala and his future — see Neal’s recent article about Ralaja. Now his future will just take an alternate path.

Meanwhile, mull this over:

And now this from Jim Matheson:

 

Christmas in August, OKC Barons Release Schedule

Offseasons are a bit tougher if you’re an AHL fan. You look around and see the NHL schedule out – and even the ECHL and Central League schedules – and you’re stuck waiting. Why? Four teams in the Western Conference share buildings with NBA teams and have to wait for that schedule before proceeding with the AHL one. Oklahoma City is unique in that it shares a city with an NBA team, but not a building. But finally the waiting is over, and with bated breath, AHL fans received their Christmas gift in the form of a calendar (we’re really easy to please).

As we’ve already known, the Barons begin their season on October 4th, and we find their opponent to be revealed as the Charlotte Checkers. This marks the first home opener that isn’t against a Texas-based team. The Checkers are once again in the Barons’ division, and that weekend will be the first and second of 12 games between the two teams. The following weekend, the Barons will take on the Iowa Wild for the first time in both franchises history as Iowa takes part in their first season since moving from Houston. In typical AHL-schedule fashion, the Barons won’t play Iowa again until the final weekend of the season, and Iowa’s only visit to the Cox Convention Center for a two-game set.

The other newcomer to the league is the Utica Comets, after the franchise moved there from Peoria. The Barons will only see the Comets in OKC once this season, on January 8th. OKC’s only trip to Utica will take place March 5th, while the Barons make one-off stops in Hamilton and Rochester as well.

Texas teams make plenty of appearances in OKC again this season, with both San Antonio and Texas playing 12 games apiece against the Barons. The Stars make their first appearance on October 15th, while the Rampage make their first trip on November 12th. Abbotsford makes a return to the Barons’ division this year, with October 18th and 19th marking the first two-game set in Oklahoma City. The Heat will play a total of eight games against the Barons this season.

The Western Conference Finals rematch between OKC and the Grand Rapids Griffins commences on February 21st in the state of Michigan. No one-off trips for the Barons to GR this season, with only the two-game set on the 21st, as well as the 22nd. Grand Rapids returns to OKC on March 14th and 15th.

It’s become the norm that there will be some type of conflict with the Oklahoma City Thunder schedule, and this year is no different, with eight games taking place on the same night as a Thunder regular season game. That number becomes nine, if you factor in a preseason Thunder game. Luckily, two of those games are not at the same time, as the now-annual New Year’s Eve game begins at 6pm(Thunder at 7pm), plus January 19th and March 3rd Sunday games will begin at 4pm, while the Thunder starts at 6pm.

A welcome sight are less three-games-in-three-night sets this season. The first of five takes place in December from the 6th-8th, and is followed up by the second one from the 12th-14th. Those six games make up the longest road trip for the Barons by the number of games, with those taking place in only nine days. The longest by time is 11 days with only five games in that span.

All of this will of course be preceded by training camp, which seems to be taking place September 22-29, and the NHL Showcase preseason game between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers on September 27th. The Barons will skate in a preseason game of their own that night in Cedar Park, Texas, and play again on the 28th.

Training Camp Dates Revealed; Remember The Name “Burgdoerfer”

(h/t to @OilFieldHockey for the heads up on this news)

The Bakersfield Condors, the new addition to the Edmonton Oilers family at the ECHL level, has long been on the good side of social media. They tweet, like, plus, instagram with the best of them, and a recent video interview with newly hired coach, Troy Mann, reveals more great nuggets of information.

Coach Mann mentions September 22-29 as being the Oklahoma City training camp dates. Mann will attend and work alongside current AHL coaching crew as they wittle down their lineup. This is in-step with what Coach Nelson has mentioned in early summer interviews, and thus we now have an exact date to look forward to.

Another interesting story to watch develop at the ECHL level is with the twin brothers, Erik and and Greg Burgdoerfer. 24 year old New York natives, the brothers will spend the better parts of this upcoming season on the same roster, but at different positions. Erik is the defender, Greg is the forward. Yet the story goes on.

Erik is a four year graduate of R.P.I where he played 30+ games every season, didn’t score points, but instead loaded up on penalty minutes. 08-09, in particular, Erik earned 105 PIM in just 35 games. That’s a pretty wacky number. His time in Bakersfield, which began in 2009, he added a bit more of an offensive upswing to his strong and sturdy defensive game, yet continued to push the penalty minutes upwards. Coach Mann mentions that much wooing was done to keep Erick around in Bakersfield at least for one more season, and the addition of his brother Greg full time might have helped just a bit.

Greg went the way of R.P.I as well following one season of play at the Air Force Academy. His numbers are, honest to goodness, a bit sketchy for a forward. But keep in mind, he hasn’t played a 30+ game season since his days of USHL play in Des Moines.

Erick will be attending Oklahoma City Barons training camp at the end of September, and that probably gave him the most motivation to stick it out with Bakersfield. Not a puck mover, but a solid passer, Greg Brugdoerfer might be a defender worth keeping an eye on. Don’t expect him to hit the Barons roster from day one, but certainly pencil him in for a call-up to OKC when the season begins. Could he slide into that bottom pairing left vacant by Colten Teubert and Alex Plante? I think so. Could he also be a diamond in the rough ala Nathan Deck, Dylan Yeo, Kane Lafranchise, and Andrew Hotham that have proved incredibly valuable to the AHL Barons? Again, I think so.

More to come on camp, invites, and Bakersfield to come.

Full video of Troy Mann interview can be found here. 

Toni Rajala Needs A Little Jere In His Life

Photo by Steven Christy.

Drafted in 1992, Finnish forward Jere Lehtinen will always be one of my favorite players. Perhaps this is when my love affair with Finnish hockey began. From a high 80’s draft pick to a Stanley Cup winner in ’99, Lehtinen was really one of the most important pieces of the late 90’s blossoming of the Dallas Stars. The obvious narrative is that he was a hard worker, and quite nicely resembled the community with which he played in terms of ethic and demeanor. For me it was very simple, he was a great hockey player. One of the best Dallas would ever coddle, and certainly one of the best to ever come out of Finland. He also, perhaps, created a mold for players who might traverse the same winding road to the NHL, especially for those born, raised, and crafted near the Baltic Sea.

Jere, have you met Toni?

Toni Rajala, the latest Finnish prospect to don the blue and orange, follows on the heels of Teemu Hartikainen who was a vastly different player than himself. Hartikainen, for all practical purposes, danced the fine line between get-dirty-in-the-trenches and goal scoring wizardry. And although his time is done for now as an Oiler, he’s still honing his craft. Then there’s Toni. Rajala is a naturally gifted goal scorer with hands that make Kandinsky long for the boring colors, feet that belong at Julliard, and Mother Teresa like faith in his abilities to strike the net. He’s a fun player to watch, and we could discuss his indiscretions, Oilers lineup potential, and future landing spot, but there’s one thing that will likely always be something that “this kid needs”, and that’s a little Jere.

For Rajala to continue to be successful, he will need to develop the two-way game made famous by fellow country man Lehtinen. Jere was not a big man at just 6′ and just under 200 lbs. By comparison, Rajala is a pipsqueeking 5’10” 163 lbs soaking wet. To me the discussion of size is important, but the bigger issue is game smarts. Lehtinen knew how to play the angles, and although he wasn’t a hulking forward, he was able to panic defenders moving the puck out of the neutral zone. This was his bread and butter.

Understanding your defensive responsibility as a forward seems to be a lost art among kids these days. The lawn, get off. Yet the unselfishness of Lehtinen is what afforded him opportunities for success.

Pull up YouTube, search ‘Jere Lehtinen’ and you’ll find goal scoring tribute videos loaded with quick wristers and shootout glorification. Jere was a fabulous offensive player. But not found in those videos was his keen awareness of how to remove players from the equation without the punishing blows along the boards. He was a master chess man, able to know your moves before you did.

Some might argue that Rajala isn’t cut from the same cloth as Lehtinen, and that’s probably true. Yet there’s a lesson to be learned by all forwards laboring in the minors, and that’s to form a game that is well rounded. We’ve watched Philippe Cornet, Alexandre Giroux, Ryan Keller, and a handful of other players score goals at white hot paces with their time spent in OKC. However, it was the defensive side of the puck (probably among a few other things) that was lacking enough to probably prevent them from long term NHL success.

In 2012-13, Rajala averaged 1.3PPG in the ECHL and .98 in the AHL. The lockout certainly buried him deep in the depth chart, but the reality is that he simply surprised everyone. With the lockout in the rear view, and the promise of prospect hockey again being of the utmost importance in the Oilers farm team, the Barons of 13-14 will be built around the kid from Parkano, Finland. This is a pretty large burden to bear considering he’s not played a full AHL season yet, and he’s only 22. He has the right toolbox, he just needs to add a few pieces to make the NHL jump potentially more legit. Embrace the Jere, young Toni.