Photo by Steven Christy.
Yann Danis, the revered goaltender of recent memory in OKC, signed a on year two-way deal with the Philadelphia Flyers this off season. It almost assuredly was so that he could play number one tender on the farm in Adirondack with the Phantoms. As we cheered him on, anticipated his arrival in Philadelphia, and glanced at his competition, we quickly realized that another recent Oklahoma City Baron and Oiler popped up on the camp roster. One, Chris VandeVelde.
CVV has spent his entire pro career with the Edmonton Oilers, and three of those seasons mainly with the Oklahoma City Barons. The “closing role” he played on the third and fourth line most nights suited him perfectly. His off-ice persona was cordial, kind, eager to please, but on the ice he was a solid checking centerman. The ongoing discourse between who he was, what the Oilers wanted him to be, and how he actually played were of constant discussion. Indeed he had great moments as a Baron, some positives as an Oiler, but in the end, just short of being entirely useful to the NHL Edmonton squad.
Being listed on the Philadelphia training camp roster might indicate that Chris isn’t quite done with the AHL/NHL just yet. That’s good news for the kid with tons of NCAA experience, and three straight seasons of mostly AHL experience. Does he really fit into the Philadelphia system? Maybe. Would he have an impact with Adirondack? Perhaps. This is an interesting bit of info Chris. He was easy to root for while in OKC, and although he switches teams, we still anxiously await his success. Go Chris!
Additional reporting by Patricia Teter