The Oklahoma City Barons officially begin training camp today (Sunday) with physical evaluations. Following a 5-2 defeat of the Vancouver Canucks less than 24 hours ago, the Edmonton Oilers have placed six in Oklahoma City, one in Everett of the WHL, and one on waivers with the hope of joining the Barons very soon.
Three defenders, Martin Marincin, Brad Hunt, and Oscar Klefbom, have been assigned to the Barons, and will indeed skate in the on-ice portions of AHL training camp which begins Monday morning. Also assigned are two centermen in Andrew Miller and Ryan Martindale. Finally, Ty Rimmer who’s had a lengthy WHL career, joins Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy in Oklahoma City.
Placed on waivers is Richard Bachman, who is intended to be the Oklahoma City Barons number one goaltender as well as the Oilers number three guy. The total number of goaltenders attending Barons camp could be five, a number that will likely be thinned quickly.
In a separate, but as important move, the Oilers have followed through with their promise of sending Jujhar Khaira in the WHL with Everett. He had a decent showing, and perhaps you could make the case that his services aren’t needed this year, and that gives you a bit of contractual wiggle room when you place him in juniors as opposed to the AHL. I think it’s good for him. I’m surprised he left Michigan Tech, but this is the path chosen, and he is a player worth keeping an eye on over the arc of the season.
Klefbom is an interesting story. A guy with above-AHL skills that’s not quite ready for NHL minutes, will play a very important role on the farm as he hones his craft. Likewise, Martin Marincin will do the same, but with one year of N. American pro experience in the rear view mirror.
Miller and Martindale are two centers who weren’t completely awful in Oilers camp, with the latter surprising most (including me). Andrew Miller appeared to be lost at sea, but capable of some really good play making. Martindale needed to make huge strides in the preseason, and it appears that he has. In Oklahoma City these two will be important parts of the greater machine.
And finally the goaltending situation. I believe that Bachman will clear waivers, but what to do with Rimmer? The Edmonton native apparently is well liked by MacTavish, how else can you explain his presence this deep in the preseason? Maybe it is a bit of insurance “just in case” Bachman doesn’t clear, but I’ll save my discussion of his potential when I see him play live minutes.
On Monday look for reports from Eric , Patricia, and myself as camp begins in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. Keep in mind that the Edmonton Oilers will arrive on Wednesday in preparation for the preseason game against Dallas on Friday. Likewise, the Barons will leave for Texas for preseason games scheduled for the same weekend. A busy week indeed. Stay plugged in to Tend The Farm for daily updates.