Ty Rimmer Earns An AHL Contract With The Barons

Photo courtesy of Lethbridge Hurricanes. All rights reserved. 

Ty Rimmer, the little goaltender that could, has spent a rather lengthy spell with the Edmonton Oilers this preseason. Not only did he outplay Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy, two familiar prospects in the pipe, but he has now apparently earned a contract with the NHL team’s minor league affiliate in OKC. This is an interesting signing.

Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy not only have to battle each other for the number two spot in OKC, but now they both will compete with Rimmer. And although he has one game of pro experience, having played three straight WHL seasons with three different teams, Craig MacTavish and the Edmonton Oilers really liked what he offered.

It is entirely possible that a diamond in the rough goaltender like Rimmer could outplay two less-shiny prospects. It is also entirely possible that Rimmer lands in Bakersfield assuming his contract in the AHL is a two-way that includes the ECHL. Most of this nature are. Either way, there are now four very interesting and pretty diverse goaltenders with the Oklahoma City Barons this week. Richard Bachman, Tyler Bunz, Olivier Roy, and now Ty Rimmer – the room is getting crowded.

I like competition, and if this spurns Bunz/Roy towards greatness then so be it.

Rimmer is an Edmonton guy by birth, and he has been pretty successful in the junior ranks. 65 starts a season ago with a losing record, but a SV% of .912, and an appearance in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs, all point to a pro prospect worth taking a chance on.

He told Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal:

“Obviously, management here is watching every day so I need to perform. I need to treat practices like they are game situations, because that’s it for me right now. It’s a tryout and it is an evaluation. We had been talking to the Oilers for a long time and being a goalie, you really have to look at the depth and where I might fit in better. I felt that was Edmonton.”

He knows his role, and what he might bring to the organization, and while I don’t entirely have a good grasp on where he might land, I certainly won’t count him out in OKC. You shouldn’t either.

Linus Omark On Waivers, Tyler Pitlick Stays A Bit Longer

Less than a month ago, Linus Omark signed a one-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers, a team that had seemingly banished him from the good graces of the club for the foreseeable future. The last week of August, had you told me that Tyler Pitlick would last longer in Oilers training camp than Omark, I would have laughed and offered you the opportunity to take it back. That’s where we find ourselves these days. Pitlick getting one more preseason game, Omark on waivers with hopes of landing in Oklahoma City.

This has been an incredible preseason for Tyler Pitlick. The kid has seen quality minutes on the second line, most recently centered by Mark Arcobello. But more than that, he has a new bounce in his step. He is playing strong on the boards, courageous towards the net, and more confident than he has ever been. The Pitlick Awakening comes in his final contract year, and that’s huge.

In a video posted at EdmontonOilers.com today, Tyler said, “I just have to keep doing the things I did well”. Obviously, but this comes after Dallas Eakins subtly sang his praises by giving Pitlick “one more preseason game.”

On Omark, he just wasn’t able to “put up the numbers” expected from a very individualistic type of a player. Even more to the point, he just wasn’t dominate as a single player (like a Taylor Hall can be), and thus he is placed on waivers.

Omark hasn’t played in Oklahoma City since the 2011-12 season where he had two tour of duties in the minors, the first being a stretch of seven games, the other being eleven. In that span he notched sixteen points, kept his penalty totals to eight minutes, and remained a +4 as a pretty dominate offensive player. Something we, in OKC, already knew.

His last game in the AHL was at Chicago on March 4th. He scored a goal. (duh!)

TTF’s Twitter “Must Follows” for OKC Barons + Condors Players

In early July we supplied a list of Oilers & OKC Barons team and media accounts, and we promised to follow up with an OKC Barons Players “Must Follow” list.  Following is a list of player accounts related to your OKC Barons and even a few Condors who just might appear in OKC during the season. Let us know if you have discovered more! (We have not listed private accounts.)

OKC Barons Players + other players who might appear in OKC this season from the Oilers and Bakersfield Condors:

| Cameron Abney

| Mark Arcobello

| Will Acton

| Richard Bachman

| Tyler Bunz

https://twitter.com/tylerbunz/status/381416782306623488

| Brandon Davidson

| Travis Ewanyk

| Taylor Fedun

| Matthew Ford

| Austin Fyten

https://twitter.com/snypen_fyten19/status/376078702947217408

| Martin “Marty” Gernat

| Curtis Hamilton

| Oscar Klefbom

https://twitter.com/OscarKlefbom/status/236482244036923392

| Anton Lander

| Philip Larsen

| Joey Leach

| Erick Lizon

| Martin “Marty” Marincin

| Andrew R. Miller

https://twitter.com/milnerIV/status/381855676550496256

| David Musil (1 tweet — that’s all)

| Derek Nesbitt

| Linus Omark

| Tyler Pitlick

| Ty Rimmer

| Preston Shupe (Bakersfield Condors)

| C.J. Stretch

https://twitter.com/cj_stretch/status/381496716891291648

Coaching Staff and Team Accounts:

| Bill Scott – OKC Barons GM. And yes, that avatar is his Bobblehead likeness. He tweets very rarely – he’s a busy guy. And if you didn’t already know, he is a Michigan Spartan.
https://twitter.com/williamgscottjr/status/256204607464800256

| Todd Nelson – Head Coach of the OKC Barons. He tweets occassionally, often with encouraging words for the boys. Seriously, he is worth following for his motorcycle avatar alone!

| Jim Byers – OKC Barons Broadcaster/play-by-play guy. We really need to encourage Jim to tweet more often. He’s a treasure trove of sports information!

| Oklahoma City Barons Team Accounts

https://twitter.com/BaronsGameDay/status/351516926805151748

https://twitter.com/okcbarons/status/351516924439564288

| Steven Christy – Official OKC Barons Photographer. During hockey season, Steven tweets links to his latest game day and team activity photographs. Don’t miss them!

| Rob Ferguson – Official OKC Barons Photographer and youth hockey coach with a rather fun diabolical sense of humor. Rob’s photograph graced the cover of The Hockey News last season. Any bets which one? If you guessed November 5, 2012, you’d be right! Encourage this man to tweet more often!

And your Tend the Farm Crew — Don’t forget us!

| Neal Livingston — Top Farmer here at TTF!

| Patricia Teter

| Eric Rodgers

Oklahoma City Barons Training Camp Day One

With locker rooms still under construction, the boards absent of any advertisement, and a rainbow collection of practice sweaters gliding swiftly up and down the ice, the Oklahoma City Barons began day one of training camp.

The Cox Center, still getting some final touches (including locker rooms), was a welcome sight for a handful of fans that came to watch the Oklahoma City Barons officially begin their season. The cast was familiar in some regards – Coaches Nelson, Fleming, Thompson were all present and accounted for. Erick Lizon, the square jawed tough guy picked up by the Barons last season, was as steely eyed as ever. Cameron Abney showed some surprising hustle. Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy both were prepping their creases. In all it was a good first day of hockey.

The pace of day one wasn’t lightning fast, but zippy. Drills were clearly explained with little time in between, and only two short water breaks. East to West play was being stressed, and even play along the boards. Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz, and invitee from the CHL Tulsa Oilers, Shane Madolora split time equally at both ends of the ice. Bunz looked okay, Roy looked better, Madolora looked out of place. But in the end, it is day one, few look perfect.

The forwards were in fantastic shape. Skating hard, handling the puck with confidence, and a demeanor of seriousness oozed from their being.

Per Eric Rodgers, here are the offensive practice lines on the first day:

Kessy-Ewanyk-Ford
Nesbitt-Stretch-Fyten
Kerbashian-Broda-Lizon
Tremblay-Schaber-Abney
Barlock-Shupe-Lavoie

C.J. Stretch, the great mustached one, looked like the player we saw in the playoffs last season. Smart, confident, and driving the puck on net. He’s going to continue to be good.

Kale Kessy looked like the Penticton Kale Kessy, and I’m not sure that’s not a bad thing at least at the AHL level. With Cameron Abney and Erick Lizon, the two heavies on the roster, Kessy might fit the instigator role nicely. Something that maybe the Oilers organization is lacking. He’s a long term project, no doubt about it.

Defensively speaking, Oscar Klefbom was in attendance, and looked to be a far more naturally gifted skater than any other defenseman on the ice. That includes Brandon Davidson and Martin Gernat, with Marty taking a puck to the face thus leaving the ice momentarily.

The summation of the two hour and then some practice could be labeled as energetic and optimistic. I hate to say that this might be a carryover from the Eakins run camp in Edmonton, but it just might be. The formula of success now dictates that the Barons be ready for action by the start of the season, both in the AHL and the NHL. MacTavish and crew want those prospects to be tested, and the exam really began today.

News & Notes

> “KP” is on the helmet of every player in camp, and has been done so to honor the late Kristians Pelss. The team will wear them through the entire season.

> The locker rooms at the Cox Center are still under construction, but have been promised to be completed by the beginning of the season.

> Somehow, someway, Oscar Klefbom made it to camp today when the others listed on the re-assignment list on Sunday did not. He got an early start, and boy does he look smooth. Young, occasionally timid, but overall smooth.

> You can’t judge a goaltender by a one-day camp performance, but the going feeling is that both Roy and Bunz will have to fight for the number two spot. Roy is clearly the heavy favorite for this role, but imagine for just a moment IF Richard Bachman doesn’t clear waivers (as of 3:45pm on Monday, no word has been given)? Roy/Bunz. 1/2.

> Good to see the faithful Barons fans in attendance on day one. Reminds me why Oklahoma City hockey is so much fun. We are actively recruiting anyone in this city to join us.

> The Edmonton Oilers will arrive on Wednesday for their game against the Dallas Stars on Friday. With the Barons shipping out on Thursday morning for their own preseason game, there will be no conflict with practice times. Dallas will not be coming in until the day of the game, so again, no conflict there.

> With the NHL coming to town the team will batten down the hatches so to speak when it comes to access at ice level. For those unaware, you can basically walk up, give C.J. Stretch a kiss, and walk back to your seat during a normal Barons practice day (slight exaggeration). That won’t be the case when the Oilers roll in to town. Word has not been given if the team practice will be open to the public, but we will wait and see.

More to come tomorrow, but in the meantime follow Patricia, Eric, and myself on twitter for timely updates.

 

Things To Watch At This Year’s Oklahoma City Barons Training Camp

Photo by Steven Christy. Suit up, Ryan, suit up. 

It’s Monday morning. The new Kings of Leon album greets me warmly as the Oklahoma sunshine escapes the outside world, and taunts my face. Clean shaven, well dressed, and ready to face the Monday that lies before me, I briefly remember that it’s September. The we-are-almost there month on the calendar that aches, groans, and then excites as the knowledge of hockey to come embraces our synapses.

But wait, hockey is here. It’s been on my television for a week tucked cautiously away on the NHL Network, but it’s there. Live video streams fade away, and behold 1080p HD has arrived. The NHL is back, and the season is nigh.

For me, a land-locked Oklahoman, the hockey season really doesn’t begin until the Oklahoma State Fair ends. When I see banners rise in the streets of Bricktown attempting to sell tickets to a non-committal community of city dwellers. When I drink my first Fall inspired latte from the local coffee shop. When I smell pumpkin themed pastries at the local bakery. School has long returned, football is weeks old, a light jacket isn’t considered yet, and when fresh ice returns to an arena floor (which is more suited for gymnastic and bull riding).

Hockey season begins, for me, as it does for most whom live in ice and puck towns. When training camp arrives.

Today, around 9-ish, men/boys/prospects will listen to the bright whistle blow of Todd Nelson, the coach of the Oklahoma City Barons, as he wields the cold steel attention grabber for the first time in the Cox Center in far-too-many months. He will yell names, assign roles, watch, learn, and dissect the play of a group of hockey players who are at the important precipice of their careers. Will they take a step up or will they take a step down?

The goal is simple. Players want to impress. Some naturally are inspiring, while others are a slow burn. Either way, that journey begins today.

Here is what I’m watching at this year’s Oklahoma City Barons training camp.

The Darkhorse

Every season I pick a darkhorse type of player. Season one it was Colin McDonald. Season two it was Philippe Cornet. Season three it was, well, I didn’t pick one. We were too busy being googly-eyed over the “Lockout Bunch”.

This season I’ll take a stab in the dark. My heart wants to pick Curtis Hamilton because I can. I see something in him that hasn’t been fully fledged out. I considered Tyler Pitlick, and that would be a solid pick too. Instead I’m going with Ryan Martindale. The centerman from Oshawa spent the bulk of his rookie season in the ECHL. In his sophomore outing the scales tipped the other direction, and he played 41 in the AHL. Judging from the last two seasons, he shouldn’t be anywhere near the top of anyone’s he might surprise you list, but I have my reasons.

Martindale seems highly motivated in preseason. I realize that isn’t saying much, but remember how important centerman are to the Oilers in the coming seasons. The hole left on the PK by Chris VandeVelde will dictate that someone pick up the slack in this department. Martindale is a quality face-off winner, seems poised when asked to do big boy things, and he is in his final entry level season. Nothing motivates prospects more than the thought of becoming replaceable. Martindale, like a few others, has no choice. He needs to be good. Not just fourteen points in forty games good, but 1/2 a point per game. THAT would be huge for Martindale. While his role might be big on defense, he’ll give a good bit of punch to a third minor league line. Don’t count him out just yet.

The Goaltenders

Craig MacTavish made not buts about it when he pressured the organization into a dogfight amongst prospects. The hiring of Dallas Eakins, his steely demeanor, and his tenacious attitude have further compounded the situation for the up-and-comers that will make the Barons squad.

Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy have not been what most expected them to be, but honestly, most goaltenders aren’t after two seasons. Yet for as much as we fans discuss the two, they haven’t really been made to duke it out in the crease. By default we give Roy the leg up, and his stats suggest this. Richard Bachman will backstop the Barons, but don’t think for an Oklahoma minute (which is looooonger than you think)  that Roy and Bunz aren’t being asked to fight for number two. They are. As they should.

Two vastly different approaches to goaltending – one skilled, surgical; the other cool, calm, casual – the prospect goaltenders in the Oilers pipeline are going to be asked to make peace with being better, both of them.

The Coach

We talk a lot about players in training camp, but this is an important year for Coach Todd Nelson. Passed over in Edmonton by Craig MacTavish for a less successful peer isn’t something that Todd expected to happen. He made it very clear when Dallas was hired that he would be willing to work the process, be a part of the system, and continue farming players. In the same breathe he was disappointed.

A minor league coach with a three year winning percentage of .606 stronglysuggests that he is not long for the minor leagues. But Nelson remains content.

The only head coach the Oklahoma City Barons have known, expect Nelson to have a statement year. He is going to coach his socks off, and if he finishes well over .500 again, don’t expect him to be in OKC for another season. Enjoy him now, he will be in another zip code very soon.

The System

We can talk about hockey systems in the North American pro ranks all we want, but really they all boil down to two categories – offensive and defensive. Oklahoma City has always managed to balance both with a strong consideration for defensive stoutness in net. The defensive core in OKC is young, but very promising. Goaltending will again be good at number one, but possibly mediocre (hope not; read The Goaltenders above). The offense is sketchy on paper. So what does that leave us?

The 2013-14 Barons won’t score a ton of goals, but will find harmony in being efficient. Defense will win this team games.

What things are you ready to watch develop during training camp? Share below. See you at the rink!

Oilers “Thin” Roster As Barons Camp Begins

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.

BBG&CS: Rules Schmules — Jerseys, Helmets, and Nets, oh my!

Many players tuck their jerseys, even in the AHL! Here’s Dylan Yeo — January 27, 2012, Oklahoma City Barons vs. Houston Aeros (Photo: Courtesy Steven Christy Photography. All Rights Reserved.)

| The interesting and rather odd No Tuck Jersey Rule:

“As anyone who has ever watched him play in a game or skate in practice knows, Alex Ovechkin has always tucked his jersey into his pants. While the Capitals winger is prepared to follow the rule, he’s not pleased with it. “I’m the guy who love that kind of stuff. I’m kind of upset about it, but most important thing, nobody talk to us, the players. They think it can be dangerous for somebody. I think it’s kind of stupid,” Ovechkin said Sunday.

Ovechkin is far from the only player or even the only star player to tuck his jersey in. It was one of Wayne Gretzky’s trademarks and something little kids all over copied, so they could be like him. The same is true with Ovechkin, but with the new rule he’ll no longer be allowed to have that particular identifier.” — via Katie Carrera at WashingtonPost.com

| Helmet Rules? Ha!

“Hockey fans are learning of all the new little rules the NHL is implementing for the 2013-14 season. There’s the new goalie pad regulations, the jersey tuck rule and one that affects fighting. Beginning this season, players will be given a two-minute penalty for removing their helmet before a fight. One bout could equal seven penalty minutes for a player.  Brett Gallant of the New York Islanders and Krys Barch of the New Jersey Devils found a way around it before their second tilt Thursday night: both purposely took off the other’s helmet.”  — via PuckDaddy at Sports.Yahoo.com

| And then — New thinner Goaltender nets:

“Interesting conversation erupted after morning workouts at Stars Camp on Monday, the genesis of which was the topic of the new, thinner, NHL nets. Cerebral puck-reppeller, Dan Ellis brought up lacrosse’s triangular shaped net as perhaps a better cage for hockey than the current – all be it skinnier – rectangular net. Ellis was funny in that he was both selling the lacrosse net’s attributes and railing against it. Goalies.” — via Daryl “Razor” Reaugh at Stars.NHL.com

| Where are your former OKC Barons players now? Check out who is going to training camp and who has signed elsewhere this season:

What favorite former OKC Barons player is currently at training camp? — see Former OKC Barons heading to Training Camps via ArtfulPuck. Updated daily as new rosters are released.

Who signed where this season? — check out Where are your former Barons? via ArtfulPuck (updated continually).

Chris VandeVelde recently signed with the Adirondack Phantoms but he is still vying for a roster spot with the Flyers. We are cheering for him from OKC! — via CSNPhilly.com

| And in other Jersey news — Have you seen the Finnish SM-liiga Jokerit ‘s jerseys? It’s crazy, but I love it!

| Helpful list on Twitter from the AHL — 30 Team Twitter List:

| Public Service Announcement: Just in Case you need to catch up with  all 61 episodes of Breaking Bad — back to back, non-stop mayhem — Good luck!

– 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.  –

Barons Release Training Camp Schedule and Roster

(Photo: Courtesy Steven Christy. All Rights Reserved.)

The Oklahoma City Barons have released their training camp schedule and roster in anticipation of next week’s training camp. And as we wait for the bulk of who will be on the opening day roster on October 4th, the roster is currently filled with many CHL and ECHL players all hoping for a chance to prove their worth as an AHL-caliber player.

Camp will begin on the ice on Monday, September 23rd with an entire camp practice at 10am. The rest of the week will see the players split into two groups, practices beginning at 9am, and scrimmages in-between their sessions. One thing to note is the Edmonton Oilers flying into town on Wednesday for their preseason game on Friday night. The Barons don’t leave for Cedar Park until Friday morning, meaning some overlapping of the teams presence on Thursday. It’s obvious that management is trying to keep the teams separated, which leaves questions as to if and when the Oilers may practice on Thursday. Maybe they send the Barons to the Blazers Ice Centre that day, or maybe even the Oilers, but that remains to be seen.

Early on in camp, you can more or less divide the roster into three groups – those that will be on the team, the AHL contracts that may end up in the ECHL or CHL, and the ECHL and CHL players trying to make a mark with somebody that they deserve an AHL try-out. The majority are going to be in that last group, as we’ve seldom seen much of those players throughout the course of the season. We’re going to talk about the first two groups a lot over the next two weeks, and even more over the course of the season, so today we’re going to take a look at the new faces we’ll see on Monday.

Andrew Himelson – D 5′ 9″, 180 lbs., Signed with Tulsa Oilers The shortest player in camp, Himelson is entering his first season as a pro hockey player after finishing his four years at Clarkson University in his home state of New York where he scored 32 points in 112 games.

Jesse Dudas – D 6’2″, 215 lbs., Signed with Wichita Thunder A former 6th round pick by Columbus, Dudas hasn’t seen any games above the ECHL or CHL level since leaving the junior ranks. Last season was his first time playing any more than 17 games in a pro season, splitting time between ECHL Orlando and CHL Bloomington.

Matt Krug – D 6’0″, 230 lbs., Signed with Evansville IceMen Torey’s brother, Matt hasn’t quite seen the success of his brother. Matt has only played in one AHL game in his career so far, with Chicago in 2010-11. He split last season with ECHL Evansville and CHL Missouri.

Joel Broda – C 6’0″, 203 lbs., Signed with Bakersfield Condors Broda is a name that many Barons fans will find familiar as he has played the last three seasons with the now-defunct Houston Aeros. After a full season with Houston in 2011-12, he ended up spending a small bit of time in Orlando last season.

Chase Schaber – C 6’0″, 194 lbs., Unsigned Schaber may sound like a random player, but he should ring a bell with Oilers fans, as he’s been an Edmonton training camp attendee the last few seasons. Taking the step to pro this season after a year at University of Lethbridge, Schaber hopes to re-join his former teammate, CJ Stretch.

Kale Kerbashian – LW 5’11”, 200 lbs., Signed with Allen Americans Kerbashian hopes to establish himself as an AHLer after spending most of last season with Allen. 22 points in 33 games, Kerbashian added 14 more points in 19 playoff games as the Americans won the Ray Miron Cup of the CHL last season.

Alex Lavoie – C 5’10”, 170 lbs., Signed with Allen Americans My dark horse pick of training camp, Lavoie enters his rookie season with Allen after a strong QMJHL season with Rimouski and Cape Breton. In 63 games last season between the two teams, Lavoie ended the season with 96 points.

Wes Cunningham – D 5’11”, 175 lbs., Signed with Bakersfield Condors Returning to North America, Cunningham spent the last season in Norway with Lorenskog, where he scored 21 points in 38 games. In seasons prior, Cunningham has scored at a 0.6 PPG pace in the ECHL.

Preston Shupe – C 6’1″, 195 lbs., Signed with Bakersfield Condors A rookie out of Canisius College, Shupe helped lead the Golden Griffins to an AHA championship last season. Scored 29 points in 43 games last season.

Ryan Barlock – D 6’1″, 185 lbs., Signed with Tulsa Oilers Barlock split his rookie season last year between Tulsa and Texas of the CHL, re-signing with Tulsa this season. Barlock scored 11 points in 40 games with the Oilers last season, going scoreless in six with the Brahmas.

Shane Madolora – G 5’10”, 175 lbs., Signed with Tulsa Oilers Madolora started in the SPHL with the Fayetteville FireAntz last season, earning a call-up to the Tulsa Oilers after their overhaul at the goaltender position. Went 4-1 in Fayetteville, 14-18-3 in Tulsa, en route to a 3.18 GAA and .912 Saves %.

Despite the team’s goaltending and defense being set for this season, with many of the pieces still in Edmonton, these early camps for ECHL and CHL contracted players give them a great chance to get a head start on the season. Neither league’s camps have started yet, and it gives the players a chance to learn from the coaches at the AHL level as well, something very beneficial for the rookies. It also gives them a chance to see what it takes to stick at the AHL level, and there’s always that chance we see one of these players again on AHL ice, either for the Barons, or in an opposing team’s jersey.

Camp runs until the season starts on October 4th, and the Barons prepare for the season with preseason games in Cedar Park against the San Antonio Rampage and Texas Stars. When they return, they’ll have some players waiting for them, as I’m sure Edmonton makes their final cuts before they head back to Canada. Be sure to tune in on Monday for camp reports, live tweets, and more from us here at Tend The Farm.

AHL Rule Changes Coming – Helmets, No Touch, Jersey Tuck

I’ve said this before, but the best version of the American Hockey League is the one where it’s 50% winning fun and 50% prospect development. This sentiment extends not only to the game taking place in three twenty minute periods, but in the front offices, video control booths, and rule departments. Taking the final 50% of that recipe, and applying it to the rulebook, you can immediately find value in having a league where you can test out violations that might be implemented in the NHL.

In a league-wide memorandum which hasn’t yet been made available to the public, the AHL has elected to enact a few rule changes for the upcoming season. Included in that group is the highly successful no-touch icing rule that was tested during the NHL lockout.

Via Paul Branecky, the Director of Digital Media for the Charlotte Checkers:

In addition to no-touch icing, which should be permanent, is the removal of helmets during a fight. In an attempt to protect a player falling towards the ice, I’m assuming the helmet must stay on before, during, and after a fight for the whistle to not be blown. And keep that jersey untucked or else.

More details forthcoming on this matter as the announcement is made public by the league.