Brandon Davidson Recalled to the Edmonton Oilers

Photo Courtesy of Steven Christy. All Rights Reserved.

The Edmonton Oilers announced today that they have recalled defenseman Brandon Davidson from the Oklahoma City Barons. After a maintenance day today for both Andrew Ference and Ladislav Smid, the consensus seems to be that one of them is hurt enough to necessitate a call-up from OKC to fill in the hole on the left side of the Oilers defense.

This is a great achievement for Davidson, after missing a couple months last season due to being diagnosed with testicular cancer. After recovering and spending time in the ECHL, Davidson returned to the Barons in time for the playoff run and was arguably one of the Barons’ best defenseman during that time.

With the Barons off until Saturday, we will wait and see if he returns in time for the Barons’ trip to Iowa to take on the Wild. If not, it will allow someone else to fill into his slot in an already crowded defensive pool as four defensemen rotated this past weekend, and Joey Leach didn’t see the ice at all.

I’m sure I speak for all the fans in Oklahoma City when I say, good luck Brandon!

Oilers Press Release

The Oilers announced that they have recalled defenceman Brandon Davidson from the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League.

Davidson has two shots on goal and a -2 rating through the Barons’ first two regular season games Friday and Saturday against the Charlotte Checkers. He had one assist in two pre-season games with the Oilers.

Check-mate, Barons Drop Second In A Row To Charlotte

Photo Courtesy of Steven Christy. All Rights Reserved.

Last night featured a rematch between the Oklahoma City Barons and the Charlotte Checkers during the American Hockey League’s opening weekend. On Friday night, the Barons dropped the first of the two-game set with a 3-2 score against Charlotte and Justin Peters in net.  Mike Murphy got the start for the Checkers against Richard Bachman for the Barons. Many lineup changes occurred for the Barons with Anton Lander out after he took a hit towards the end of Friday night’s game, and other substitutions by the coaching staff. Ryan Martindale took the reigns as first-line center between Linus Omark and Derek Nesbitt. His gap was filled by Tyler Pitlick, making a return to the center spot, while Ben Eager, Andrew Miller, Oscar Klefbom, and David Musil also made their season debuts last night.

Things started off rocky for the Barons for the second night in a row, with an early goal coming from the Checkers, but this one came on a power play after the Barons were called for too many men. Mark Flood received a pass at the point from Chris Terry, fired it past Bachman, and gave the Checkers a 1-0 lead at 3:09, with the second assist coming from Aaron Palushaj. We finally saw the gloves drop last night as Kale Kessy and Keegan Lowe re-making acquaintances (they previously fought twice in a single game in 2010), and Kessy coming away with the decision. The fireworks continued as Erick Lizon dropped the gloves with Nicolas Blanchard, and Lizon keeping the Barons undefeated in fights with his earning of the decision as well. Shots were a bit more even on this night in the first period, with the Checkers having only an 11-9 advantage.

It was a bit more one-sided in the second period though, with Charlotte doubling up the shots 12-6. The lone goal in the frame went the Checkers’ way as well, with Zach Boychuk earning a breakaway following a turnover by the Barons. Boychuk was able to get Bachman to go low and out of the way as he put it in the net to make it a 2-0 Charlotte lead. After being unable to convert on a Lowe holding penalty, the Barons ended the second period on the PK after Taylor Fedun was charged with a four-minute variety of high-sticking.

An unlikely start to the third gave the Barons some life, as Tyler Pitlick came in on a shorthanded two-on-one and ripped the puck five-hole past Murphy and got things going for OKC at the :57 mark of the period. For Pitlick, it was his first AHL shorthanded goal, and came well ahead of his pace last season where he didn’t get his first goal until his 21st game of the season. After an unsuccessful power play by Oklahoma City, the Checkers extended the lead once more as Palushaj added a goal to his two assists, scoring on a once-again falling Bachman, and getting a 3-1 score for Charlotte.

Boychuk was charged with a slashing call at 16:04, and this time the Barons capitalized to earn themselves a slight chance at coming back. Seconds before the penalty expired, Ryan Martindale picked up a Taylor Fedun rebound and put it past Murphy at the 18:00 mark. But a Philip Larsen slashing call at 19:28 iced the game for the Barons as they fell to 0-2-0-0 on the season.

Some takeaways from today’s game, Tyler Pitlick has greatly picked up his game from last season, and has already shown he’s going to be a force to reckon with this season. Travis Ewanyk is playing the fourth-line center role perfectly and the fourth-line is doing what it needs to as the “energy” line. Anton Lander was listed as day-to-day following last night’s game. Sounds like he’ll be ready to go next weekend against Iowa, but that remains to be seen. Friday night saw the three oldest players wearing the A’s as the team has yet to name a captain. Ryan Jones, Matthew Ford, and Derek Nesbitt wore them Friday night. Last night, it was Brandon Davidson, Taylor Fedun, and Linus Omark wearing the A’s on the chest.

Next weekend, the Barons travel to Des Moines, Iowa to take on the Iowa Wild for the first time this season in a two-game weekend set. First game takes place on Saturday with a 7:05 Central/6:05 Mountain time start.

Saturday’s Lines:
Linus Omark – Ryan Martindale – Derek Nesbitt
Ryan Jones – C.J. Stretch – Andrew Miller
Ben Eager – Tyler Pitlick – Matthew Ford
Kale Kessy – Travis Ewanyk – Erick Lizon

Brandon Davidson – Philip Larsen
Oscar Klefbom – David Musil
Martin Marincin – Taylor Fedun

Richard Bachman
Olivier Roy

Prodigal Files For Possible USL Pro Soccer Team Names

Doing a quick search on the US Patent and Trademark Office, I ran across two names that had been filed by Prodigal for “Entertainment services, namely, organizing, providing and conducting professional soccer exhibitions and games.” Those two names are “OKC Energy FC” and “OKC Spirit FC.”

Neither really invoke any feeling from me as far as a team name. In a league such as USL PRO, with team names such as “Barracuda,” “Rhinos,” and “Hammerheads,” both names seem to fall short of the bar already set. Energy doesn’t roll off the tongue when cheering, and anytime I see Spirit, I’m only going to think of cheerleaders chanting “We’ve got spirit, yes we do; We’ve got spirit, how ’bout you?”

But I digress, what say you about the possible team names? Leave a comment or send me a tweet at @ericrsports.

UPDATE: I also found that Prodigal filed for the use of “Tulsa Roughnecks FC” as well. Tulsa has been mentioned before by the NASL group as another possible location for a soccer team. Interesting to see if Tulsa may turn into another battleground between Prodigal and the NASL group.

Barons Get Checked In Season Opener

Photo Courtesy of Steven Christy. All Rights Reserved.

The season opener can mean a lot of different things for different people. For players, it may be a new start, a new chance, a new career. Tonight for a lot of people in the Cox Convention Center, it was about reflecting while also looking ahead to the future. Tonight was the first game for the Oklahoma City Barons in OKC since the tragedy that befell Kristians Pelss this past summer.

There were many players in the lineup tonight that were directly affected by it, while others became affected by association. The Barons have added stickers with the initials “K.P.” to the player’s helmets, but besides a moment of silence before the game, there was barely a whisper about the subject. That’s something I would have liked to have seen more from. A photo dedication, a patch, a banner, something more. But alas, that’s just my gripe, and not the subject of the post. The Charlotte Checkers were in town and looking to put a damper on Oklahoma City’s home opener.

The first period began on a sour note for the new Barons’ season, as just 49 seconds into the contest it was Chris Terry going stick side and putting the Checkers up by a goal, with assists from Justin Shugg and Matt Corrente. Eleven minutes later, the Barons were put into an even deeper hole as a shot from the halfboards by Mark Flood made it’s way towards Richard Bachman and his blocker. The result became a fluke goal as the puck bounced off the blocker and was re-directed into the net to make it the 2-0 score. It was a dominant period by the Checkers, as they out-shot the Barons 15-6 through 20 minutes.

Renewed life was the theme of the second period for the Barons. A chance came early in the period as Ryan Jones rushed towards the net and made contact with Justin Peters in net as the puck rolled over the line. The referee was quick to raise the arm on the goalie interference call, despite Jones feeling that he was pushed into Peters. A gathering and roughing calls later to Ford and Corrente, the Barons came out of the play without a goal and on the penalty kill. One of the highest points of the game was the penalty kill from the team. Rolling three groups out, the Barons didn’t give up many chances, but stood tall on the ones that did come Charlotte’s way.

It was fitting that later in the period, Jones got his chance at redemption. A Ryan Martindale shot rebounded off of Peters’ pads to Jones, and he potted the rebound that trimmed the Checkers lead to 2-1, and Matt Ford picking up the second assist. The chances kept coming for the Barons in the second period, but none of them were able to find twine as they outshot the Checkers 18-5 in the period.

Trying to win their first season opener in team history, the Barons began the third with a bit of urgency. A Rasmus Rissanen boarding call extended a power play opportunity for the Barons and they finally cashed in on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play from Brad Hunt to Anton Lander and across the crease to Philip Larsen for the tying goal at 6:42 of the period. The Checkers put away the game at the 14:44 though, as Rissanen wrapped around behind the goal and found Brody Sutter in front for the game-winning goal as the Barons were unable to convert with the extra attacker in the final minute.

If you throw out the first period, this was an exceptional game for the Barons. High marks for Jones, Ford, and Hunt. The play that I saw from all of them in this game, Ford will be the number one PKer, and Hunt has a vision on defense that I think few people have yet to realize. Tyler Pitlick was getting double-shifted in the third period as Erick Lizon stayed on the bench for the final frame. Things to keep an eye on tomorrow though, Lander got hurt towards the end of the game and went to the locker room right after the hit, slamming and breaking his stick on the way. Worries are that it’s his ankle, but we’ve yet to see. Martin Marincin was benched towards the end of the game too, with coach Todd Nelson opting to try Martin Gernat in his place. I thought both were fighting the puck a bit tonight, but Marincin is past the point that he can blame it on rookie nerves.

The Barons lost their fourth season opener in four seasons, but it hasn’t set a trend for any of the earlier three seasons at all, with the team making the playoffs all three years. A quick rebound for tomorrow’s rematch, and I think they’ll have a great shot at going .500 on the weekend.

Barons lines:
Linus Omark – Anton Lander – Derek Nesbitt
Ryan Jones – Ryan Martindale – Matthew Ford
Nicholas Tremblay – C.J. Stretch – Tyler Pitlick
Kale Kessy – Travis Ewanyk – Erick Lizon

Martin Marincin – Taylor Fedun
Brandon Davidson – Philip Larsen
Martin Gernat – Brad Hunt

Richard Bachman
Olivier Roy

Gamesheet: http://theahl.com/stats/official-game-report.php?game_id=1011106

Oklahoma City Barons Vet Situation

If you’re new to the AHL game, or even if you’re a seasoned fan, there’s always talk each year about the AHL’s “development rule” – or more commonly, the “vet rule.” The AHL instituted the vet rule as a way to ensure that they stay a development league, allowing players beginning their careers the chance to play regularly in the league. From the AHL’s website:

Of the 18 skaters (not counting two goaltenders) that teams may dress for a regular-season game, at least 13 must be qualified as “development players.” Of those 13, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL, IHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season.

If that’s a bit confusing, you’re not alone in that feeling. A quick breakdown makes it a bit easier to comprehend. Goalies are exempt in these calculations as 12 players must have played in 26o or less games; five players are allowed that have played more than 320 games, while one player may have played in 261 or more games, but only up to 320 games. Where things tend to get a bit iffy though, is how you calculate “European elite league” game totals into this, and that’s what may affect the Barons the most this season.

We’ll start with the easy ones, with the guys that reach their vet status in just NHL and AHL games.

Player NHL AHL Total
Ford 0 274 274
R.Hamilton 12 421 433
Jones 282 44 326
Nesbitt 0 320 320
Eager 400 132 532

Ford and Nesbitt are bolded as they would both fit into the “exempt” slot, and I added Eager for the chance that he clears waivers today and ends up in Oklahoma City. With this group here though, the Barons would fall easily into compliance with the vet rule, having five players that fit into the 261+ range. However, it’s the Europeans that have played professionally before hitting North America that may cause some issues with that.

Player NHL AHL Europe Total
Larsen 95 66 116 277
Lander 67 61 177 305
Omark 65 46 281 392

Now the Barons sit with eight players above the 261 games mark. With multiple players eligible for the exempt slot, the Barons would easily be able to field six vets per game, but that means that two will be sitting out each game as well. Even if Eager is claimed before clearing waivers, that still leaves one player in the press box each game, which is the same situation that saw the need for Shawn Belle to be traded during the 2010-11 season. It was the lines in practice on Wednesday morning that made me wonder about all this though.

OmarkLanderNesbitt
Hamilton-Martindale-Ford
Jones-Stretch-Pitlick
Kessy-Ewanyk-Tremblay

Vets bolded, that’s your six spots right there, leaving no room for Larsen on defense. Decisions are obviously needed to be made as far as who sits this weekend against Charlotte, barring any differences in what the league counts as a “European elite league” game.

Bunz and Rimmer Sent Away, Roy Remains in OKC; Klefbom Hurt in Practice

News came out today regarding the Oklahoma City Barons goaltending situation. With four bodies on the roster and opening day fast approaching, decisions were needing to be made. With the surprise of Ty Rimmer being signed to an AHL deal with the Barons, there was some debate on whether the draft picks of Tyler Bunz and Olivier Roy were seeing their time in the Oilers organization coming to an end.

For Roy, he’s on the final year of his entry level deal and has fallen a bit short of expectations on where he was going to be at this point of his career. Many had pegged him as taking over the reigns for the Barons this season, but hasn’t quite shown the ability to do so just yet. Bunz began his professional career last season with the Stockton Thunder and had an extreme roller coaster of a season – seemingly unbeatable at one point, right to an extremely rough stretch that had many people wondering. Add in Rimmer, and there was sure to be a goaltending battle during training camp.

Today, we find out that Bunz is on his way to Bakersfield, California and will be with the Condors of the ECHL in the first year of a new affiliation agreement with the winged team. While Ty Rimmer will head to Illinois and join the Quad City Mallards of the Central Hockey League, in a bit of a puzzling move, with Quad City signed on this season to be the CHL affiliate of the Minnesota and Iowa Wild. Whether or not that agreement included a goalie however (as they’re still affiliated with the ECHL Orlando Solar Bears as well), is debatable.

This gives the backup AHL spot to Olivier Roy, which is where he began last season as well, but later lost it to Niko Hovinen. Once Roy returned to the ECHL for the latter half of the season, he out-performed Bunz, and certainly made a case for himself to get one more chance – one he’ll need to seize in his final contract year. The debate now turns to how much time Roy will see in net, with starter Richard Bachman taking the starting goaltending reigns in Oklahoma City in this new “development over winning” mantra of the Oilers farm system.

During practice today, the team was focusing on power play and penalty kill through most of the session. During one of the reps, defenseman Oscar Klefbom took a shot right to the ankle, and landed in a heap on the ice in extreme pain. Luckily following practice, he was walking around with just tape around the ankle, and putting weight on it as well. Plagued by injuries the last two seasons, it would be tough for him to lose another big chunk of a season but I don’t imagine this will cause any long period of absence.

 

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.

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.

Second Round Draft Picks And Beyond, How Many Have Lasted In The NHL?

Much has been said in Edmonton about the lack of players to graduate from the Oklahoma City Barons to the Oilers. The latest stoke of the fire came as Teemu Hartikainen opted to head overseas to Russia, this coming as he was a Restricted Free Agent and looking to gain a one-way contract with Edmonton.

The folks over at Copper & Blue are currently in the midst of their “Top 25 Under 25” countdown, with Hartikainen coming in at number 11. In their discussion, the point was made that the Oilers have only had two draftees – that weren’t drafted in the 1st round – play in 200 or more NHL games. That made me wonder how other teams throughout the NHL have done in that area as well.

“….the Oilers haven’t had a non-first round pick make it to 200 games in the NHL since Stortini & Brodziak in 2003…. players taken a decade ago.”

I started in that 2003 draft year and went through the 2009 draft to see how many non-first rounders have hit 200 games. (Only Tyler Seguin has hit 200 games from the 2010 draft class). This doesn’t count whether they’ve played those games with the same team, this is just NHL games in general.

Some stats:

  • 120 players total have made it to 200+ games.
  • 28 teams have had at least a single player hit 200+ games, 27 have had more than one.
  • The two teams that had zero players since 2003 were New Jersey and Washington. New Jersey’s last player was Cam Janssen in 2002. Washington’s was Johnny Oduya in 2001.
  • Montreal leads the way with nine players. Since the 2003-04 season, they’ve made it to the Conference Finals once and lost.
  • Only 10 teams have had a player drafted in 2007 or later hit 200+ games. The number jumps to 16 when you add in the 2006 class.
  • Philadelphia joins Edmonton as having their latest player hit 200+ games drafted in 2003.
  • Four of the last five Stanley Cup winners have drafted 5 or more players that hit 200+. Los Angeles is the lone exception
  • For those same four teams (BOS, CHI, DET, PIT), their latest pick to do so was drafted in either 2005 or 2006.

Looking over the list of teams and their 2nd round or higher picks, it’s pretty evident that while it may or may not reflect well on your amateur scout staff in finding NHL-quality talent, your non-first round picks don’t have much of a direct bearing on your franchise’s success. Montreal(9) and Boston(8) have a similar number of picks reaching the 200+ mark, but Boston has won a Cup, while Montreal is still trying to get over the hump to the Finals. Philadelphia is in the exact same boat as Edmonton, having lost a Stanley Cup Final since the 2003-04 season, only the Flyers have done it more recently.

But while it doesn’t have much value outside the front office, it’s still interesting to see how your team drafts. I’ve included the breakdown below, any surprises jump out at you?

Breakdown:

Montreal – 9 players: Maxim Lapierre (2003), Ryan O’Byrne (2003), Jaroslav Halak (2003), Mikhail Grabovski (2004), Mark Streit (2004), Guillaume Latendresse (2005), Matt D’Agostini (2005), Sergei Kostitsyn (2005), P.K. Subban (2007)

Boston – 8 players: Patrice Bergeron (2003), Nate Thompson (2003), David Krejci (2004), Kris Versteeg (2004), Matt Hunwick (2004), Vladimir Sobotka (2005), Milan Lucic (2006), Brad Marchand (2006)

Nashville – 7 players: Kevin Klein (2003), Shea Weber (2003), Mike Santorelli (2004), Pekka Rinne (2004), Cody Franson (2005), Patric Hornqvist (2005), Nick Spaling (2007)

Columbus – 6 players: Dan Fritsche (2003), Marc Methot (2003), Kris Russell (2005), Jared Boll (2005), Steve Mason (2006), Derek Dorsett (2006)

Dallas – 6 players: Loui Eriksson (2003), B.J. Crombeen (2003), Nicklas Grossman (2004), James Neal (2005), Tom Wandell (2005), Jamie Benn (2007)

Detroit – 6 players: Jimmy Howard (2003), Kyle Quincey (2003), Johan Franzen (2004), Justin Abdelkader (2005), Darren Helm (2005), Shawn Matthias (2006)

NY Rangers – 6 players: Nigel Dawes (2003), Brandon Dubinsky (2004), Ryan Callahan (2004), Tom Pyatt (2005), Artem Anisimov (2006), Derek Stepan (2008)

San Jose – 6 players: Matt Carle (2003), Joe Pavelski (2003), Torrey Mitchell (2004), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2005), Jamie McGinn (2006), Jason Demers (2008)

Buffalo – 5 players: Clarke MacArthur (2003), Jan Hejda (2003), Andrej Sekera (2004), Patrick Kaleta (2004), Chris Butler (2005)

Chicago – 5 players: Dustin Byfuglien (2003), Dave Bolland (2004), Bryan Bickell (2004), Troy Brouwer (2004), Niklas Hjalmarson (2005)

Colorado – 5 players: Brad Richardson (2003), David Jones (2003), Paul Stastny (2005), T.J. Galiardi (2007), Ryan O’Reilly (2009)

NY Islanders – 5 players: Bruno Gervais (2003), Blake Comeau (2004), Chris Campoli (2004), Andrew MacDonald (2006), Matt Martin (2008)

Pittsburgh – 5 players: Daniel Carcillo (2003), Matt Moulson (2003), Alex Goligoski (2004), Tyler Kennedy (2004), Kris Letang (2005)

Toronto – 5 players: John Mitchell (2003), Anton Stralman (2005), Nikolai Kulemin (2006), Viktor Stalberg (2006), Carl Gunnarsson (2007)

Anaheim – 4 players: Drew Miller (2003), Shane O’Brien (2003), Tim Brent (2004), Matt Belesky (2006)

Vancouver – 4 players: Alexander Edler (2004), Mike Brown (2004), Jannik Hansen (2004), Mason Raymond (2005)

Calgary – 3 players: Brandon Prust (2004), Dustin Boyd (2004), Adam Pardy (2004)

Florida – 3 players: Kamil Kreps (2003), Tanner Glass (2003), David Booth (2004)

Los Angeles – 3 players: Jonathan Quick (2005), Wayne Simmonds (2007), Kyle Clifford (2009)

Minnesota – 3 players: Patrick O’Sullivan (2003), Ryan Jones (2004), Cal Clutterbuck (2006)

St. Louis – 3 players: David Backes (2003), Lee Stempniak (2003), Roman Polak (2004)

Atlanta/Winnipeg – 2 players: Tobias Enstrom (2003), Ondrej Pavelec (2005)

Edmonton – 2 players: Zack Stortini (2003), Kyle Brodziak (2003)

Ottawa – 2 players: Brian Elliott (2003), Zack Smith (2008)

Philadelphia – 2 players: Colin Fraser (2003), Alexandre Picard (2003)

Phoenix – 2 players: Daniel Winnick (2004), Keith Yandle (2005)

Tampa Bay – 2 players: Nick Tarnasky (2003), Mike Lundin (2004)

Carolina – 1 player: Jamie McBain (2006)

New Jersey – 0 players

Washington – 0 players

Oklahoma City Soccer Battleground Explained, and What Effect That Could Have on the Barons

In case you hadn’t heard. Oklahoma City is in the midst of a war between rival professional soccer leagues. In one corner, we have Sold Out Strategies, a group that currently runs Oklahoma City FC, a fourth-tier soccer team currently playing in the Premier Development League. Heading up Sold Out Strategies is a name that many OKC hockey fans are familiar with in Brad Lund. Lund was a lead executive for much of the run of the old Oklahoma City Blazers hockey team with Express Sports. After his departure with the Barons, he moved on to the Missouri Mavericks and their start.

In the other corner, we have Prodigal Sports Management. Prodigal is of course the lead management group for the Oklahoma City Barons, running the tickets and promotions of the team for the Edmonton Oilers-owned team. Prodigal is owned by Bob Funk Jr., the man who took over the reins of the Oklahoma City Blazers for their final year before shutting down the team for financial reasons.

So we have two gentlemen, very ensconced in the recent history of hockey in Oklahoma City, both trying to create the foundation of professional soccer in OKC. Lund and SOS are looking to bring a North American Soccer League team to the city, a second-tier league that features teams in the US, Canada (Edmonton), and Puerto Rico. Prodigal on the other hand is bringing in a United Soccer Leagues PRO team, which was announced officially a few weeks ago.

Leaving out the hockey aspect, why is this such a big deal?

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