Photos by Rob Ferguson. All rights reserved.

I find it difficult to discuss the Barons without starting each sentence with “Justin Schultz….” or “Taylor Hall….” or “Jordan Eberle” but there are other men on the roster. Last night, coach Todd Nelson shook up the batting order and the result was a convincing victory against a difficult foe. Oh sure, Hall, Schultz and Eberle wrote the script but some of the character actors got bigger parts in last night’s play. I wonder if it continues.

 San Antonio vs. Oklahoma City Barons 12-14-12

I thought Curtis Hamilton had a good game last night, he was certainly more involved than we’ve seen him in, well, ever during his OKC stay. He played well enough to get noticed:

  •  Bruce McCurdy: #13 Curtis Hamilton, 7 – Had a slow start on his new line when Eberle found him with space but Hamilton hesitated, held the puck too long, and wound up making a bad centring pass. Found the plot soon thereafter, though, and played what to my eye was easily his best game of the year with a solid performance in all three zones. Was strong on the PK with some good plays to clear the puck, a fine shot block, and some excellent skating. Played the body and got involved with humongous Nolan Yonkman after the bruiser treated Eberle rudely. Moved the puck sharply and wound up +3.

The trick of course is to get Hamilton and others rolling offensively before Hall, Schultz and Eberle return to Rexall. I think he’s earned another game on a big line, but we’ll see what coach Nelson thinks tonight.

What might this OKC roster look like when the NHL players are recalled? Well, it actually isn’t pretty. Lets assume that the Oilers recall the NHL players (Hall, Nuge, Eberle) and the wonder Schultz, along with winger Teemu Hartikainen and goaltender Yann Danis to cover off Khabibulin’s latest morskája boleznʹ.

  • G: Devan Dubnyk, Yann Danis, Nikolai Khabibulin (ir)
  • D: Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, Nick Schultz, Justin Schultz, Ryan Whitney, Corey Potter, Theo Peckham, Andy Sutton (ir)
  • C: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff, Eric Belanger
  • L: Taylor Hall, Teemu Hartikainen, Ryan Smyth, Ben Eager, Darcy Hordichuk
  • R: Ales Hemsky, Jordan Eberle, Nail Yakupov, Ryan Jones, Lennart Petrell

That’s 23, plus the two members of the Springfield Retirement Castle.

The New Barons

  • G: Olivier Roy, Tyler Bunz
  • D: Taylor Fedun, Colten Teubert, Martin Marincin, Alex Plante, Jordan Henry, Nathan Deck, Brandon Davidson, Teigan Zahn
  • C: Josh Green, Anton Lander, Chris VandeVelde, Ryan Martindale (ir), Tanner House, Eric Hunter
  • L: Magnus Paajarvi, Dane Byers, Curtis Hamilton, Kristians Pelss
  • R: Mark Arcobello, Phil Cornet, Tyler Pitlick, Antti Tyrvainen, Toni Rajala, Cameron Abney

Does that look right? I’d think the Barons would rush to sign some AHL veterans, what with Josh Green, Dane Byers, and the departed (in this model) Danis representing experience. If I’m Todd Nelson, sleeping at night becomes an issue as soon as the lockout ends.

I’ll have a GDT up later today.

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8 Responses to "WHAT WOULD IT LOOK LIKE?"

  1. Smidpet says:

    I’d like to see them sign a veteran goalie to back up Roy and allow Bunz to play lots down in Stockton. Another AHL level defenceman has been obvious since September, but perhaps somebody to play on that RW on the 2nd or 3rd line as well.

    Glad to see though that guys such as Lander, Paajarvi, Pitlick, Hamilton should have ample time in a top 6 role

  2. Jon K says:

    During Lowe’s interview the other day he said that Khabibulin is skating with the Oil Kings now and the implication was that he’ll be ready to go when the season starts. He commented that his rehab is complete. Given that it is a contract year for him, history suggests we can actually expect a half decent season out of Khabibulin.

  3. commonfan14 says:

    Jon K: Given that it is a contract year for him

    You mean “retirement year” don’t you?

  4. OilClog says:

    This is going to happen to lots of teams, who knows what the hell is about to take place. We could end up signing a few guys that weren’t expected due to buyouts. Trades, and injuries will be huge, some of the bubbling under prospects could be in play. If I was Nelson I wouldn’t really worry about the future line up, everyone could still be there plus+, excluding the 4 horseman of course.

  5. jp says:

    It’s pretty clear that as soon as the lockout ends, the Barons would go from being a Calder Cup contender/favorite to middle of the pack in a hurry. Would be great if they can sign a veteran D and/or F to help this group out.

    Once the NHL kids are gone though, I don’t think the OKC roster is all THAT different from the regular season last year. I don’t think they should fall completely off a cliff.

    11-12 Barons departed or could depart:
    F – Keller, Hartikainen, Tremblay, Grant
    D – Chorney, Helmer, Rodney, Yeo, Tulopov, Montgomery, Lowry
    G – LeNeveu, and possibly Danis

    12-13 Additions:
    F – Byers, Lander (NHL most of last season), Rajala
    D – Marincin, Fedun, Davidson, Henry, Deck, Zhan
    G – Roy, Bunz

    They’ve lost at least something at each position, as well as in the experience department but the changes aren’t massive (though if they do indeed lose Danis, that could hurt big time). OKC didn’t score a lot last year (Keller led the team with 49 pts FFS), and I can see the current group being molded into a defensively responsible group like that if and when the kids depart. And a step froward by guys like Lander and Pitlick could go a long way to making up for any offense lost relative to last years Barons. They’ve now had the chance to play with a bunch of young NHL stars, it’s getting time for them to try to walk on their own. I think they’ll do OK.

  6. jfry says:

    button has his top thirty propsects (already drafted, but less than 10 NHL games and under 24) up at tsn. oilers are the only team with 3 players on the list. klefbom comes in at 19…yak is 4th while ryan murray is near the end (we obviously shoulda taken the dman!).

    i’m surprised how low zibinejad is, as i’ve had a lot of “seen him good” instances — to my mind he’s MPS with some offensive instincts who uses his big frame, which is a pretty nice player.


  7. jp says:


    Nail is 5th, Klefbom is 18th and you forgot to mention Schultz is #1. :)

    There’s an article at ON about the list too.

    Good stuff!

  8. jfry says:

    ha, i was number flipping in my above post. sorry. good catch jp — also, i had to leave a little suspense in there for people about JS

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