The role of the farm team is to send useful players to the major league club. Take talented kids, grind the mistakes out of their game, allow them to grow into men and then call them up for role-playing at the NHL level. Todd Nelson has been in OKC since 2010 producing useful players.
BARONS ESTIMATED OPENING NIGHT LINEUP (August 2013)
- Goal (2): Richard Bachman (starter), Olivier Roy
- Defense (8): Martin Marincin-Taylor Fedun; Brandon Davidson-Oscar Klefbom; Brad Hunt-Martin Gernat; David Musil-Joey Leach
- Center (5): Mark Arcobello; Andrew Miller; Will Acton; Travis Ewanyk; CJ Stretch
- Left Wing (6): Toni Rajala; Ryan Hamilton; Ben Eager; Ryan Martindale; Curtis Hamilton; Kale Kessy
- Right Wing(5): Derek Nesbitt; Matthew Ford; Tyler Pitlick; Erick Lizon; Cameron Abney
This was the estimated lineup when we talked about it in August 2013. Let’s have a look at how many NHL games this group played during the season:
- D Martin Marincin 44GP, 0-6-6
- C Mark Arcobello 41GP, 4-14-18
- C Will Acton 30GP, 3-2-5
- D Oscar Klefbom 17GP, 1-2-3
- R Tyler Pitlick 10GP, 1-0-1
- L Ben Eager 7GP, 0-1-1
- D Taylor Fedun 4GP, 2-0-2
- G Richard Bachman 3GP, 3.02 .916
- D Brad Hunt 3GP, 0-0-0
- L Ryan Hamilton 2GP, 0-0-0
That’s 10 players from the group expected to play with the Barons, and a few of them are prospects. Certainly Marincin & Klefbom are part of the future, and Arcobello has forced his way into the picture as well. Tyler Pitlick has a chance to make the jump, but must stay healthy, and that’s something he hasn’t been able to manage thus far. Let’s look at the rest of the group who ended up playing in OKC and Edmonton:
- D Phil Larsen 30GP, 3-9-12
- C Anton Lander 27GP, 1-0-1
- R Steve Pinizzotto 6GP, 0-2-2
- C Roman Horak 2GP, 1-0-1
Larsen and Lander played depth roles with the NHL team, and the other two were mid-season pickups. That’s a lot of callups/minor league usage over the season—I bet you most NHL teams who have that many at-bats from their AHL group have an awful record over the years. This is us.
RFA’S + actions (so far)
- C Anton Lander signed a very Oiler-friendly contract and one imagines he’ll be part of the bottom 6F group. $600,000. That’s a very good deal.
- R Tyler Pitlick is likely to get a two-way contract (he made $67,500 in the AHL a year ago) and a chance to make the team.
- L Roman Horak has already bolted, disappointing considering his skills and the teams needs.
- L Curtis Hamilton had pretty much the same deal as Pitlick, and like Pitlick, has not yet re-signed with the team. As a fan, I hope they sign him to a two-way deal, but if they step away no fan can bitch about it. Injuries were an issue before his draft, and injuries have certainly been a part of his pro career.
- R Andrew Miller is very likely to get a contract, he was a MacT find one year ago. Speed and some skill.
- G Richard Bachman had a wonderful run with the big club during some dark days, I’d guess they try to bring him back for 14-15.
- R Steve Pinizzotto was acquired by MacT (bet you can’t remember how they got him). He looked good in a limited role, bet he gets a two-way deal.
- R Steve MacIntyre retired. I worry about these guys, with all the hammers they take to the noggin. MacIntyre was a terrific fighter though.
- C Mark Arcobello could have gotten more than $600,000 (in my opinion), but signed with the Oilers not long ago. One-way deal, he’s a lock for the roster and I do think they will use him more this coming year. One of the curious things about this past season was shoving him to OKC for no good reason.
- D Taylor Fedun has done everything asked of him. I don’t think they’ll re-sign him, but that’s a guess.
BARONS ESTIMATED OPENING NIGHT LINEUP (May 2014 est)
- Goal (4): Richard Bachman (starter), Laurent Brossoit, Tyler Bunz, Frans Tuohimaa
- Defense (6): Brad Hunt, Brandon Davidson, David Musil, Martin Gernat, Dillon Simpson, Jordan Oesterle,
- Center (4): Will Acton, Travis Ewanyk, Jujhar Khaira, Bogdan Yakimov
- Left Wing (3): Ryan Hamilton, Kale Kessy, Mitch Moroz,
- Right Wing(0):
They’re going to sign some wingers, but they can grab Curtis Hamilton, Andrew Miller, Tyler Pitlick and Steve Pinizzotto from last year’s team if they wish, or the Barons can sign veterans like Matt Ford (who had a nice season).
Either way, we’re off! It’s time to get started with our look at next season’s roster. I’m going to include Martin Marincin, Oscar Klefbom, Anton Lander and Mark Arcobello as NHL players for our purposes this summer. Pitlick and the rest will lag behind.
(Gernat photo by Rob Ferguson, all rights reserved)