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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Building Up The OKC Barons With Talent

After much complaining and belly aching by mostly myself, it appears that the Edmonton Oilers seem to be finally focusing on the OKC Barons team. ABOUT TIME I SAY!

I'm a strong believer that the Edmonton Oilers really need to help the Oklahoma City Barons get going properly as this is the 1st season ever for this franchise. This is the most important year for the Barons. This is where a fan-base is won or lost so it's important to establish your brand and market it properly. Sure having a new team in town will bring in some fans right off the bat. We seen that with just the logo's being discovered to the actual revealing of the logo, jersey and brand. The excitement that day was off the hook.

But then the fizzle fizzled, and in order to progress properly, you need to keep that fizzle. You need to have fans and media excited and buzzing. You need to find a way to keep fans entertained. I'm not really talking about promotions and the other stuff. I'm talking a solid on ice product. The OKC Barons need a competitive team right out of the gate and with a little hard work, it can be done.

However to this this day the Oklahoma City Barons are without a GM, Head Coach and a coaching staff. They basically have been at a stand still for a while now and it's getting imperative that they need to decide on who's General Manager very, very soon.

But in the meantime Tamby has been doing some great work in signing some very skilled AHL veterans. Here is what he has done so far.

On July 2nd the Barons/Oilers acquired 27 year old Defenceman Richard Petiot. He played last season with the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL.  In 80 games he had 8 goals, 29 assists for 37 points. He has played in 13 NHL games posting three assists. If Petiot plays in OKC he will make $125,000 and if he plays with the Oilers, he makes $550,000.

Then the next day they picked up 29 year old Left Wing, Alexandre Giroux from free agency. Giroux played with the Hershey Bears in the AHL collecting 103 points (50G, 50A) in 69 games. He also played in 9 games with the Washington Capitals scoring 1goal and 2 assists. His one year deal is worth a whopping $500,000 regardless of where he plays. NHL and AHL payment is the same. He better be worth the cash. I would assume he's the "name" guy for the Barons. Unless of course they send down Eberle or Paajarvi to start the year down there.

Next on July 7th the Oilers/Barons picked up 31 year old center Brad Moran. Last season with Skelleftea HC in the Swedish Elite League, Moran scored 40 points (14G, 26A) in 55 games. Not bad. His contract is for one year and he will bring some leadership to a new Barons lineup.

Ben Ondrus was signed next on July 9th. Last year the 28 year old Right Wing scored 17 points (10G, 7A) in 57 games with the Toronto Marlies (Also was the Captain). In 11 games with the Maple Leafs, Ondrus was held pointless but had 34 penalty minutes. His contract is a another one year deal by the Barons/Oilers. He will be paid $130,000 in the AHL and $550,000 in the NHL.

Yesterday the Barons/Oilers came to terms with forward Colin McDonald and defenceman Jake Taylor. Both of these guys were with the Springfield Falcons last season and will be playing in OKC for sure. Hence why the press release states that these two are the first official signings for the Barons. Make no mistake, every player that I have mentioned in this article will be with the OKC Barons at the start of the season. These are all Barons signings even though Giroux has a 1 way deal. If anything, the better players will be the call ups and nothing more.

Basically Steve Tambellini has created a pretty solid complete line for the Barons. That's a good start. Expensive line, but a good start. Over the next few weeks we will see more guys get signed and the OKC Barons roster will start to take shape.

But seriously Tamby, focus on getting that General Manager for the Barons. One would think a GM and Head Coach are the most important pieces, no?

-Written by Smokin' Ray-

1 comment:

  1. Nice write-up, Ray. I was thinking about doing the same thing, myself, once it was closer to the start of the season, but this is good stuff. I still hope that they sign some defensive/goaltending help for the Barons. But damn, they need to get on the coaching/management stuff asap, as the better names out there will start disappearing. Hey, what's MacT doing these days? :P I partly kid... I was never a fan of MacT's at the NHL level, but I always said he would be a great teacher for kids in the AHL... too bad he probably wouldn't take the job.

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