With an NHL lockout pretty much a done deal with no end in site, the NHL players had to find new ice if they wanted to play. While this creates a problem for current minor league players who get pushed aside for the newcomers, it presents an opportunity for some AHL, KHL, and other minor league teams a chance to get a big name in the building to draw more people in the stands.
Oklahoma City is one team that will have one of the largest impacts from their parent club’s locked out players. Although most pundits already had OKC taking the Calder Cup this season back in June, the addition to the team from Edmonton has added even more buzz. True, the majority of people living in Oklahoma are hardly aware of hockey in general, so these names mean nothing to them, but to the dedicated fans that show to every Barons game, this is a huge deal.
Training camp for the Barons starts on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 am at the Cox Center. It is open to the Public. (I hope to be there, but no promises) Edmonton Oilers players, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Justin Shultz will all be on the ice in OKC along with 31 other players. View the camp roster here. There is also a time schedule here.
The Barons finally announced a pair of pre-season games as well. The Houston Areos will here on Oct. 5th and 6th, both a 7pm game time. Admission is free with a donation to Infant Crisis Services. Items needed include sippy cups, baby bottles, new or gently used toys, formula, diapers, baby bath items, lotion, pacifiers and coats in sizes from 2T – 6. You can bring the donations to the Cox Convention Center Box Office, beginning at 5 p.m. each night. Doors open at 6 p.m. I am thrilled to see the Barons doing this for such a great organization.
The regular season for OKC starts October 12th at Lake Erie, the first home game October 19th against San Antonio. The Barons have a big new giveaway this year, as well as some pretty decent door giveaways this year. However, I don’t think anything tops this:
Yes, EVERY Saturday game (and also 1 for the home opener) they will be giving away a car. Done deal. Word is the car will have a wrap around it that you will have to keep on for a year. I don’t know about you, but a nice, new car that also has the Barons logos all over it? I would not ever take it off. But, I’m a crazy hockey fan like that.
Any-who, enjoy this video of the ice installation: