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July 1, 2013

Bryan Rodney

     After making a tremendous reaches to the fans of the Oklahoma City Barons, they still are very uneducated toward ex-Baron, defenseman, Bryan Rodney. After the Edmonton Oilers traded for Rodney from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fan favorite, center Ryan O'Marra, most of the fans were bitter to the new man on the blueline.

     Ryan O'Marra was selected by the New York Islanders, fifteenth overall in the 2005 NHL entry draft. On February 27th, the Islanders traded him to the Edmonton Oilers with Robert Nilsson and a first round pick (Alex Plante) in exchange for current Oilers winger, Ryan Smyth. O'Marra played his first pro season with the Oilers American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons and splitting time with the ECHL, Stockton Thunder in the 2007-08 season. He spent his next two seasons in the AHL while reaching a milestone in the 2009-10 season, with his first NHL game with the Oilers. The next season he spent with the inagural season, Oklahoma City Barons and Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate. He instantly became a hit with the fans. In his first season with the Barons, he had fifty-three games, two goals, twenty assists, and was a +9 as a 3rd to 4th liner. He was on call-up with the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010-11 regular season where he notched his first National Hockey League goal against the Vancouver Canucks which you can see here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbubPtJm2iw). In the summer, the Oilers re-newed O'Marra's contract, one year, two way. The following season, he played forty games in Oklahoma City before being traded while in that time, reaching eight goals, nine assists, seventeen points, and was a +15. He was a constant, grinding, 3rd liner who's faceoff winning percentage numbers ranged very high.

Photo courtesy of Steven Christy Photography
Photo courtesy of Edmonton Oilers
     Bryan Rodney is an un-drafted defenseman who was signed to a tryout contract with the American Hockey League, Hartford Wolfpack in the 2005-06 regular season. Rodney spent an eight game stint with the Wolfpack, reaching his first goal in his first AHL game, also collecting three assists in the eight games. The next four seasons, he'd spend with the ECHL's Charlotte Checkers, Columbia Inferno, and Elmira Jackals. After entering the 2007-08 season, the AHL's, Albany River Rats called him up from Elmira and he dressed in forty-two games, scored four goals, eleven assists, and fifteen points. He would also spend the 2008-09 season, full time, with the River Rats, dressing in fifty-eight games, scoring three goals, thirty-three assists, and thirty-six points. In the midst of the 2008-09 season, Rodney was called up to the National Hockey League's, Carolina Hurricanes, the affiliates of the River Rats. He'd spend an eight game stint with the Hurricanes collecting two assists. In the 2009-10 season, Rodney spent most of his time with the Albany, but also spending a twenty-two game stint with the Hurricanes, collecting ten assists and capturing his first National Hockey League goal against the Washington Capitals, which you can see here at the 1:04 mark in the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3H4zXPhsl0). When the Charlotte Checkers would enter the American Hockey League as the Carolina Hurricanes top affiliate, Rodney was re-signed with the Hurricanes and spent eighty games in Charlotte with nine goals, thirty-eight assists, and forty-seven points in the 2010-11 season. Following the end of the season and on into the summer, the Anaheim Ducks signed the unrestricted free agent to a one year, two way contract with the AHL, Syracuse Crunch. Rodney dressed in forty-one games with the Crunch with five goals, fifteen assists, and twenty points.
Photo courtesy of Gregg Forwerck
Photo courtesy of Jeff Gross/Getty Images
     On Feburary 16th, the Edmonton Oilers traded center, Ryan O'Marra to the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for defenseman Bryan Rodney. O'Marra, a workhorse, meat and potatoes, third line, grinder in exchange for a point producing, offensive-defenseman.

     After the trade was made, and both players went to play with their new teams, O'Marra dropped back to a fourth line centerman with the Crunch, spending the rest of his season in Syracuse, playing only eighteen games, one goal, two assists, three points, and was a zero on the +/- chart. Rodney dressed in all of the rest of the 2011-12 regular season games (twenty-six games), and scored one goal in his second game as a Baron. He collected nine assists, ten points, and his +/- numbers jumped to a +9. Most of the fans worried about his +/- history before coming into Oklahoma City. In the Calder Cup playoffs with Oklahoma City, Rodney scored one goal against the San Antonio Rampage in the second round of the playoffs and scored another in the Western Conference Finals, against the Toronto Marlies. He also had eight assists, equaling ten points in all of the fourteen Calder Cup games the Barons played. Rodney was mainly paired with Taylor Chorney on the second defensive pair throughout his time in Oklahoma City.

     Now that I am done listing all kinds of statistics for both players, let's get to the fans dislike to the defenseman, Bryan Rodney. From what it seemed like, most of the fans were disappointed with his turnover numbers. I will agree that Rodney had turnovers, yes, but so did plenty of other players. However, I did not meet one fan who accepted the fact or complained that any other player made mistakes or had let-down moments. This brings me to the point of the fans who say that Rodney had let-down moments. Bryan Rodney did everything that Edmonton expected him to do with the Barons. He was a leader on the power-play and was a take charge player as an offensive-defenseman. All of the three goals that Rodney scored while playing with Oklahoma City, were in fact, on the power-play.

     Off the ice, Bryan Rodney was a very quiet, shy man when I first spoke to him. He never really cared to mingle. I began to grow very fond of Rodney because it seemed nobody else would and the fact I liked the way he played. After his first few games, Rodney and I began to talk more and more after the some of the games. Rodney is the nicest and funniest player I have ever met. Now, some of the fans complained that he was too standoffish off the ice. Well, I never saw much of anyone go up to him and talk or ask for an autograph after the games or any chance they could get unlike some of the other players. So if he came off as standoffish to some of the fans, no wonder! Maybe it was because fans didn't seem to want to have anything to do with him. He was also having to compete with the fact that he was traded for a fan-favorite in Ryan O'Marra. It would have been nice if I saw a fan every now and then actually encourage or promote Bryan Rodney instead of discourage and degrade him.

Photo by myself, Noah Geopfert

August 29, 2012

First NHL Goals

Teemu Hartikainen, March 26, 2011, Edmonton vs Calgary
 
Bryan Rodney, March 25, 2010, Carolina vs Washington
 
Magnus Paajarvi, October 16, 2010, Edmonton vs Calgary
 
Anton Lander, November 17, 2011, Edmonton vs Ottawa
 
Taylor Chorney, February 15, 2011, Edmonton vs Dallas
 
Dane Byers, October 30th, 2009, New York Rangers vs Minnesota Wild

July 30, 2012

Current Depth Chart

With the players who have left and come on board with the Barons this off season, I thought I would just do an updated list on how it looks like right now in the way of a depth chart.

F1 - Magnus Paajarvi - Josh Green - Teemu Hartikainen
F2 - Dane Byers - Mark Arcobello - Tyler Pitlick
F3 - Philippe Cornet - Anton Lander - Tanner House
F4 - Antti Tyrvainen - Chris Vande Velde - Curtis Hamilton

D1 - Ringwald - Teubert
D2 - Davidson - Fedun
D3 - Marincin - Plante

G1 - Danis
G2 - Roy

July 26, 2012

Oilers Re-Sign Vande Velde and Plante

The Edmonton Oilers have announced today they have re-signed defenseman, Alex Plante and center, Chris Vande Velde.

Plante, the 6'4, 225 pound blueliner had 1 goal and 13 assists in his 41 games with Oklahoma City last season. Plante was virtualy invisible in the post season though only collecting 1 assist. Plante was never really able to keep a steady night after night play due to injuries.
(Photo by me, Noah Geopfert)

Vande Velde, the 6'2, 210 pound center skated in 68 games with Oklahoma City in the regular season last year. Vande Velde had 7 goals and 16 assists, but turned it up in the post season with a team leading 6 goals in all 14 playoff games.
(Photo by me, Noah Geopfert)

July 25, 2012

5 Left

The Oklahoma City Barons have 5 players left for AHL free agency now that Ryan Keller, Kevin Montgomery, Dylan Yeo, Taylor Chorney, Hunter Tremblay, and Andrew Lord have signed with other teams. 

The 5 players remaining on the team that are available to other teams are Bryan Rodney, Bryan Helmer, David LeNeveu, Kirill Tulupov, and Ryan Lowery. 

Defenseman, Bryan Rodney was traded mid-season for center, Ryan O'Marra. Since Rodney came to Oklahoma City, Rodney had a total of 3 goals and 17 assists in the regular season and post season. Rodney was also a +9 in the regular season with the Barons. Any team should be happy to have the elite offensive-defenseman who puts up big numbers every year in the AHL.
(Photo courtesy of me, Noah Geopfert)
40 year old defenseman, Bryan Helmer is on the free agent list as well. Helmer worked this season as the captain playing in 69 games scoring 3 goals and 21 assists. Helmer also had 3 assists playing in all Calder Cup playoff games with Oklahoma City. The veteran defenseman is showing not many signs of slowing down.
(Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Barons)

Goaltender David LeNeveu was part of possibly the best goalie duo with Yann Danis as number 1, and LeNeveu as number 2 this past season. LeNeveu, or Lenny, dressed in 34 games with OKC with 18 wins, 12 losses, a GAA of 2.24, and a save % of 0.918. LeNeveu was supposedly in talks with the Vancouver Canucks/Chicago Wolves. Rumor is still out there, but LeNeveu is open to any team needing a dependable back up or even possibly starting position. 
(Photo courtesy of me, Noah Geopfert)
Kirill Tulupov, a hard hitting Russian defender, spent 33 games with Oklahoma City only collecting 1 goal and 7 assists. Tulupov was a big player to all the fans. Whether it was a member of "Tulupov's Army" or even connecting with Tulupov on Facebook, Kirll was fans with his many with his charismatic personality.
(Photo courtesy of me, Noah Geopfert)
Defenseman, Ryan Lowery spent the start of the season with Oklahoma City before spending the remainder of the season with the ECHL Stockton Thunder. While in Oklahoma City, Lowery collected 1 goal and 6 assists. Lowery is an up and down AHL/ECHL player but would be a good bottom pair defenseman for an AHL team.
(Photo courtesy of Oklahoma City Barons)
These 5 players have the option of signing with another NHL or AHL team, or re-signing with Oklahoma City or Edmonton.

July 24, 2012

OKC Would Be Good Place For Lukowich

Veteran defenseman, Brad Lukowich has 658 total NHL games under his belt. Playing with the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks, and Dallas Stars, Lukowich won 2 Stanley Cups with the Dallas Stars in 1998-99, and the other with the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2003-04.

Lukowich started his career with the WHL Kamloops Blazers in 1992. The following season with Kamloops, Lukowich notched 5 goals and 11 assists. In the 1997-98 season, Lukowich spent the season with the IHL Michigan K-Wings. Also that season, Lukowich would spend 4 games with the NHL Dallas Stars. The following season, Lukowich would spend 14 games with Dallas while capturing his 1st NHL goal. From 1999 to 2002, Lukowich would spend 3 whole seasons with the Dallas Stars. In the 3 seasons, Lukowich would collect a total of 9 goals and 17 assists. From 2002 to 2009, Lukowich was bumped up and down between NHL clubs spending time with Tampa Bay, New York, New Jersey, and San Jose. In the 2009-10 season, Lukowich would spend 29 games with the AHL Texas Stars before spending the later part of the season with 13 games with the Vancouver Canucks. In the 2010-11 season, Lukowich would spend a full season with the Texas Stars with 4 goals, 23 assists in 67 games. Also that season, Lukowich would make a short return to the Dallas Stars but only spending 5 games. This past season, Lukowich spent the same 67 games with Texas, with 4 goals and 22 assists while wearing the "C"

Lukowich has shown hard work and dedication makes for great results which is what Oklahoma City needs in a strong leader if Bryan Helmer does not return.

(Courtesy of Texas Stars)