BY RYAN ABER
The American Hockey League released its schedule for the 2010-11 season on Wednesday.
The Barons, playing their inaugural season, will have 30 of their 40 home games on weekends.
“We’re very happy with the schedule,” Barons owner Bob Funk Jr. said. “It gives us a good opportunity to be successful.”
The team opens Oct. 9 at the Cox Center against the Houston Aeros at 7:05 p.m.
Home schedule highlights
1. Saturday, Oct. 9 vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m.
The regular season begins at home, with what figures to be one of the Barons’ chief rivals.
2. Friday, Nov. 5 vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m.
The Stars, based in the Austin area and Calder Cup runners-up a season ago, make their first trip to the Cox Center and figure to be another of the Barons’ top rivals.
3. Wednesday, Feb. 9 vs. San Antonio, 10:35 a.m.
The Barons figure to play in front of a large group of school children in their only non-Sunday daytime game of the season
Road schedule highlights
1. Thursday, Feb. 17 vs. Abbotsford at Calgary
The Battle of Alberta on the minor-league level as the rivals’ AHL affiliates play in an NHL venue three days before the Flames and Canadiens play an outdoor game in the city.
2. Sunday, Oct. 24 at Hamilton, noon
Oklahoma City gets a taste of the Canadian spotlight when the Canadian Broadcasting Company televises the Barons game against Montreal’s AHL affiliate.
3. Saturday, Oct. 23 at Toronto, 4 p.m.
Just a night before their televised game at Hamilton, the Barons make their first trip to Canada’s biggest city.
Big weekends set downtown
The Barons and Thunder will play home games on the same day six times, all on weekends.
For the five Friday and Saturday games, Barons games will face off at 6:05 p.m., an hour earlier than normal.
Nov. 7 is the one Sunday where both are at home. The Barons will play Toronto at 5:05 p.m., with the Thunder hosting Boston at 6 p.m.
“Hopefully we can both be successful on those nights,” Barons general manager Bill Scott said. “There’s bound to be conflicts and those were premium dates for both teams.”
While there are several NBA cities that also host AHL teams, all but three play in the same building. The others, Toronto and Chicago, play in buildings that aren’t in the same vicinity as the NBA arena.
The Lake Erie Monsters and the Cleveland Cavaliers will play and AHL/NBA doubleheader Nov. 13 with the Monsters taking on Milwaukee at 1 p.m. and the Cavaliers playing the Pacers at 7:30 at Quicken Loans Arena.
Scott plays double role
The Barons’ GM is preparing to move to Oklahoma City after serving as the AHL’s Director of Hockey Operations.
There, his final job was to finish the schedule.
Scott said it wasn’t difficult to separate the two roles while planning out the league’s slate.
“The schedule’s such a difficult process that you really can’t even begin to think too much about a particular team,” Scott said. “You just try to make it fair for everybody.”
Single-game tickets on sale in September
With the schedule out, single-game tickets should be on sale in mid-September, Barons owner Bob Funk Jr. said.
The delay is due to Ticketmaster taking a few weeks to build the schedule calendars to allow for ticket sales.
Season tickets, 10- and 20-game mini-packs and group sales are underway at OKCBarons.com or by calling (405) 232-4625.
Barons fans will get a good look at their new team in the season’s first eight days as their first four games are at the Cox Center.
All four will be weekend dates with the Barons playing Houston at 7:05 Saturday night, Oct. 9 and Chicago at 3:05 p.m. the next day. They will host Houston again Friday, Oct. 15 and Lake Erie on Oct. 16, both at 7:05 p.m.
Six of the Barons’ first seven games will be at home.
Scott said the AHL tries to avoid having teams play three consecutive times but the Barons will have one such stretch late in the season at Houston.
They will take on the Aeros three consecutive days from March 25-27.
The teams were scheduled to play twice but a late change made it three consecutive games between the division rivals.
“Houston requested home dates for at least one of those days,” Scott said. “And we try to accommodate those requests. It was better to do it this way than have us make another trip down there.”
The Barons will play the same opponent at the same venue in back-to-back games 10 times this season with six at home. It would’ve been 11 but the Feb. 17 game at Abbotsford (B.C.) will be played at Calgary. The Barons will play the Heat at Abbotsford two nights later.
There is at least one other three-game series in the AHL this season with Charlotte hosting Albany for three games in four days from Feb. 12-15.
BY RYAN ABER
Here’s the Barons 2010-2011 schedule (all times Central). Listed beside the games are Thunder basketball, OU football or OSU football home games for those dates:
DATE: OPPONENT TIME
Saturday, Oct. 2: at Texas, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 9: vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 10: vs. Chicago, 3:05 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 15: vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 16: vs. Lake Erie, 7:05 p.m. (OU vs. Iowa State)
Sunday, Oct. 17: at Houston, 4:05 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 19: vs. Lake Erie, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 22: vs. San Antonio, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 23: at Toronto, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 24: at Hamilton, noon
Wednesday, Oct. 27: at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 29: at Grand Rapids, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 30: at Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 5: vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 6: vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m. (OSU vs. Baylor)
Sunday, Nov. 7: vs. Toronto, 5:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Boston)
Tuesday, Nov. 9: vs. San Antonio, 5:05 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 12: vs. Chicago, 6:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Portland)
Friday, Nov. 19: vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 21: vs. Milwaukee, 5:05 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 23: vs. Milwaukee, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 26: at Lake Erie, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 27: at Lake Erie, noon
Tuesday, Nov. 30: at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 3: at Manitoba, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4: at Manitoba, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 7: vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 10: vs. Manitoba, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 11: at Rockford, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 12: at Milwaukee, 5 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 17: vs. Hamilton, 6:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Sacramento)
Saturday, Dec. 18: vs. San Antonio, 7:05 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 20: at Texas, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 28: vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 29: at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 31: at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 1: vs. Rockford, 7:05 p.m. (New Year’s Day)
Sunday, Jan. 2: vs. Rockford, 3:05 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 7: vs. Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 8: vs. Peoria, 6:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Memphis)
Sunday, Jan. 9: vs. Lake Erie, 5:05 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 13: at Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 14: at Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 15: at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 18: at Lake Erie, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 20: at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 21: at Rockford, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 23: at Chicago, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 26: vs. Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 28: vs. Texas, 6:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Washington)
Saturday, Jan. 29: vs. Chicago, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 3: vs. Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 4: vs. Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 5: at Texas, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 9: vs. San Antonio, 10:35 a.m.
Thursday, Feb. 17: vs. Abbotsford (at Calgary), 8 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 19: at Abbotsford, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 23: vs. Milwaukee, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 25: vs. San Antonio, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 26: vs. Houston, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 27: at Texas, 5 p.m.
Friday, March 4: vs. Abbotsford, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 5: vs. Abbotsford, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8: vs. Manitoba, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, March 10: at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 11: vs. Grand Rapids, 6:05 p.m. (Thunder vs. Detroit)
Saturday, March 12: vs. Grand Rapids, 7:05 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15: at Peoria, 7:05 p.m.
Wednesday, March 16: at Grand Rapids, 6 p.m.
Friday, March 18: at Rockford, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, March 19: at Chicago, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 20: at Chicago, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 22: at Milwaukee, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 25: at Houston, 7:35 p.m.
Saturday, March 26: at Houston, 7:35 p.m.
Sunday, March 27: at Houston, 4:05 p.m.
Friday, April 1: vs. Rockford, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, April 2: vs. Texas, 7:05 p.m.
Friday, April 8: at San Antonio, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 9: at Texas, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 10: at Houston, 4:05 p.m.
By Ryan Aber
The Oklahoma City Barons will make at least one television appearance this season.
The American Hockey League and the Canadian Broadcasting Company announced Thursday a series of 10 AHL games will be televised on the network as part of the “AHL on CBC” series.
Oklahoma City’s Oct. 24 trip to Hamilton, the Montreal Canadiens’ top affiliate, will be broadcast on the station. The game is set for noon central.
The series of broadcasts will all be on Sundays and all games will be available live and on-demand at CBCSports.ca.
The Barons, the Edmonton Oilers’ AHL affiliate, begin their season Oct. 9 at Cox Convention Center. Season tickets and mini packs are available at 232-4625 or at OKCBarons.com.
The team’s full schedule is expected to be released by the end of the month.
The full schedule (all times central)
Oct. 17: Binghamton at Toronto, noon
Oct. 24: Oklahoma City at Hamilton, noon
Nov. 21: Hamilton at Toronto, noon
Dec. 12: Toronto at Hamilton, noon
Jan. 16: Toronto at Abbotsford, 1 p.m.
Jan. 23: Abbotsford at Manitoba, noon
Feb. 27: Manitoba at Toronto, noon
March 6: Hamilton at Toronto, noon
March 27: Abbotsford at Manitoba, noon
April 3: Manitoba at Toronto, noon
BY RYAN ABER
The Edmonton Oilers announced their roster for the upcoming Vancouver Canucks Young Stars Tournament that runs from Sept. 12-16 at South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, B.C.
The Oilers team will be headed by three highly touted prospects, including this year’s No. 1 draft pick Taylor Hall. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and Jordan Eberle will also play for the Oilers.
Paajarvi-Svensson was the 10th pick overall in 2009 and Eberle the 22nd overall pick in 2008.
The eight-game tournament will also feature players from Anaheim, Calgary, San Jose and Vancouver.
The tournament games will be broadcast live on edmontonoilers.com.
Complete Edmonton roster for the tournament:
Chris Vande Velde
BY RYAN ABER
The Edmonton Oilers signed veteran goaltender Martin Gerber to a two-way contract Friday, the team announced.
The deal pays Gerber a different amount based on whether he’s playing for Edmonton or Oklahoma City.
Gerber has had success in the NHL, helping the Carolina Hurricanes to a division title in 2005-06 but struggled in the playoffs and was replaced by Cam Ward as the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup.
The 36-year-old Swiss goaltender last played in the NHL in 2008-09 with Toronto and spent last season in the Kontinental Hockey League, playing for Atlant Moscow.
The Oilers already had three goalies under contract: Nikolai Khabibulin, Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk. Those contracts are all one-way deals, though, so the players would have to clear waivers before being assigned to the Barons.
BY RYAN ABER
It took a little longer than originally planned but the Barons have a general manager.
Bill Scott, who has worked in the American Hockey League offices for four seasons, was hired by the Edmonton Oilers on Friday to manage the team in its inaugural season.
“I’m excited,” Scott said. “Working in the league office was a terrific experience. It really helped me see how the league operates and how our different teams operate.
“But to go back with a team where you have an opportunity to win games and compete for a Calder Cup championship was really the selling point to me and in a new market like Oklahoma City, with an organization like the Edmonton Oilers, it was just the perfect opportunity.”
Scott, who is currently the AHL’s Director of Hockey Operations, will return to his job with the league until the end of the month before returning to Oklahoma City in early September.
“We feel we have secured one of the bright young minds in the AHL with Bill,” Oilers GM Steve Tambellini said in a statement.
The Oilers had initially hoped to have a general manager in place by the NHL Draft in late June but with most of the organization’s focus on the draft, where the Oilers had the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in their history, the GM search stretched out.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers twice offered the job to Vancouver Giants’ junior GM Scott Bonner but he declined.
Last month, the Oilers hired Todd Nelson as the Barons’ head coach and Gerry Fleming as Nelson’s assistant.
Two players have been signed specifically for the Barons, AHL veterans Jake Taylor and Colin McDonald, and the Oilers have signed several other players that are likely to see significant time in Oklahoma City.
“The Oilers have some great draft picks coming through their system right now, which you’re going to see in Oklahoma City, and they’ve brought in some great AHL veteran players who will help guide those young guys and provide a winning environment for those players to develop in, which should be exciting for the fans and for the team.
“The key in the American League is finding that right mic of talented prospects and your core veteran players that you need for leadership in the locker room.”
Prior to working for the AHL, Scott served as the manager of hockey operations for the East Coast Hockey League.
The Unionville, Ontario, native graduated from Michigan State and worked as an intern with the Nashville Predators hockey operations department after graduation.
Scott’s main duty as he returns to the AHL offices will be the completion of the league’s schedule. The schedule is set to be released in late August.
Because five of the league’s teams share buildings with NBA teams, the schedule can not be completed fully until the NBA schedule is released Tuesday.
And the addition of the Charlotte Checkers, which share a venue with the NBA’s Bobcats, has made scheduling a bit more difficult.
Prior to the Checkers’ joining the league, all of the AHL teams that played in NBA arenas were in the Western Conference so much of the scheduling for the Eastern Conference could be completed before the NBA schedule was announced.
Once he returns to Oklahoma City, Scott’s first duties will be to solidify travel plans for the team and prepare for the team’s first training camp. The Barons will hold training camp in late September after Oilers camp ends.
The Barons open their season Oct. 9 at the Cox Center. Season tickets and mini plans are available at 232-4625 or at OKCBarons.com.