With the NHL lockout ending, young stars that played three months with the Barons have returned to Edmonton to get ready for training camp. But they leave Oklahoma City with some lifelong memories.
Living downtown, Jordan Eberle, Justin Schultz and Ryan Hall lived a Bricktown lifestyle, including attending some Thunder games at Chesapeake Arena.
“I’ve never really been a fan of a sports team,” Hall told Oilers.com. “I’ve always had a little bit of a misunderstanding how fans get so excited by the teams that they love. Going to the Thunder games and cheering with the crowd was really fun. I finally learned what it’s like to be a fan.”
Eberle, an NHL All-Star last season, leaves OKC as the AHL’s scoring leader. He said several times in recent weeks it wouldn’t be easy leaving Oklahoma City if the NHL lockout ended.
“It was tough to leave here,” Eberle said. “It’s great to be back in the NHL but we gained a lot of great friends here. It’s a little weird our season is starting now but I’m pretty excited.”
Defenseman Justin Schultz, a rookie from Wisconsin University, was dazzling in his pro debut. Schultz is the second leading scorer in the AHL.
“It was a lot of fun going to Thunder games and hang around downtown,” Schultz said. “We had a blast. The city is great. You can’t ask for much better weather. All the guys on the team were great. Everyone around the Barons organization was great to me. It was a lot of fun.”