How will the Edmonton Oilers recalling veteran goaltender Yann Danis effect the Barons chances of making a playoff run?
Danis hasn’t been as sharp this season after being named AHL Goaltender of the Year last season. In 32 games with Oklahoma City this season, Danis is 16-13-3 with a 2.99 goals against average and 90.3 saves percentage. But Danis has been playing better in recent weeks.
It will be interesting to see how coach Todd Nelson divides goaltending duties while Danis is in Edmonton. Danis will fill in as the Oilers backup goaltender as long as Nickolai Khabibulin is sidelined with an injury.
The Barons recalled Olivier Roy from Stockton. Roy was 7-8-1 with a 2.86 GAA and 89.9 saves percentage with OKC earlier this season. But Roy has been on a roll in the ECHL. In his past five games with Stockton, Roy went 3-1-0 with a 1.24 GAA.
Oklahoma City’s other goaltender is Niko Hovinen, who the Oilers picked up off waivers in mid-season. Hovinen is 2-1-1 with a 3.18 GAA with the Barons.
Both goaltenders will be needed the next two weeks. The Barons have three games in three days both this weekend and next weekend.
The Barons on Tuesday signed defenseman Nathan Deck to a two-way American Hockey League contract.
Deck, 22, has been with the Barons since Dec. 3 on a professional tryout deal. After a player appears in 25 games AHL teams must re-sign them. Deck’s two-way deal is with Oklahoma City and Stockton in the ECHL.
Deck has scored six points with the Barons. The past two seasons he scored 43 points in 79 games with Stockton.
The Barons return to action Friday night when they host the Houston Aeros.
The Oklahoma City Barons were involved in four transactions on Tuesday. The Edmonton Oilers recalled center Chris VandeVelde and sent veteran forward Darcy Hordichuk to Oklahoma City.
VandeVelde has played in 173 games for the Barons, most in club history. Hordichuk, a 13-year NHL veteran, has played in 542 NHL games with six different organizations.
In separate transactions the Oilers assigned goaltender Olivier Roy and defenseman Brandon Davidson to Stockton of the ECHL.
Roy is 7-8-1 with a 2.86 goals against average with OKC. Davidson returned last weekend after undergoing successful treatment for testicular cancer.
The Barons are on the road Friday and Saturday at the Texas Stars.
Barons Defenseman Brandon Davidson, who underwent treatment for testicular cancer, returned Friday night and was in the starting lineup. It was Davidson’s first game since Oct. 28. He was in the starting lineup and received a standing ovation.
“I felt like I had been out forever,” Davidson said. “I can’t describe how much I missed the game and how much this meant to me. It was definitely a stepping stone moving forward… I was very emotional with all the fans being very appreciative.”
Oddly enough Davidson played forward for the first time in years filling in for Antti Tyrvainen, who was sidelined by an upper body strain.
“I think it’s the first I’ve played forward since I was 15 years old,” Davidson said. “It was definitely a change of pace, that’s for sure.”
It was uncertain whether Davidson could return this season but he always set his goal of returning in mid-February with two months left in the regular season.
“It was good to have him come back,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “The guys were all happy for him. He battled back from cancer. That’s remarkable.”
Davidson said now that the Barons have added a few veterans he feels Oklahoma City can earn a playoff spot and make a deep run in the playoffs.
“I’m really excited what I can contribute to the team,” Davidson said. “Watching games has made me a better player. This whole experience has made me a better person.”
Edmonton recalled Barons forward Mark Arcobello on Tuesday. Arcobello, 24, is expected to make his NHL debut Wednesday night when the Oilers host the Dallas Stars.
The Oilers need some scoring after veterans Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger suffered injuries. Arcobello has scored 39 points with Oklahoma City this season. In his third season with the Barons, Arcobello is among the club’s all-time leaders in goals (40), assists (60) and points (100).
Arcobello, who played at Yale, was the Barons representative in the American Hockey League All-Star Game, recording three assists, including the primary assist on the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left.
The Barons return to action Friday and Saturday when they host the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Cox Convention Center.