The Edmonton Oilers, parent club of the Oklahoma City Barons, have assigned forward Teemu Hartikainen to Oklahoma City.
Hartikainen, who has played with the Barons all three seasons in Oklahoma City, was recalled by the Oilers on Jan. 13 after the NHL lockout ended. The Finland native scored three points in 19 games with Edmonton.
A sixth round draft choice by Edmonton, Hartikainen scored 27 points, including 11 goals, in 37 games with the Barons before joining the Oilers.
Hartikainen gives the Barons an experienced forward that has 48 games NHL experience during his career.
The 22-year-old center has scored 74 points, including 31 goals, in 117 games with the Barons the past three seasons. He was a key factor in OKC’s run last season to the AHL Western Conference playoffs
The Oilers liked Hartikainen’s physical play around the net. Hartikainen probably still figures into the Oilers’ long-term plans but will work on his game in Oklahoma City.
The Barons are in the midst of a four-game road trip that continues Wednesday night against Chicago at Allstate Arena. This weekend the Barons play at Peoria on Friday and at Rockford on Saturday.
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane said Thursday at training camp in Kissimmee, Fla., he is contemplating moving their Triple-A affiliate to an area north of Houston, according to a Houston Chronicle blog.
Nothing is imminent. Last September the Astros signed a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City RedHawks, who are run by Mandalay Sports Entertainment.
Regardless of the Major League affiliation the RedHawks will remain in Oklahoma City and play at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“This is a viable business that’s staying here,” said RedHawks president and general manager Michael Byrnes. “We may have a different partner down the road if that’s what the Astros want to explore but the RedHawks as an organization will continue to be in Bricktown.”
Crane is considering relocating their Triple-A team to The Woodlands, a suburb 30 miles north of Houston. That area currently doesn’t have a stadium. Crane also would have to purchase a different Triple-A team.
“Something closer could certainly enhance the brand,” Crane told the Chronicle. “Our group likes it. We’ve studied it, looked at the numbers… You want to try and stay out far enough so you don’t really distract from your big league team.”
Oklahoma City was home for the Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate for 28 years before Nolan Ryan purchased a team in Round Rock, Texas, and moved the team there.
After the Rangers left OKC, the RedHawks signed a two-year deal with the Astros. Last fall the RedHawks signed a two-year extension with the Astros that runs through the 2014 season.
The Rangers are an example of a minor league affiliate being near the Major League team. The Rangers’ Double-A team, the RoughRiders, is located in Frisco 40 miles northeast of The Ballpark in Arlington.
“(Our) Triple-A club is owned by a private equity company. That doesn’t make any sense,” Crane said. “We’re in (Oklahoma City) which is a good spot. We’re doing fine there. But if we can improve that as that contract expires in a couple years we are all over those opportunities.”
Barons forward Mark Arcobello recorded three assists, including a late-game assist that lifted the West to a dramatic 7-6 win over the East All-Stars Monday night in the American Hockey League All-Star Game.
Acrobello’s three assists were on all three goals scored by Toronto Marlies forward Ryan Hamilton, including the key assist on Hamilton’s game-winning goal with 12 seconds left.
Oklahoma City’s leading scorer since four young Oilers returned to Edmonton following the NHL lockout, Arcobello has scored 35 points, including 12 goals for the Barons.
It’s Arcobello’s second All-Star Game appearance. Arcobello recorded a hat trick to be named the Most Valuable Player in the 2011 ECHL All-Star Game in Bakersfield, Calif.
Barons forward Mark Arcobello will be a starter for the Western Conference in the American Hockey League All Star Classic Monday night in Providence, R.I. Starting lineups were determined by AHL fans by online voting.
Arcobello, has appeared in 40 games with the Barons this season, scoring 35 points. He’s the team’s current leading scorer after Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Justin Hall joined the Edmonton Oilers following the NHL lockout.
One of only seven players to play for the Barons all three seasons, Arcobello has scored 99 points, including 40 goals. As a pro, he has played in 171 games between Oklahoma City and the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL and scored 119 points (46-73-119).
Arcobello recorded a hat trick and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2011 ECHL All Star Game in Bakersfield, Calif.
Barons forward Mark Arcobello will participate in the American Hockey League All-Star Classic Jan. 27-28 in Providence, R.I.
With the four young Oilers stars returning to Edmonton following the lockout, Arcobello is the Barons leading scorer on the roster with 32 points, including 10 goals.
A key member on last year’s team that reached the Western Conference finals, Arcobello scored 43 points last season. In three years with the Barons Arcobello has scored 97 points, including 38 goals.
Arcobello was the only Barons player to make the Western Conference All-Star team.
Staff writer Jacob Unruh interviewed longtime Texas Rangers radio broadcaster Eric Nadel last week for a story that ran in Sunday’s paper.
Nadel was in Oklahoma City Monday night at Academy Sports and Outdoors located on 7700 South Walker Ave. along with first base coach Dave Anderson and pitching prospects Justin Grimm for the Rangers Caravan.
Nadel offered more thoughts on former broadcast partner Mark Holtz, who made the phrase “Hello win column” popular in Texas. Nadel has only used that phrase once, when the Rangers beat the Rays in the 2010 ALDS for the first playoff series win in franchise history
Here some of additional Nadel comments that didn’t make Sunday’s story:
I learned how to let your personality come through on the air and that sense of joy in being there. I think most, if not all, of the great baseball announcers have that. They have a connection with the audience that’s based on their own personal warmth. Mark had that and it was very immediately obvious to anyone who listened to him, and that’s something I’m always striving for.
That was the first playoff series the Rangers ever won and to me that was the most significant win in Rangers history, that fifth game which indicated the Rangers were not the same old Rangers gone in the first round. That was my homage to Holtzy that day.
As far as my play-by-play, one moment that really stands out is the night the Rangers scored 30 runs in Baltimore in ’07. The three-run homer that Ramon Vazquez hit that got the Rangers to 30, which was an all-time major league record – that’s a moment that I won’t forget.
In ’09 I had a detached retina. It was a really scary. I started seeing floaters one night during the game at Yankee Stadium and so I went back to the hotel room after the game and Googled it, and it said there’s all kind of possibilities but if your eye sight starts getting blurry, you need to see somebody. Then the following day at lunch it was as if somebody had coated my right eye with Vaseline and I couldn’t get in to see a retina specialist until the next morning.
It was a really scary period of about a month. They told me it was probably going to be all right, but they had no guarantees. Even now after the surgery the sight in my right eye is nowhere close to what it used to be.
I met (my wife) in 1984. We were kind of introduced by a mutual friend and we got married two years later, so she knew what she was getting into.
We chose not to have kids and I don’t know if that would have been the case if I didn’t have this kind of job where I’m gone a third of the time. But we’ve never felt we had enough responsibility to raise children. Taking care of our dog is enough of a challenge.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, playing with the Barons during the NHL lockout, scored two points in Canada’s 6-3 win over Slovakia Friday at the world junior international tournament in Russia.
Nugent-Hopkins, who scored 20 points in 19 games with the Barons has scored seven points in two games for Team Canada, scoring five points in a first-round game against Germany.
Team Canada’s next game is at 3:30 a.m. CST against Team USA. Games are being televised on the NHL network.
The American Hockey League Friday that Barons center Chris VandeVelde has been suspended for three games as a consequence of an illegal check to the head during Thursday’s win over the Texas Stars.
VandeVelde will miss Oklahoma City’s home games Friday night, Monday night and Jan. 1 at Houston.
Some Oklahoma City Barons teammates have shaved their heads in support of Brandon Davidson, who is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.
“Some of the guys got the shears out and started shaving their heads,” said coach Todd Nelson. “It’s unfortunate what happend with Brandon but he’s on the road to recovery. They just wanted to be part of it.”
Taylor Fedun, Davidson’s roomate, goaltenders Yann Danis and Olivier Roy and Dane Byers were among some of the players who shaved their heads.
Davidson will begin undergoing chemotherapy treatment for 21 days starting next week.
“When he starts his chemo next week he’s going to start to lose his hair so we decided to get rid of all our hair now ahead of time,” Fedun said. “We wanted to show him our support.
“He’s not only my teammate he’s my roommate. We spend a lot of time together so I wanted to let him know he has my support.”
The past two weeks Davidson has been skating with the team but it probably will be at least a month before he can return to game action depending on how he responds to treatements.
Davidson, 21, made the Barons roster in his first professional season after serving as captain of the Western Hockey League Regina Pats last season.
He was the Edmonton Oilers’ eighth pick in the 2010 draft, the 162nd overall pick. He’s quickly moved up the organization’s depth chart. In six games with the Barons he’s recorded one assist.
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forwards Toni Rajala and Cameron Abney to the Oklahoma City Barons, general Manager Bill Scott officially announced on Tuesday.
Rajala currently leads Stockton in scoring with 23 points, including 11 goals. His goal, assist and point totals are tops in the ECHL among first-year players. His 11 goals ties him for the league lead and 23 points is fourth.
Abney has split time this season between Stockton and Oklahoma City. With the Barons, he has appeared in three games and served seven penalty minutes. Last season, the Oilers 3rd round draft choice (81st overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft split time between Stockton and Oklahoma City. In 46 games last season, he recorded five points while serving 156 penalty minutes.
The Barons begin a seven-game stretch away from home Wednesday in Cedar Park, Texas against the Texas Stars.