Today, the Oklahoma City Barons hosted a live interview with Edmonton Oilers’ President of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe and Oklahoma City Barons owner Bob Funk Jr in which fans could submit their questions. I submitted a few, myself, and logged all the ones I could catch in the spew of information that was being spit out in the chat window. Here are the questions/answers that I caught.
FYI, KL = Kevin Lowe, BF = Bob Funk Jr.
Q: I realize it is still early but I was wondering if Jordan Eberle will be starting out in OKC or jumping up to parent club? Thanks for your time!
BF/KL: It depends how he performs in training camp. The Org wants to take a patient approach to the development of these great young players.
Q: The Oilers have a reputation for playing players in the NHL too early and ruining their development… thoughts on that?
KL: We would rather prospects play in OKC on the 1st line than on the 3rd or 4th line in Edmonton
Q: Will Barons games be Webcast?
KL: theahl.com will have all the games.
Q: To go along with the webcast questions, has there been any talks about getting the games broadcast on television?
BF: We’ve looked at it. It’s a business decision as to whether we do it or not.
Q: Have agreements been made with a local radio station for broadcasting the games…home and away?
BF: We are currently finalizing a broadcast partner.
Q: Will we see Riley Nash will signed and we can expect to see him OKC next season
KL: Riley has not indicated to the Oilers that he wants to leave Cornell Univ. before his senior year
Q: Do you get a sense that MPS and/or Omark will report to OKC
KL: Both players have indicated that they want to play for the Oilers and want to do whatever it takes to play for the organization. If they are not ready to play for Edmonton they can play for OKC.
Q: Would the Oilers play an exhibition game in OKC?
BF: It is a possibility, we don’t know if & when. We’ll let you know if it comes up. There is a possibility, but we haven’t worked on it.
Q: Any thoughts on goaltending in OKC, seeing as how Dubnyk likely won’t be there?
KL/BF: We’re going to need to sign a veteran goal tender. It’s too soon to tell where Devan will be next year.
Q: Will the mascot be a oil derrick?
BF/KL: Go to okcbarons.com and submit your entries for the mascot contest!
Q: How soon will Season Tickets go out for the OCTOBER 9th Opener?
BF/KL: They should go out on the First of September. (– all ticket info at http://trk.vu/OKCBarons).
Q: Being from Alberta, Oilers fans are pretty loyal. Can we expect the same with the OKC Barons fans? Will there be a booster club?
BF/KL: We expect them to be very loyal! They are extremely loyal – in the Blazer days. We expect the fans to be loyal on multiple levels
Q: Any idea if some of the prospects like Lander, Rajala and Vande Velde will be on the team next season?
KL: Lander is not signed yet, Rajala has another year of Jr. eligibility – Vande Velde is signed. He’ll be given the chance to play with the Oilers or OKC.
Q: Did not having your own AHL affiliate for a couple years set your prospects back? How will OKC change that?
KL: In previous years when we didn’t have one it did hurt.. Why We’re excited about OKC it comes at a time when there is significant change in our org. It meshes well. It’s a great hockey market & has a positive influence on our players.
Q: What are your goals for wins vs. losses this season? What will you tell your coach you want?
KL: We need to assess the team and its strengths – It doesn’t do the Oilers any good if their minor-league team is not successful.
Q: For how long is OKC the Oilers affiliate? (i.e. at what point do both teams decide again if OKC is still the affiliate).
A: The current agreement is for 5 years.
Final thoughts from Kevin and Bob:
Kevin – This was fun. We are really excited about this new beginning in OKC. It’s clear that the fans recognize we have great young prospects coming.
Bob – We are excited to provide affordable family entertainment to the fans in OKC. Great players, great team, and something that is the most bang for their buck from the family entertainment standpoint.Thank YOU THE FANS for all support.