OKC Barons Live Chat with Kevin Lowe and Bob Funk Jr…

By , May 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Cox Convention Center, home of the Oklahoma City Barons

Cox Convention Center, home of the Oklahoma City Barons

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.

11 Responses to “OKC Barons Live Chat with Kevin Lowe and Bob Funk Jr…”

  1. Racki says:

    One of the questions I asked about was if Omark/MPS would report to OKC if they don’t make the big team. I got a sense that Lowe dodged the question a bit, answering it as safely as possible. I’d really like to see these guys in OKC next year if they don’t play in Edmonton. He basically answered it a bit open ended… “they can play in OKC”

  2. MetalOil says:

    Wow!!! It looks like the Organization is embarking on a complete 180 degree turn on player development as well as ways to improve the roster(no more ill advised attempts at chasing big names) and its about time. I think Klowe and others got blinded by the success we had after acquiring Pronger and Peca right after the lockout. Lets be honest here to because us fans were very demanding of the team to do whatever it took to get back into cup contention and it just snowballed from there on out. I find myself to be very critical of Klowe and thought that he should have been cut loose by now but if he is true on his words from this interview then maybe I should cut him some slack and give him another chance(Lets face it, although Steve Tambellini is the main man now it would be stupid of us to think that Lowe’s opinion does not carry any weight).

  3. Racki says:

    For sure Lowe still has a say.. obviously. I think it appears though that everyone is on the right page now.

    And yah, we can say that Gagner was rushed into the NHL by the Oilers, but I recall on the OMB there was a very very very few number of people that wanted him to go back to London. I remember people bashing on Mr. Prez there because he suggested it.

    We fans have to accept it every bit as much as the organization do too. After all, they are trying to keep us fans happy so that we’d continue to pay the bills.

    Next year might still be an un-fun season to watch, at least here in Edmonton. I’d consider it a success though if OKC has a great year.

  4. chucker says:

    Okay, I thought the Oilers, meaning Katz, were going to own the franchise. It sounds like this guy is the owner, so I’m presuming that the Oilers own the rights to the franchise. Is that correct?

    Good interviews. It’s got to be nice for them to build something and see it come to fruition for a change. I can’t help but think that this is extremely important and good for the confidence and image of the Oilers on all levels.

    Robonerd, who is and Oklamoman, said that the Blazers were very popular and well attended. I’m thinking that the team will have no issues that way. Also, do the Oilers get any revenues from the operation of the Barons? I’m sure there is some sort of operator/franchise owner agreement there. I’m just curious is all. :D

  5. Racki says:

    According to Wiki, they are owned by Prodigal Hockey, LLC. and Funk Jr. is the president.

    Damn, that is a good question about revenues… too bad you didn’t fire me that before the interview ;) I have no idea if an NHL team gets a cut of AHL revenues.

  6. Bostonoiler says:

    Racki: According to Wiki, they are owned by Prodigal Hockey, LLC. and Funk Jr. is the president. Damn, that is a good question about revenues… too bad you didn’t fire me that before the interview I have no idea if an NHL team gets a cut of AHL revenues.

    I believe NHL teams do get some sort of revenue here. I can’t tell you how much, cause I don’t know lol

    On a bad note the New Jersey Devils are moving their team out of Lowell meaning that I no longer have AHL hockey to watch live unless I make a trip out to see the Falcons (screw it lol) I hope OKC comes up here though…..

  7. MetalOil says:

    Oklahoma pays us a flat fee each year and they collect revenues.
    http://www.faceoff.com/hockey/teams/edmonton-oilers/Oilers+farm+team+nickname+determined+contest/3045634/story.html

    “They signed a five-year deal with Prodigal, which is owned by Oklahoma businessman Bob Funk Jr., and guaranteed the Oilers a flat annual fee. In turn, Prodigal will collect revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships at the Cox Convention Center.”

    I think that this way works well mainly because Bob Funk Jr is local to this market and has a deep history with hockey in OKC, He was involved with the CHL(central) OKC Blazers in some capacity I think. This should help them become successful as he knows this market. It is better then the Oilers owning the team in an unfamiliar market that they could potentially screw up.

  8. Bostonoiler says:

    Racki: For sure Lowe still has a say.. obviously. I think it appears though that everyone is on the right page now. And yah, we can say that Gagner was rushed into the NHL by the Oilers, but I recall on the OMB there was a very very very few number of people that wanted him to go back to London. I remember people bashing on Mr. Prez there because he suggested it. We fans have to accept it every bit as much as the organization do too. After all, they are trying to keep us fans happy so that we’d continue to pay the bills.Next year might still be an un-fun season to watch, at least here in Edmonton. I’d consider it a success though if OKC has a great year.

    Eberle and guys like that. Its gonna be a fun year in Edmonton and OKC man, trust me. Gotta believe

  9. MetalOil says:

    The Hockey News expands on this interview.
    http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/33699-Holding-No-1-pick-Oilers-turn-focus-from-free-agent-market-to-minors.html
    I like the Idea of having a GM based out of Oklahoma. Having a guy in the Organization that gets a first hand view of what is going on out their will help. I hear that this man will be Scott Bonner of the Vancouver Giants(from VictoriaOilerfan on the OMB).

  10. chucker says:

    MetalOil: The Hockey News expands on this interview.http://www.thehockeynews.com/articles/33699-Holding-No-1-pick-Oilers-turn-focus-from-free-agent-market-to-minors.htmlI like the Idea of having a GM based out of Oklahoma. Having a guy in the Organization that gets a first hand view of what is going on out their will help. I hear that this man will be Scott Bonner of the Vancouver Giants(from VictoriaOilerfan on the OMB).

    Thanks for the financial info. It’s an interesting side of the business of hockey to me.

    Vic is a former hockey guy and knows lots of WHL and NHL guys. I’ve been friends with him on the OMB for a number of years and if he’s saying he’s heard something, it’s a very high chance that he’s not talking out of his ass. He doesn’t post stuff unless he’s very certain.

    He’s a good guy. Does he know about this site? Maybe send him a little poke there Rackmeisterfullerene.

    EDIT: I just noticed this. The Cox Center is…..well….pink. :P

  11. Racki says:

    Sent an invite to Vic…

    And on the note of Scott Bonner, the rumor with him is that he might become the Oilers Assistant GM, per Dan Tencer. So I’m not sure which is true here… perhaps DT could have misunderstood though. Do we need another guy in the Head Office in Edmonton? Not so sure..

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

%d bloggers like this: