“There will be a massive battle down there in Oklahoma City,” said Edmonton coach Dallas Eakins. “We want them to be good teammates and work together, but they're all competing to be the first person out of (coach) Todd Nelson's lips if we need someone.”
Fedun played well his rookie season with the Barons after overcoming a broken leg his first year out of Princeton. Davidson played well after overcoming testicular cancer during the season. Marincin posted one of the AHL's top plus/minus ratings.
“They're all progressing, but there's a big difference between an NHL defenseman and an American League defenseman,” Eakins said. “I'm new to this organization, but talking to people who saw them play, they said their improvement has been great. We need them all to continue to improve.
“This is a salary cap era. If one of those guys can unseat someone it only makes sense to bring him in to create cap space. It's in those guys' hands. They were good in camp, but it was a small sample size. Now their job is to get it done over a longer period of time.”
With offensive weapons such as Mark Arcobello, Jonathan Cheechoo, Josh Green and others playing elsewhere, the Barons early in the season will rely on their defense and Richard Bachman, the Dallas Stars backup goaltender the past two seasons.
“I think our defense has come a long way, especially since early last season,” Davidson said. “With this defense, hopefully we can get off to a good start and take it from there.”
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