With the NHL on a two-week break due to the Olympics, Edmonton Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish was in Oklahoma City for a two-game weekend series with Lake Erie, which gained a split Saturday night with a 5-4 shootout win over the Barons.
All but assured of missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season, the Edmonton Oilers reportedly will trade a few veterans before the NHL March 5 trade deadline which could impact Oklahoma City's roster.
“There are a lot of guys here deserving of an opportunity to play in the NHL,” MacTavish said. “We want to make sure to get a look at some of these guys that could be a big part of our future. They're sending a message to the organization they're ready for that opportunity.”
Possible call-ups include: forwards Mark Arcobello, Anton Lander and Roman Horak, plus defensemen Oscar Klefbom and Taylor Fedun.
HUNT NOTCHES CAREER HIGH
Veteran defenseman Brad Hunt scored a career-high four points, factoring in every Barons' goal. Hunt scored his sixth goal of the season to tie the game 2-2 in the second period and recorded his 21st, 22nd and 23rd assists.
“It's kind of cool anytime you get a career high but it would have been nice to have gotten a win,” Hunt said. “When things start going your way you gain more and more confidence. You almost feel invincible and start doing some things you normally may not do.”
SPECIAL TEAMS ARE SPECIAL
Teams that dominate special teams usually win, but that wasn't the case Saturday night. The Barons were 3-of-4 on power plays and killed off all four penalties when Lake Erie had the man advantage.
“Our special teams were excellent,” said Barons coach Todd Nelson. “The PK was tested early but we got through that first period when we were taking some penalties. It was good to see our power-play come to life. We needed that tonight to come back.”
OIL SPILLS ...
Curtis Hamilton will participate in full-contact practice sessions this week. Tyler Pitlick also might be ready to return to the lineup when the Barons play three road games in three days against Grand Rapids (Friday and Saturday) and Toronto (March 2). ... Fans cheered when a replay appeared to show forward Kale Kessy scored the tying goal in the second period. Evidently, it was an optical illusion. Barons coaches said the puck hit the crossbar.