“I'm excited,” Eberle said. “Obviously with the lockout in effect, this is the next best option. This is going to be the best league in North America. With all the young talent coming down from the NHL, it's going to be that much better.
“This is a great opportunity. You can do all the skating you want in the summer, but nothing beats live competition like we do battling in practice.”
HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
Unlike previous seasons, the Barons don't have to wait for Edmonton to make cuts. With 16 players returning from Oklahoma City's division champion from last season, Nelson began installing his system the opening day of camp.
“In previous years, we'd just get guys up and down the ice and work on two-on-ones and stuff that didn't really pertain to system play,” Nelson said. “Since there's no NHL training camp and everybody is here, today we worked on defensive zone coverage and what we do offensively out of our D-zone.
“I like what I see from all the guys we have back from last year. When you add three more quality players from Edmonton, it puts us in a pretty good spot. We're going to be very competitive. I think we're going to be tough to beat.”
THIS WEEK ...
The Barons continue workouts from 9 to 11:45 a.m. Monday at the Cox Center. The practice is open to the public. ... A brief exhibition schedule begins 7 p.m. Friday against the Houston Aeros at the Cox Center. Fans can attend free of charge with a donation of baby items that will go to charity.