The Oklahoma City Barons are in training camp for the next two weeks at the Cox Convention Center. The Barons' NHL affiliate, the Edmonton Oilers, have started to send prospects down for the 2011-2012 American Hockey League season. The Oklahoman will visit one-on-one with both veteran players and youngsters as they work to crack the Oilers' roster sometime this season.
The Barons will host the Houston Aeros at 7:05 p.m. Friday in an exhibition game at the Cox Center. Admission will be $10 for all seats.
Bryan Helmer, Oklahoma City Barons
*Height, weight: 6-1, 210
*Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
*First pro contract: Signed as free agent in 1994 with the New Jersey Devils. Helmer has 146 games of NHL experience, although he never played for the Devils.
*Famous friends: He has been teammates with plenty of past and present stars, including Jeremy Roenick, Alex Ovechkin, Sergei Fedorov, Grant Fuhr and Chris Pronger.
*Frequent flier miles: Helmer has made plenty of stops during a lengthy hockey career that is closer to its end than its start. He has played in Albany, N.Y.; Las Vegas; Worcester, Mass.; Phoenix; St. Louis; Vancouver; Kansas City, Mo.; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Springfield, Mass.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; San Antonio; Hershey, Pa.; Washington; and now Oklahoma City, where he came out of retirement last season to provide scoring from the blue line and serve as a leader to young Edmonton Oiler prospects.
*Card wars: Anyone who wants to get an autograph might want to find two Helmer trading cards on the market. He is on card No. 131 in the Bowman's Best set from 1998-99 and card No. 205 in the Topps Heritage set for the 2000-01 season.