Edmonton Oilers center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will return on Monday, three weeks earlier than projected, which might impact former Barons center Mark Arcobello.
With Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder) and Sam Gagner (broken jaw) both sidelined, Arcobello started the season in Edmonton.
In the season opener, Arcobello was on a line with Jordan Eberle and David Perron. In Saturday's game at Vancouver, Arcobello was on the No. 3 line with 2012 No. 1 overall pick Nail Yakupov and Perron.
Because of the injuries, the Oilers moved Taylor Hall to center. There's some debate whether Hall will remain at center until Gagner returns in six to eight weeks. Either way, Arcobello could stick, especially while Nugent-Hopkins steadily improves his conditioning.
TEAM CAPTAIN TBD
Oklahoma City Barons coach Todd Nelson has used three alternate captains the first two games and probably will wait another week or two before he names a team captain.
“There still could be some guys coming down from Edmonton that could be involved in this process,” Nelson said. “I want to get to know some of these guys. Some of the guys here last year are on the verge but still are a bit young.
“I'm not rushing into this. We'll probably rotate three more guys next weekend. I need to find someone from this group to stand up.”
NELSON'S ANNUAL PIG ROAST
Nelson on Sunday will host his annual team building pig roast.
“The pig is in my garage as we speak,” Nelson said after the game. “I started doing this when I was 26 or 27 years old when I roasted a pig for the team. It's a good time at the start of the year. You get everybody together, including the wives and girlfriends.
“It's good to get to know each other away from the rink. It's always a fun event. A lot of people have never been to one. I think this might be my 14th pig.”
TYLER PITLICK MOVED TO CENTER
Once he was informed Anton Lander would miss Saturday's game with a lower back injury, Nelson moved Tyler Pitlick to center.
“It's really been four years since I've played center but I thought it went pretty well,” said Pitlick, who scored a goal. “I just kind of winged it. I had fun. At center you get to be all over the ice instead of up and down the right side.”
Veteran forward Ben Eager, released last week by Edmonton, cleared waivers, arrived in Oklahoma City and played in Saturday's game. ... Forward Andrew Miller, sidelined for Friday's opener, made his Barons debut on a line with C.J. Stretch and Ryan Jones. ... The Barons will be off six days before taking their first road trip next weekend, visiting the Iowa Wild. Formerly the Houston Aeros, Minnesota's Triple-A franchise relocated to Des Moines, Iowa. ... The Barons once again are giving away a new vehicle at every Saturday home game. Chris Gooth won a new Dodge Ram 1500.