THE TEAM TODAY: Captain Josh
Josh Green named captain as Barons skate one last time prior to departure for Cleveland
READY FOR THE ROADOKLAHOMA CITY - The Barons skated for the final time in Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center before hitting the road tomorrow for a lengthy travel day en route to Cleveland where they will take on the Lake Erie Monsters on Friday.
Because the team will not skate or work out tomorrow, head coach Todd Nelson put them through the paces with a lengthy practice that involved a lot of skating at the end.
"It was a good work day. We travel tomorrow. It's not necessarily a complete day off -- we travel -- but we're not hitting the ice or doing a workout tomorrow," said Nelson. "Today was a good day to hit them pretty hard then we'll have a good practice on Thursday in Cleveland and get ready for a big weekend."
Yesterday Nelson had the players vote on who the team captain and alternates should be and today they were unveiled.
"It's been announced. The way the results worked out was we're going to have four assistants -- two guys on the road and two guys at home. Those assistants are Dane Byers, Chris VandeVelde, Alex Plante and Jordan Eberle," Nelson began, before adding. "The guys voted our captain to be Josh Green."
Nelson had a lot of positive things to say about his new captain, the third in Barons history.
"What he does best, being a leader, is he's the hardest working guy on the ice," Nelson began. "Everybody works hard but Josh is the oldest guy on our team. His work ethic is impeccable and that's where he leads by example."
Green was happy to see his teammates had named him captain.
"It's a big honour for sure. Any time you can put the C on and lead a team, it's a special feeling," said Green, adding that the appointment wouldn't change the way he plays or leads.
"I don't think anything's going to change for me. Whether I have a letter or not, I'm still going to be me and try to lead by example and try to let these kids run with it -- try to not get in their way," Green continued. "It's a unique situation with these guys coming down from the NHL and some guys trying to get to the NHL so it's a nice mix and should breed some good competition from within. Hopefully we can put a good effort on the ice and win some games and have some fun."
Several of the players commented that Green was the player they would most often go to for advice.
"It's an honour that they'd say something like that, for sure," he said. "That comes with experience. I've been around for awhile. I think I'm nine or 10 years older than the next-oldest guy on the team."
Nelson liked what Green brought to the table as an alternate captain last season on a Barons squad that led the Western Conference in points.
"We got to know Josh pretty good last year. He was our assistant captain last year with Ryan Keller and Bryan Helmer was our captain. When you look at those three guys, it was probably one of the strongest leadership groups I've ever come across -- coaching and playing," said Nelson.
Green added that he has a good relationship with the coaching staff, having played with two of them earlier in his career.
"I've played with both assistant coaches throughout my career. Rocky and I were roommates our first year of junior and I played four years of junior with him. Gerry's last year was my first year pro," Green remarked. "We have a good relationship with them. And obviously, Nelly (Todd Nelson). He's a player's coach first and foremost and a great guy. He's a fair coach. If you're working hard, you're going to play for him. It's a good relationship."
Nelson talked about Green's leadership style.
"In the room, he's not really a 'rah rah' guy but when accountability has to be addressed among the teammates and all that, he's not afraid to speak his mind, speak up and hold the guys accountable," stated the bench boss. "I think it was a smart choice by the guys and I think we have a great leadership group."
Coach Nelson added that he still expects those without a letter to lead in their own way as well.
"Like I've told the guys, you don't have to wear a letter to be a leader."
Coach Nelson yesterday said that the team was going to see if Marincin was ready to go for Friday night and indeed he is.
"Marty's ready to go. He's cleared to play and is going to start the game with Justin Schultz. I think they complement each other fantastically."
Marincin and Schultz were paired on the team's first power play unit during practice on Tuesday.
"They're two rookies -- it's kind of funny but Marty Marincin has more AHL experience because he's played more games -- but it'll be an interesting pair. They both have offensive instincts so it'll be nice to see them play and join the rush, try and create some offence for us."
BARONS UNVEIL FAMILIAR-LOOKING THIRD JERSEY
|Jordan Eberle models the new Barons third jersey
The third jersey uses the same color combination worn by the Barons parent club, the Edmonton Oilers. The royal blue and orange combination features one of the Barons alternate logos on the crest, the letters “OKC” with an oil drop just above the middle of the logo.
Fans have the opportunity to purchase the jerseys online at shop.okcbarons.com.
-- Marc Ciampa, edmontonoilers.com