Announced today, the Oklahoma City Barons have recalled Stockton Thunder forwards Cameron Abney and Toni Rajala. The Barons are reeling a bit with the two concussed and one approaching surgery on a broken wrist. Tanner House and Tyler Pitlick are experiencing concussion like symptoms, and in the safe-is-best world we live in, they’ll sit until those symptoms are gone. Thus the introduction of Abney and Rajala into the lineup. Antti Tyrvainen is reportedly having surgery to repair a broken wrist, and will be out for a 6 week or so duration.
Abney was recently assigned to Stockton, but he’s headed back to OKC for a pre-Thanksgiving game on Wednesday and likely two more this weekend. Rajala, who has eased himself into top scorer in the ECHL before being recalled (11-12-23 in 14 games), is having a dynamite of a rookie season. Aside from the top scoring, he’s also the league’s best rookie. Even if he harnesses have the success he had in the ECHL recently, he’ll immediately be a helpful asset.
There is a curious spin to this announcement. Both Oilers Now and the Barons themselves announced that Philippe Cornet, another really strong forward in the ECHL (and former full-time Baron), was headed back to OKC this week. Apparently that’s not entirely true.
Here’s Oilers Now last night:
@okcbarons injuries: Pitlick and House have concussions, out for the week.Tyrvainen broken wrist, maybe out six weeks.
— OilersNow (@OilersNow) November 19, 2012
Likewise, last night’s press release from Oklahoma City cited Cornet was on the move today. However, a re-sent press release this morning removed Cornet from the fray.
Was this a move to prevent a complete dismantling of Stockton? Do the Barons have something against Cornet by recalling Abney instead? Was there a premature mention of Cornet to OKC by Coach Nelson to Oilers Now? Let your mind wander if you’d like, but all scenarios are possibilities (with the last being the most likely). Either way, having Rajala in the lineup will be fun to watch.
The Barons play tomorrow night in Cedar Park against the Texas Stars. They’ll then travel over the US Thanksgiving holiday to play the highly skilled Charlotte Checkers.
Official Oklahoma City Barons release:
The Edmonton Oilers assigned forwards Toni Rajala and Cameron Abney to the Oklahoma City Barons, General Manager Bill Scott officially announced today.
Rajala, a 5-9, 170-pounder from Tampere, Finland was assigned to Stockton at the beginning of the season. He currently leads Stockton in scoring with 23 points (11-12-23). His goal, assist and point totals are tops in the ECHL among first-year players. His 11 goals ties him for the league lead and 23 points is good for a tie for fourth in the ECHL. Rajala was the Oilers 4th round selection (101st overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Abney, a 6-5, 200-pounder from Aldergrove, B.C. has split time this season between Stockton and Oklahoma City. With the Barons, he has appeared in three games and served seven penalty minutes. Last season, the Oilers 3rd round draft choice (81st overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft split time between Stockton and Oklahoma City. In 46 games last season, he recorded five points (2-3-5) while serving 156 penalty minutes.
The Barons begin a seven-game stretch away from home Wednesday in Cedar Park, Texas against the Texas Stars. Faceoff is 7:35 p.m. The weekend concludes with a pair of games against the Charlotte Checkers. Faceoff Saturday is 6 p.m. and faceoff Sunday is 2 p.m.