With the Oklahoma City Barons season now over, it's that time of year when contract discussions begin, and the team's face begins to change. Fans in Oklahoma City have kept an eye on one particular change in the last few days. Brad Moran, who recorded 72 points in 79 games, has signed a two-year deal to play for the renewed Växjö Lakers Hockey club in the Elitserien or the Swedish Elite League. No stranger to the SEL, Brad had back-to-back 40 point seasons with the Skelleftea HC prior to joining the Oilers organization. He'll join former Atlanta Thrasher, Tomi Kallio, as the Lakers renew and recharge their image with a new arena, new logo, and new uniforms.
Moran, who was one third of the top scoring line for the Barons, appears to be the first domino to fall in a group of older, veteran players who'll need to be moved to make room for younger talent within the organization. Names like Alexandre Giroux and Martin Gerber might be next on the chopping block as their "rent-a-seasons" proved profitable out of the gates, but not important in the long term plan.
What's also interesting to point out is the lack of positional centers in the Oilers organization. Moran was never intended to be the center of the future for the Oilers, but in his absence even the Barons are thin at this position. The defensive signings of late have shored the blue lines future, but the lack of strength down the middle is apparent. Through the draft and possible off-season acquisitions, this will be something to keep your eye on.
Thanks to Eric and Oilers Jambalaya for reporting Brad Moran news out of the gate. Great work.