Monday, May 20, 2013

Reports: Dallas and Edmonton to Play Preseason Game in OKC

Justin Schultz will be back and no doubt get a very nice reception from the Barons' faithful. (Credit: Steven Christy)
According to reports, the Dallas Stars will play the Edmonton Oilers in Oklahoma City during the NHL preseason next year. Friend of the site, Neal Livingston, broke the news, which had been swirling as a rumour for a while.

The game will no doubt feature many players expected on the Texas and OKC rosters next season, as have many preseason games in the past. It will be the first time Dallas has played a preseason tilt in a minor league barn since the unofficial Stars v. Stars friendly match during the inaugural season in Cedar Park. The Minnesota Wild were scheduled to play Dallas last year in Boise as part of their training camp in Idaho, but those plans were scuttled by the NHL lockout.

The elephant in the room here is no doubt the attendance issue. The series against Oklahoma City averaged just under 1,900 fans. Livingston did point out in an earlier post that those fans in attendance were very passionate and knowledgeable. The Barons were competing for much of the series with the Oklahoma City Thunder playoffs, both home and away dates. They should see a big bump from the obvious marketing appeal of an NHL team, especially one that had a lot of players in OKC last season. There's also the benefit of the Stars being the closest team to OKC, which may bring the travelers from the Metroplex and even Dalls or NHL fans in general who now live in Oklahoma.

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