Former Barons: Helmer, Lord + Others to CHL, AHL, NHL, KHL, DEL, EIHL + Austria

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Helmer

A number of former OKC Barons players have signed within the past month in the CHL, AHL, NHL, KHL, England, Germany and Austria. Among the most notable is of course Bryan Helmer who has been hired as the Assistant Coach of the Hershey Bears. Congratulations, Bryan!

From the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears’ announcement:

“Helmer, 41, spent the 2013-14 season as an assistant coach with the Peterborough Petes of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., native played in 146 NHL games with Phoenix, St. Louis, Vancouver and Washington, registering 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists) and 135 penalty minutes. Helmer played in 12 games with the Capitals during the 2008-09 season, earning three assists.

The 6’1”, 210-pound defenseman played in 1,117 AHL games during his 20-year career, collecting 564 points (129 goals, 435 assists). Helmer is the AHL’s all-time leader in Calder Cup playoff appearances (159), all-time leader in points by a defenseman and ranks third in AHL history in regular-season games played. He won three AHL championships, including two while serving as captain of the Bears (2009, 2010).  Helmer also earned two AHL postseason All-Star Team recognitions was awarded the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award in 2010-11 as the player who best exemplified the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey.”

Another former OKC Barons player to join the coaching ranks is Andrew Lord who re-signed with the Cardiff Devils (EIHL) as their Player-Coach this season. In OKC we saw Andrew’s avid interest in coaching during his last season. Upon being asked about his new position, Andrew said, “when I was approached about the player/coach position I jumped at it and was more excited than I could ever explain.”

“I’ve been coaching in some capacity from a very young age,” Andrew explained. “Whether it was drawing up on-ice drills for a few buddies in the summer, helping run full skills sessions during the off-season or helping coach in Oklahoma City (American League) when I missed a season due to injury. I’ve always had a passion for coaching. There is no better feeling than helping someone improve and seeing how excited they get about bettering themselves.”

Congratulations, Andrew!

Following is a list of additional players signed the past month, and for the full list see Former OKC Barons Whereabouts.

Belle, Shawn – (part of 2010-11) June 16, 2014Signs with Medvescak Zagreb (KHL);
Chorney, Taylor  (2010-11; most of 2011-12) July 1, 2014Signs 1-yr 2-way with Pittsburgh Penguins;
Erickson, Sean – (PTO 2011-12; 1 game) July 8, 2014Re-signs with Rapid City Rush (CHL);
Fedun, Taylor – (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14) July 1, 2014Signs 1-yr 2-way with the San Jose Sharks;
Helmer, Bryan – (Part of 2010-11; 2011-12 Captain) July 2, 2014: Accepts position as Assistant Coach with the Hershey Bears (Washington Capitals);
Jacques, Jean-François – (4 games 2010-11) June 23, 2013Signs with Klagenfurter AC (Austria);
LaBarbera, Jason – (2 games in 2013-14) July 1, 2014Signs 1-year with Anaheim Ducks;
Lafranchise, Kane – (part of 2012-13; 9 games) July 11, 2014Signs with the Utica Comets (AHL);
Lord, Andrew – (Part of 2010-11; 2011-12): June 26, 2014Signs to be Player-Coach with Cardiff Devils (EIHL);
Stortini, Zack – (Part of 2010-11) July 2, 2014Signs a 1-yr 2-way with the Philadelphia Flyers;
VandeVelde, Chris – (2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13) July 4, 2014Re-signs 1-yr 2-way with Philadelphia Flyers;
Yeo, Dylan – (2011-12) July 10, 2014Signs 1-year contract with Straubing Tigers (DEL);