Friday, January 7, 2011

AHL Veteran Bryan Helmer To Sign With Oklahoma City Barons

Andrew and Bryan with the Calder Cup - August 2010
Word filtered through to me earlier this week, but not wanting to reveal any secrets, I had to sit on this information for a few days...

AHL veteran and friend of TVOS, Bryan Helmer, is back in the American Hockey League, perhaps as early as tonight - with the Oklahoma City Barons, the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers.

The three-time Calder Cup champion was without a contract this season, but he has been in Oklahoma to practise with the team for the past week. NewsOK is reporting today that a contract offer is forthcoming for the veteran defenseman.

The Barons just sent out a press release confirming that Helmer will be suiting up with the Barons.

“He’s a guy that can play the power play and do a lot of things for us,” Barons head coach Todd Nelson told NewsOK. “He’s got an impressive resume.”

Bryan has been very supportive of my career and The Voice of Sport, and I can honestly say he is the true definition of the phrase role model. A dedicated father and teammate, he remained positive even though his hockey career was on hold. Speaking with him while he waited for a contract offer, it was very clear that Bryan's passion for hockey had not diminished at all and he was ready to embrace any new challenges that came his way.

By joining the Barons, Helmer can continue his quest to reach two very important career milestones: 1,000 games played in the AHL (he has hit the ice in 982 games) and John Slaney's career point total for a defenseman. Helmer is six points away from reaching Slaney's 519 career points.

“I still have the drive to play,” Helmer said when we spoke at the end of November for an article at The Hockey Writers. “But that (Slaney’s 519 points) is really making me want to play; I’d also love to win another championship.”

TVOS will be speaking with Bryan in the near future (he is a little busy right now!) so keep an eye out for more information on his return to the AHL here at The Voice of Sport.

Congratulations Bryan!!

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