By Cassie Gage, OKC Barons on 07/29/2013

Wild Year for OKC Vet, Josh Green
Cassie Gage/

Josh Green wasn’t quite ready for the season to be over. In the days following the game seven loss to Grand Rapids, Green characterized his emotions as one of the emptiest feelings he’s ever had after a season. It certainly wasn’t the prototypical hockey season with the NHL lockout and its subsequent end, adjusting to a new lineup, a teammate being diagnosed with cancer and a great postseason run.

But if there was anyone on the Barons team that could say they’ve seen it all, it’s Green. He’s logged more than 850 professional games in his career, 341 of those in the NHL. Green just concluded his second year with the Barons and first as team captain.

“As far back as I can remember, this was definitely one of the craziest (seasons I’ve had),” Green said. “It felt like there were three different parts to the season. There was pre-lockout, post-lockout and then once we made the changes and when on a bit of a run. Then obviously with the great playoffs that we had and all of the excitement, it was a fun year.”

Green played in 49 games for the Barons last season, scoring nine goals and 15 assists. He isn’t for sure if he’ll return for the 2013-14 season, but he certainly feels he still has the opportunity to contribute.

“Everything I do runs through Edmonton as far as coming back,” he said. “We’ll see what they’rethinking. I still feel like I can contribute. I feel like I have my legs and maybe have a couple of more years left, but we’ll see what happens. I’ve loved my time here. I love the city and coaching staff and teammates and everything that comes along with it. I’d love to be a part of it.”

If Green were to return, his veteran status would bring some expertise. The Barons continue to be the primary development team of future Oilers, and Green’s experience of the day-to-day grind could benefit those young players.

“I know Edmonton wants to develop young guys and get them playing in certain situations – power play, penalty kill and end of the game,” he said. “They need to see if they have what it takes to get to the next level and they have to be in those positions. I’d like to come back and contribute. I think being here the past couple of years would be a benefit.”

Green has been a part of two western conference final teams the last two seasons in Oklahoma City. The Barons bowed out to the Toronto Marlies two years ago and to eventual Calder-Cup champion Grand Rapids this past year. Green believes those experiences will help shape future Oilers.

“I think that’s how young guys develop – being in a winning culture and winning atmosphere. That’s something (the Barons) have been a part of the last several years,” he said. “Winning a playoff series, learning how to close out series is important for development. You’re going to see some of the guys that have been here the last year make the jump and hopefully build on some of that winning and take that up top and run with it.”

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