29 days from Opening Night means everything is serious from here on out. Some fun mixed in no doubt, but soon, all of the offseason polishing will be put into action.

You may not like serious stuff, and that’s fine, but as I’ll remind you, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

Now for blog…

Yesterday, the AHL unveiled “AHLTV” which will be the new, hi-definition streaming service for all league games. It’s something the league and teams have been working on for quite some time and it was great to see the positive response yesterday. To have a quality product like this, available on many different platforms, will be a big boost for fan engagement, but will also make those on the broadcast production end a little less stressed. Sign up here

We saw demonstrations of the new product in Des Moines back in June and it’s going to be fantastic. Personally, I think the best part is the price of $59.99 for all Condors game OR if you’re in Bakersfield, come to Condors home games often, it’s just $39.99 for the entire Condors road package. Very affordable, available on streaming platforms like Roku and Amazon Fire, and exceptional quality.

The serious on ice business began today as the Oilers rookies started testing in Edmonton ahead of a couple of scrimmages against Calgary and a college team comprised of two colleges in Edmonton. Oilers VP of Player Development, Scott Howson, discussed the opening of camp and in particular, Ryan Mantha, who spent last season in Bakersfield. As has been well documented, Mantha suffered a blood clot during a game last season which caused partial blindness and he hasn’t been cleared by medical staff. Hopefully, he’s able to recover and play, but health is number one.

Big year for Ethan Bear coming up as he looks to build off a solid rookie season.

William Lagesson is an intriguing prospect, partly because he played over in Sweden last season. The 22-year old was drafted in the 4th round of the 2014 NHL Draft by the Oilers and this season will be his first pro year in North America. Howson described him as a defensive d-man who competes.

No question that Kailer Yamamoto, last season’s first round pick, will be the most discussed first-year pro because of the fact he can play in both Edmonton and Bakersfield this season. Where he plays and when is above my pay grade, but he’s a solid prospect.

If you want to view the entire Oilers rookie camp roster, click here.

Main camp will open next week and then the Condors will start seeing players arrive the weekend of the 21st.

One player in rookie camp is second-year pro David Gust, whom the Condors signed earlier in the week to an AHL contract. He had 13 goals and led all rookies with 24 points last season so getting him back in the fold will be beneficial.

LOCK OF THE WEEK? Well, I hope everyone took advantage of my 4-1 week to start the college football calendar because that doesn’t happen often. With the NFL kicking into swing, I’ll give you my two survivor (pick one team a week to win, can’t use again) picks and then a mash-up of NFL and college.

Two Week 1 survivor plays: New Orleans v Tampa Bay; Detroit v New York Jets

Other plays:

San Francisco (+7) @ Minnesota
Los Angeles Rams (-4) @ Oakland
Stanford (-6) v USC
Iowa (-4) v Iowa State
UPSET SPECIAL: The Cleveland Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in one of the worst games you’ll ever watch, 17-14.

Until next time Condorstown…

Ryan Holt is the Voice of the Condors and enters his 8th season in 2018-19. He’s probably going to get in trouble for blogging today instead of “actual work.” Follow him on Twitter @CondorsHolty for more nonsense or shoot him an e-mail to RHolt@BakersfieldCondors.com with questions, comments, or blog ideas.