The Stavanger Oilers of Norway’s Get Ligaen are in a tight battle with rival Valerenga heading into the stretch. Both teams are tied atop the ten team league with Stavanger looking to repeat as league champions. The team has beefed up the roster with two hockey veterans and Ontario Hockey League grads.
Paul Traynor brings strong defense to Stavanger. Traynor played three years in the OHL from 1994-95 to 1996-97, all with the Kitchener Rangers. After just his first season in the OHL, Paul was drafted in the seventh round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets, 162nd overall. To date, he has not played in the National Hockey League.
After bouncing around with ten different teams in three league in North America between 1997-98 and 2003-04, Traynor headed to Europe for the 2004-05 season. Up until the end of 2011-12, he had spent all his time in Germany’s Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) with Kolner, Iserlohn, Wolfsburg and Nurnberg. He played 2011-12 with Nurnberg and has yet to play in 2012-13. Over his time in Germany, Traynor played in 403 regular season DEL games. A big number in a league where each team plays just 52 games in a season.
Matt Ryan should provide Stavanger with some extra goal scoring. Ryan played two years in the Ontario Hockey League, 2002-03 and 2003-04, both with the Guelph Storm. He had started out in the NCAA with Niagara University but left to join the Storm just into the 2002-03 season.
In 2003-04, Ryan placed tied for fourth in the OHL with 42 goals. That Storm team won the Robertson Cup with a sweep of the Mississauga IceDogs in the finals. Unfortunately, Guelph went winless at the Memorial Cup tournament, held in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Undrafted, Matt appeared with the Los Angeles Kings for a 12 game stint in 2005-06 after spending time with their AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs. He has been in Europe since the 2008-09 season, playing in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Italy, and now Norway. Ryan’s 2012-13 season started out with Milano Rossoblu of Italy’s Lega Italiana Hockey su Ghiaccio (LIHG).
The Stavanger Oilers sit tied for first in the ten team Get Ligaen, Norway’s highest level of hockey. The Oilers were promoted to the Get Ligaen for the 2003-04 season. Stavanger was league playoff champions in 2009-10 and 2011-12. They reached the finals in 2010-11. The team plays out of the 2,582 seat Stavanger Ishall. Stavanger is located on the southwest tip of Norway and is the third largest city in the country.