Lady Isobel Stanley (Credit: Topley Studio / Library and Archives Canada / e0003894465)

I met “Lady Isobel Stanley” earlier this season and I have greatly enjoyed talking to her – even though she insists on being a Blackhawks fan!

In case you were unaware, the real Lady Isobel’s father was Lord Stanley – yes, that Lord Stanley as in the Stanley Cup. Lady Isobel played hockey and she was one of the first females ever to be photographed playing hockey. What a gal!

Meet “Lady Isobel Stanley” – OKC Barons Fan!

PT: How long have you been a hockey fan?

Lady Isobel: Although my husband has been a lifelong fan, I’ve only been a true fan for two years – since the Barons came to OKC.

PT: Who is your favorite NHL team and why?

Lady Isobel: The Blackhawks, since we used to live in Illinois, and the Oilers, because I can watch our former players. I still think of them as “ours”.

PT: Who is your favorite NHL player(s) and why?

Lady Isobel: Jeff Petry for that very reason, he was “ours” first.

PT: Do you have any hockey souvenirs? What are they?

Lady Isobel: I do have several items that are special to me – an autographed jersey, and lots of photos.

PT: What is your favorite hockey souvenir(s)? (Jersey, puck, etc.)

Lady Isobel: My favorites are the photos of family members with certain players. They have a special place of honor on the wall.

PT: If you are from Oklahoma, were you a Blazers fan? And if so, how do you compare the Blazers with the AHL OKC Barons team?

Lady Isobel: I went to a few Blazers games with my family, but honestly I was people-watching more than I was watching the game. The difference between CHL and AHL play is amazing, from the first Barons game I attended I was hooked. It’s so much faster and more exciting.

The OKC Barons Team (Players and Coaching staff):

PT: The OKC Barons are now two years old – did you have an opportunity to follow the team since the beginning?

Lady Isobel: Yes, I’ve been following the team since the day it was announced, even before it had a name.

PT: How many games do you attend and/or watch on average? All?  Most?  Explain.

Lady Isobel: I’ve been to almost every home game both last season and this season. I love standing in line before the game, walking into the arena, the air of excitement, and watching the stands fill up. We listen to most of the away games, or follow the game on Twitter - @ahlbarons.

PT: What is your opinion of the team and coaching this season, so far? 

Lady Isobel: I’m the first to admit that I’m still learning about the game, so my opinion might not count for much. They all seem to get along great, players and coaches alike. The players work together so well. It all just “clicks” and it’s evident. The coaching staff is great.

PT: Who are your favorite players and why?

Lady Isobel: I have several favorites: Teubert, Grant, Tulupov. They have larger-than-life personalities both on and off the ice.

PT: Which player were you most excited to see play this season?

Lady Isobel: Magnus Paajarvi, there was so much buzz when he came down and I was very excited to watch him play. He didn’t disappoint – wow, one second he’s at one end of the rink and then zoom he’s at the other end.

PT: Who is your favorite new player this season (2011-2012)?

Lady Isobel: Tyler Pitlick, a young man with a bright future ahead. I’ve enjoyed watching him on the ice. Someday I’ll be able to say “I knew him back when…”

PT: Who is your fan favorite this season and why?

Lady Isobel: Andrew Lord is my favorite even though he didn’t play this year. What a great attitude he has had about this season’s challenges and about life in general. Does he ever have a bad day? I really admire that.

PT: What would you change about the team itself, if anything?

Lady Isobel: I wouldn’t change a thing.

PT: Who deserves a chance at breaking into the Oilers roster next season?

Lady Isobel: Although I’d hate to lose any of the players, I’m always happy to see them play in Edmonton. Vandevelde and Danis are my picks to have that opportunity next season.

PT: Describe your best team/player/coach experience this season:

Lady Isobel: I’ve had so many great experiences that it’s hard to name just one. I think the opportunity I’ve had to chat with Coach Nelson several times and he remembers who I am, that’s cool.

Off-ice Fan Experiences – this includes inside the arena, outside events and social media:

PT: How is the off-ice experience for you as a fan this season? Pass or Fail and Why?

Lady Isobel: Pass – For the most part it’s been good.

PT: What has been your best off-ice experience this season and why?

Lady Isobel: I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to the players at the pre-season meet and greet, the Sunday skates and the autograph signings. The Season Seat Holder get-together at the Science Museum was first-class. The players are all friendly and willing to visit.

We took friends to a Sunday game, and the two teenage girls participated in the after-game skate, even though neither had ever been on skates before. Watching them having the time of their lives out there, gingerly moving from one player to the next and taking photos with them, was one of my favorite experiences.

PT: What has been your worst off-ice experience this season and why?

Lady Isobel: The City removing the big banners from the side of the Cox Center. I’m really disappointed in the way the team is treated by the Powers That Be.

PT: What would you like to change about the off-ice experience for next season?

Lady Isobel: I’m not really interested in the Ice Girls interviews. The games of “guess the player” were fun. I like the clips on the big board with the players, such as Plante threatening to sic Tristan Grant on us if we get up during play. I realize the team is young and the off-ice presence is still being developed. I’ll enjoy seeing where it goes from here.

PT: As a fan, what is your opinion of the social media aspect (Twitter, Facebook, Website)? Pass or Fail and Why?

Lady Isobel: The team’s website is hard to navigate; it takes me forever to find something such as the fan favorites voting page. I wish it were optimized for mobile phones too; the AHL site is and it’s so much easier to look up something there if it’s information both sites might have. Facebook and Twitter are getting better recently, I enjoyed all the chatter last weekend during the games. However, there are posts about other sports such as OK football personalities and golf, and I am not interested in those at all. I do like hearing about what the team is doing, whether it’s a Barons Buddies outing or rowing with Olympic hopefuls. I love the game intro this year “I Was Built”. I wish it were posted on youtube though; only the teaser is online.

Gore Bay hockey team of Manitoulin Island, Ontario, 1921.

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