The internet has made it possible for fans all over the world to not only follow hockey teams a continent away but also meet their fans as well. Twitter and Facebook have opened the doors to communication between fans, and such is the case with Martin Lundén and OKC Barons fans. Martin appears on Twitter as @dohfOs and he also writes the blog Swedish Oil by dohfOs – and his Swedish perspective on the Oilers and Barons has been fascinating. If you are not yet following him on Twitter or read his blog, do it, immediately! His news and updates on the Oilers and Barons Swedish players have been invaluable. Swedes aside, I also like to think of Martin as our Swedish contingent of Tulupov’s Army. And, yes, I like Martin even though he has no good use for my Swedish Sedins – Martin, I think you have been brainwashed by all those Oilers fans! 🙂
Meet Martin Lundén – OKC Barons Fan!
PT: If you are not in Oklahoma City, or even Oklahoma, where are you located?
Martin: I’m actually about 8000 kilometres (or 5000 miles) from you if I remember correctly. I live in Malmö, Sweden – which is actually the home town of Magnus Pääjärvi (even if his bio usually states Norrköping). But to answer the most obvious question – yes, I’m a Swede.
PT: How long have you been a hockey fan?
Martin: Depends how you look at it I suppose, my real interest began in the very early 90’s I suppose but I grew up playing table hockey and even if that ain’t even close to the real deal I’ve always enjoyed the game.
PT: Who is your favorite NHL team and why?
Martin: Edmonton Oilers. Why … well, to make a long story short … in the early 90’s when I realized I “had” to have a team I was given a NHL album to which you could buy packets of stickers, kind of similar to hockey cards but nowhere near the same quality, and put them into the album. Every team had 15-20 set players to them so not all were represented. Anyway … when I had gone through all the players in the entire album I was able to find just one player who had the same first name as myself, Martin Gélinas – and he played for the Edmonton Oilers. This was actually the year after Edmonton had won their last Stanley Cup (which I’ve learned afterwards), but at that time I had no idea … and here I am 20+ years later and the Oilers have had one good season since.
PT: Who is your favorite NHL player(s) and why?
Martin: I would probably have to answer Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton Oilers #40. Obviously there’s more … but, he’s the one I always cheer a bit extra for. I once came home late, tired as f**k and sat on Facebook. I fancied Dubnyk so I thought I’d add his (very unofficial) fan page. So, when I (thought I) clicked “like” I received the message “Devan Dubnyk will be notified about your friend request”… I was like “oh no … that wasn’t supposed to happen.” I sent him a message telling him to ignore my request as it wasn’t my intention to add him. The day after I received a message back from Devan who seemed to be in a good mood.
He accepted my unintentional request and since then I can’t not like the guy. Overall I’m not a fan of a player who’s not currently or in the past has been playing for my team. I suppose there’s a difference there between most Europeans and most Americans/Canadians. I can appreciate other players as in “well yeah, they play good hockey.” But I won’t ever cheer for ’em or call them my favourites. For all I care I’m all good with the Sedins (just an example) bumping into each other breaking a leg each during the season opener. They know their hockey sure, but sucks to be them (kinda). Sedins out is good for my team which means I’m good too. Then again, there are always teams I prefer less than others.
PT: Do you have any hockey souvenirs? What are they?
Martin: Well, I have some Färjestad BK – souvenirs (scarf, T-shirts, hats and whatnot) as they are “my team” over here in Sweden (for your sake I really hope Klefbom will represent the Barons colours sometime, he’s such a classy player). I once was quite a big fan of them but over the years I’ve realized hockey on big ice isn’t my thing. I also have an Oilers scarf and an Oilers jersey, signed by Devan Dubnyk. Think I must be the lone Swede with a signed DD-jersey – gotta be proud of that.
PT: What is your favorite hockey souvenir(s)? (Jersey, puck, etc.)
Martin: Obviously, it’s the Dubey jersey. He got to choose which one of the three the Oilers used at that time, he picked the retro colours (which is now the home jersey) and I’m happy with his pick. I used to have a Petr Klima jersey too but sadly, that one was stolen from me.
What’s even more sad is the fact I don’t have a Barons jersey as of yet – shame on me.
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?
Martin: I did yeah, but only via their and the Oilers homepage.
PT: How many games do you attend/watch/or listen to on the radio on average? All? Most? Explain.
Martin: Depends really. As much as I like the Barons, the Oilers are my number one team. So whenever the Oilers play I’m not able to tune into the Barons cast. Also, I’m 7 hours or so ahead of you guys, which at times limits how much I’m able to follow. So say I listen to 50% of the games on radio, watch a couple on AHL Live or such and the rest I follow via Twitter or read about the day after.
PT: What is your opinion of the team and coaching this season, so far?
Martin: Can’t really complain now can we? Obviously it would’ve been fun at the very least to have one natural born sniper á la McDonald and Giroux from last season. But as whole the depth of scoring has been impressive and the same can be said of the three goalies who have represented the Barons this season.
PT: Who are your favorite players and why?
Martin: I always cheered for the Tokyo-born Ryan O’Marra and was happy to see him finally coming into his own this season … but, then he was traded (can we have that one back!?) Hard not to mention Kirill Tulupov, just seems to me like the perfect athlete and person. I’m so hoping the Oilers will sign him and that he receives the opportunity to play in the NHL with ’em. A bit more consistency and less dumb penalties could do the trick. To start with I’m hoping he’ll be back for next season and the Barons should use him more.
PT: Which player were you most excited to see play this season?
Martin: Probably Pitlick, potential quality player even on a higher level. Has been stellar during his training camps with the Oil.
PT: Who is your favorite new player this season (2011-2012)?
Martin: Well, seeing I’ve already mentioned both of Tulupov and Pitlick I would probably have to mention them again here. But I’m also pleasantly surprised with Danis. Here I thought Gerber would be hard to replace and Danis really proved me wrong.
PT: Who is your fan favorite player this season and why?
Martin: There’s a Tulupov Army in Chicago … I think that sums it up.
PT: What would you change about the team itself, if anything?
Martin: Well … I’d probably want to see less line juggling. I know call-ups and injuries are a factor but even at times when there hasn’t been much of that, there haven’t been as much consistency as I personally would prefer when it comes to the lines. Give the guys more time to find chemistry. If I were to follow my ego I’d play Tulupov more … and I’d also have Martindale up all season … but, that’s basically because of him being a personal dark horse of mine.
PT: Who deserves a chance at breaking into the Oilers roster next season?
Martin: Is Pääjärvi or Hartikainen valid answers? The one that really deserves it is Yann Danis. He should be part of a tandem with Dubnyk going forward. Tulupov could play the role as 7th D and a superb mentor for the (potential) Oilers newcomer Nail Yakupov. Trembley also deserves a shot and I hope Tyrväinen can make the big club. Safe to say, there are many in the OKC roster that would do well on the 4th or even the 3rd line with the big club. Can’t see Pitlick, Keller or House making themselves look dumb on the Oilers 3rd or 4th line either.
PT: Describe your best team/player/coach experience this season:
Martin: That would have to be when Tulupov added me as a friend on Facebook and sent me a message out of the blue.
PT: Do you have any additional comments regarding the team and players?
Martin: More so on the coach perhaps. It’s only a matter of time before Nelson finds himself in the NHL, hopefully with the Oilers so that he can keep in contact with the Barons.
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?
Martin: Pass. I don’t understand why they need two accounts for Twitter. That just makes things confusing for most. Keep everything under one account, keep the fans together. Harder to grow bigger using two accounts.
PT: What has been your best off-ice experience this season and why?
Martin: Probably Chris Wescott in general and his Barons Beat. Also following guys on Twitter like Eric Rodgers and Neal Livingston to mention two, and having lively discussions with them have always been a blast. The OKC Barons Diehards on Facebook is also worth a mention.
For me, following an AHL-team as closely as I now do wouldn’t have been possible just a couple of years ago. The Internet is a wonderful thing at times.
PT: What has been your worst off-ice experience this season and why?
Martin: Don’t know if it fits here, but AHL Live … seriously. They need to sort it. I know I can’t really put the blame on OKC Barons and the organization but still. They could probably have better cameras and a real production. Would probably generate lots more fans. I did spend some of my money on AHL Live in the beginning but it’s just so utterly useless. There has to be a way for them to sort it similar to how the NHL GCL works today. Guessing that’s up to the league and not the Barons … but, I can’t hold myself from complaining.
Suppose I could mention how some fans seem to treat Omark as well. Some almost describe him as the scum of the Earth when the only “negatives” he ever really said about OKC or the Barons is that he thought it was a shame there were so few in attendance, that he would prefer to play in the NHL and to play in the Worlds rather than going through waivers back to play the playoffs with the Barons in the AHL.
Obviously it can sting to hear that a player would prefer to play for his national team over the club, but it’s also a matter of his own future. Showcasing yourself in the Worlds is usually a way better idea than doing it in the AHL. Suppose some fans could try to appreciate what he did good too, not only react to what he did wrong. Feel free to correct me but he still holds some Barons records does he not? Oh well…. In a couple of months he won’t be with the organization any more so let’s all get over it.
PT: What would you like to change about the off-ice experience for next season?
Martin: Not much when it comes to the Barons as an organization. They could probably do a better job trying to reach out to the region (commercials and whatnot), but that’s not really my field since I don’t know a whole lot of what’s going on.
PT: As a fan, what is your opinion of the social media aspect (Twitter, Facebook, Website)? Pass or Fail and Why?
Martin: I’ve already touched on their Twitter-account … and their Facebook is good. Quick answers is you ask something. Their website is a fail though … as an Information Architect I can’t bear it, sorry. I would like to see them on Google+ as well. But overall – pass.
PT: Do you have any additional comments on this subject?
Martin: I really miss Ryan Aber at NewsOK, he was quality during the first season. Such a shame they decided to relocate him to another section. NewsOK is in dire need of a quality hockey-writer.