Yes, Emily Ski is a Chicago Wolves fan, but she is also cheering for our OKC Barons – when there is no conflict with her Wolves. Being a Vancouver Canucks fan, I have a soft spot for Emily and her Wolves since the Wolves were affiliated with the Canucks this season. Emily drove to OKC from Illinois when the Wolves came to town last month and she proudly represents Tulupov’s Army in Chicago! Yes, that rascally loud group cheering for Crazy 8 continues to expand. 😉
Meet Emily Ski – OKC Barons and Chicago Wolves Fan!
PT: You are not from Oklahoma – please explain a bit about yourself and why you came to OKC to attend an OKC Barons game:
Emily: I’m a long time hockey fan. Grew up watching with my father since I was a babe in arms. I started watching the Portland Winterhawks in the WHL, and once I moved to Illinois we started following the Chicago Wolves of the IHL and then the AHL. I came down now for the second year, to see the Chicago Wolves take on the OKC Barons. I love to attend away games as well as home games. Get to see some great talent from both teams and meet new people at the same time!
PT: How long have you been a hockey fan?
Emily: Since I was in my mother’s womb and my parents watched games together.
PT: Who is your favorite NHL team and AHL team and why?
Emily: I have many favorite NHL teams and AHL teams. Usually I like a team due to the players. In the AHL it’s usually cause they gave me a puck or stick, or a wink on the ice. I pay more attention to them and the talent and it grows from there. (I’m not a fan of the Blackhawks or Rockford. It’s a personal reason more than anything).
PT: Who is your favorite NHL player(s) and why?
Emily: I like Anže Kopitar, the Sedin twins, Cory Schneider, Josh Harding, Pekka Rinne, the Koviu brothers, Ovi, Semin, Tim Stapleton, Bogosian, Ryan Miller, Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Jimmy Slater, Kari Lehtonen, Ondřej Pavelec, Tim Thomas and a few others that I can’t think of right this second. Usually it’s because of the nationality, or they played in the AHL or the team.
PT: Do you have any hockey souvenirs? What are they?
Emily: I have quite a few pucks and sticks and a nice small collection of jerseys.
PT: What is your favorite hockey souvenir(s)? (Jersey, puck, etc.)
Emily: My maroon Wolves Jersey.
The Chicago Wolves and OKC Barons Team (Players and Coaching staff):
PT: You are a Chicago Wolves fan, but have you had an opportunity to follow the OKC Barons team this season?
Emily: I’ll pay attention to the stats throughout a season. Maybe check out the web site once a while to see what’s new, but that’s about it.
PT: How many Chicago Wolves games do you attend and/or watch on average? All? Most? Explain.
Emily: I’ll watch all 80, or what is it now … 76? I attend every home game (if I don’t have class) and I like to go to as many away games as I can. If I could afford it. I would go to all the games. My high so far in a season is 66, but then school happened, lol.
PT: What is your opinion of the Wolves team and coaching this season, so far?
Emily: I’m very proud of the team and the coaching staff. I was hoping for a coach that had a “take no shit attitude” and would have the team play defensively. I knew once the boys started gelling they have the potential to go all the way!
PT: Who are your favorite Wolves players and why?
Emily: Mike Duco for his crazy beard and annoying the other players, Darren Haydar just because he is a great guy! Matt Climie, I’ve loved him since he was a Texas star. I could never “you suck” him. Eddie Lack cause he’s got a great personality. Kevin Doell is a super nice person. Mark Matheson for being a jokester. Victor Oreskovich for his honesty, Mark Mancari for his Slap Shot, Yann Sauve for his “butt” checking, Kevin Connauton for not being afraid to take a shot, Adam Polasek for growing his beard and smiling when I clap for him, Jordan Schroeder was my waiter for the “feed me” and he sat and talked to my friend and me for a long time. He still remembers us, which is cool. Stefan Schneider is my WHL buddy, he played for the Portland Winterhawks. Antoine Roussel is my testosterone-filled Frenchmen with the fastest legs. Tim Miller I thought was a great player last year and should have got signed right away. He’s got skills, Bill Sweatt has got a great last name and likes Storage Wars, Steve Reinprecht always looks at me when he skates out for warm ups. Gives me an important feeling. Pretty sure that’s the MAJORITY of the team. Lol
PT: Which Wolves player were you most excited to see play this season?
Emily: Matt Climie and Eddie Lack
PT: Who is your favorite new Wolves player this season (2011-2012)?
Emily: Oh my loaded question ……. it has to be Mike Duco! Duco! Duco!
PT: Who is your Wolves fan favorite this season and why?
Emily: It’s always Darren Haydar. He’s just an all-around nice guy, who scores goals.
PT: Do you have a favorite OKC Barons player?
PT: What would you change about the Wolves team itself, if anything?
Emily: The power play.
PT: Who deserves a chance at breaking into the Canucks roster next season?
Emily: Duco, Mancari, Reinprecht, Miller, Haydar.
PT: Describe your best Wolves team/player/coach experience this season:
Emily: At the Feed Me towards the beginning of the season, my friend and I were talking to Victor and he was being so serious and honest. Well, Matheson asked if we needed silverware for our dessert and I said yes. He brought me a Super large salad fork (like for serving the salad) and we all laughed so hard and my friend took a picture of it. It’s such a great natural picture. My favorite coach experience was when my mom and I went to Charlotte for two games. The Wolves were down at the start of the third, so when the coaches walked on the bench I leaned over the chairs and fist bumped the glass with both the coaches and the equip manager and athletic trainer. We ended up winning. It was a good rally!
PT: Do you have any additional comments regarding the Wolves or OKC Barons team and players?
Emily: I love them.
Off-ice Fan Experiences – this includes inside the arena, outside events and social media:
PT: You recently attended an OKC Barons game in OKC. How was the OKC Barons off-ice experience for you as a fan? Pass or Fail and Why?
Emily: I will have to say I was shocked about the off-ice experience. The fans were all very nice and said welcome to OKC, the arena staff was friendly, but I smiled at a guy in a suit (ticket rep or something) and I got nothing in return. Like he hates his job that much you can’t return a smile? Boo!!!
PT: What was your best off-ice experience at that game and why?
Emily: The best is the fans for sure! The friendliness. No booing or “you suck” or “wolves suck” like I’ve gotten in other arenas.
PT: What was your worst off-ice experience at that game and why?
Emily: The looks I got from the suits for holding my Tulupov sign outside and yelling “come support your OKC Barons!”
PT: What would you like to change about the off-ice experience from that game?
Emily: Let them take a personality class and get a clue!
PT: What is your opinion of the OKC Barons social media aspect (Twitter, Facebook, Website)? Pass or Fail and Why?
Emily: Twitter-too slow, I find out what happens 5 minutes later than when it really happens. I always think I’m gonna post something faster than the Wolves Twitter and they always beat me! Facebook – don’t follow and website – it’s ok. But I’m not happy with the Wolves website either. But WHAT I’M REALLY SHOCKED ABOUT is there is absolutely no outside media on the OKC Barons. The Wolves have billboards on the majority of the main interstates advertising the Wolves. They can be pretty good sayings sometimes too. We get newspaper coverage and when playoffs start, I hear updates on the local radio station. We even have commercials on the TV. Not on the main channels, but there is something out there. I saw no billboards, no newspaper advertising and didn’t hear anything on the radio. All I saw was Thunder, Thunder, Thunder. Now for a Saturday night, I expected there to be more people at the game. Kind of disappointed in all the empty seats.
PT: The OKC Barons are relatively new – only 2 years old – and they are still expanding in this area, but how do they compare to the Chicago Wolves off-ice entertainment at the games?
They have A LOT of work to do. Granted when the Wolves were 2 years old, they had some issues too, but I give credit to the Wolves background staff. The ticket reps will high five me if I walk up to them (for good luck), they are friendly and fun. They don’t mind taking pictures with ya. Cortney makes sure all the staff is rocking and up to par. She’s a tough lady and you don’t want to piss her off! It’s definitely like a family at the Wolves!
PT: Do you have any additional comments on this subject?
Emily: Being the second year, something needs to be figured out and fixed QUICK! Otherwise the fans won’t come and you will fall to the same fate of the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben and Iowa Stars! Defunct! Oh!! And get that mascot some skating lessons! What kind of on ice mascot doesn’t skate around???? Let him hang with Skates and take a lesson!