As we have discovered, the OKC Barons have fans who live in various places around the world. Fred is located in Reno, Nevada and I first met him on Twitter earlier this season, and, as you can see, he is a serious Oilers and Barons fan. Thank you, Fred, for participating in our interviews and I hope to see you in OKC next season for a game!
Meet Fred Steinmann – OKC Barons Fan!
PT: Where are you located? Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Fred: My name is Fred Steinmann and I currently live in Reno, Nevada. I was born in 1978 in St. John, New Brunswick where I lived for just 6 months. I grew up in the small prairie town of Morinville, Alberta just north of Edmonton until I was 13 and then, in 1990/91, we moved to Reno, Nevada. I went to high school at Edward C. Reed High School in Sparks, Nevada and then earned my Bachelor’s of Science (2002) and my Master’s of Science (2004) in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno. I have recently earned my Doctorate in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California (2010) and I currently teach urban planning and public administration/policy at the University of Nevada, Reno. I am also Managing Principal of my own economic development consulting firm, Economic Development Solutions, LLC, in Reno. I have been a life-long Edmonton Oilers fan.
PT: How long have you been a hockey fan?
Fred: For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been a fan of the Edmonton Oilers. I grew up in a small town just north of Edmonton during the Oilers dynasty years in the 1980’s. Even though I don’t live in Edmonton anymore, I’ve stayed a loyal fan of the copper and blue – even during the last, not so great, 20 years.
PT: Who is your favorite NHL team and why?
Fred: Edmonton Oilers. Why? Two words: GRANT and FUHR! He was, and remains to this day, my favorite Oiler. The “fastest glove in the west”! Growing up in northern/central Alberta, it was all Oilers, all the time! Playing hockey growing up as a kid, either playing on my midget teams or just playing on the backyard rink, I always dreamed of being Grant Fuhr and playing for the Oilers.
PT: Who is your favorite NHL player(s) and why?
Fred: To this day, Grant Fuhr is and has been my favorite NHL player. On a team of all-stars and hall of famers (Gretzky, Messier, Anderson, Tikkanen, Hunter, Buchberger, Kurri, Beukeboom, Coffey, Moog, and Huddy), Fuhr always found a way to stand out and dominant games. As the Oilers netminder, he was superhuman and managed to make saves that no ordinary human being ever could!
Today, my favorite “active” NHL players would have to include players like Jordan Eberle, Ryan Smyth, and Magnus Paajarvi. Eberle is just so darn good, Smyth is so darn durable and tough, and Mags is just so darn fun to watch!
PT: Do you have any hockey souvenirs? What are they?
Fred: I have lots (probably too many) hockey souvenirs – most of which are Oilers souvenirs. I have an autographed photo of Grant Fuhr that I got for my birthday several years ago, an Oilers game puck, jerseys, t-shirts, hats, and several Oilers pennants from the ‘80’s. I even have an Edmonton Oilers blanket for my living room. Have I mentioned I love the Oilers?
In addition to my Oilers collection of hockey souvenirs, I also have two mini-sticks, a Calgary Flames mini-stick and a Montreal Canadiens mini-stick, from the 1988-89 Stanley Cup final, Game 7 that I got to go to in Montreal! It was great watching the Flames beat the Canadiens (even though I’m loath to ever think of the Flames as a Stanley Cup winning team).
I also have a whole set of souvenirs from both the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah and from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC – both of which I attended. I was able to catch several Canadian men’s and women’s games and my ticket stubs, pins, pucks, jerseys and a stack of photos from both Olympic games are all souvenirs that I cherish to this day; and not only because Canada won Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Gold medals and both Olympics but because it was just a real treat to attend both Winter Olympic games.
PT: What is your favorite hockey souvenir(s)? (Jersey, puck, etc.)
Fred: I have five “favorite” hockey souvenirs:
1) My autographed picture of Grant Fuhr.
2) An Oilers game puck that hopped over the glass and I caught as a kid at an Oilers game in 1986.
3) My very first hockey jersey from when I was just a baby. It’s a Maple Leafs jersey (really old school) that my (late) Grandfather gave me (to my parents) when I was born. Before he became an Oilers fan (he lived in Edmonton but remember that I was born in 1978), he was a Leafs fan and bought the jersey for me when I was just a newborn. It was way too large for me at the time but I grew into it; then I grew out of it!
4) My very first Edmonton Oilers pennant and jersey from the very first Edmonton Oilers game that my (late) Dad took me to in Edmonton in 1985. I was just 7 and I barely remember it but I do remember it was against the St. Louis Blues and I do remember that the Oilers won – by a lot! My Dad bought me my jersey and pennant at (then) Northlands (now Rexall Place) when we got to the game and I’ve kept both to this day.
5) My ticket stub from the Heritage Classic between the Edmonton Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens in 2003. Outside the very first game I went to with my Dad, that was one of the most memorable games I’ve ever been to.
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?
Fred: As a life-long Oilers fan, I’ve also been a fan of the OKC Barons from before they were the OKC Barons. In the past, I’ve followed the Edmonton Road Runners, Toronto Bulldogs, and Hamilton Bulldogs (all past affiliates of the Oilers). I also followed the Springfield Falcons when they were the AHL affiliate for the Edmonton Oilers as a way to keep an eye on emerging talent with the Oilers organization. I also follow the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL. They are the nearest affiliate of the Oilers so, when I get the chance, I make the 2 ½ to 3 hour drive to Stockton from Reno to watch their games. I’ve also been a fan of the Edmonton Oil Kings of the CHL since they rebooted the franchise in 2006. They aren’t necessarily an affiliate of the Oilers but some of their young prospects play for the Oil Kings and they’ve been fun to watch and follow as the Oil Kings continue to develop.
PT: How did you become an OKC Barons fan?
Fred: I’m a fan of the OKC Barons largely because of my support for the Oilers but I have followed the Barons since they started in 2010. I love being able to watch emerging talent in the minors! These guys are hungry and “scary” talented!
PT: How many games do you attend/watch/listen to on average? All? Most? Explain.
Fred: In one way or another, I try to follow most (as many) OKC Barons games as possible. Living in Reno, I obviously have to rely on listening to them on the radio (online) or following the team with in-game live updates via Twitter or Facebook or through the Baron’s website. Given that OKC is kind of far from where I live, I haven’t had a chance to attend a game yet but I’m hoping to soon. Because I teach, I’m usually in school when the season is on so I don’t have much of an opportunity to travel during the season.
PT: What is your opinion of the team and coaching this season, so far?
Fred: The team and coaching staff have done a GREAT job this year. Given last year’s results, it is remarkable to see how quickly this team has turned itself into a championship caliber team during this year’s AHL playoff run. This year’s awesome regular season performance, followed up with this year’s amazing playoff run, is a real testament to the quality of the talent on the ice and to the quality of the ownership, management, and coaching staff behind the bench!
PT: Who are your favorite players and why?
Fred: For the Barons, I’ve been really excited to follow Chorney, Cornet, Danis, Hartikainen, Paajarvi, and VandeVelde. They are exciting players with a lot of talent!
PT: Which player were you most excited to see play this season?
Fred: Hard to say. Paajarvi struggled in the NHL but has done well in OKC. Danis has really emerged as a top-level goalie and I think that VandeVelde is just going to get better as he continues to grow as a player. VandeVelde is just so big that he’s been fun to follow in OKC and he’s been a treat to watch in his rare NHL appearances.
PT: Who is your favorite new player this season (2011-2012)?
Fred: Again, hard to say. Paajarvi, Danis, and VandeVelde are probably my favorite players right now in OKC. But there is a lot of talent on this team too!
PT: Who is your fan favorite this season and why?
Fred: Honestly, I just don’t have one.
PT: What would you change about the team itself, if anything?
Fred: Anyway to get the Barons to play a game closer to Reno? Other than that, the formula for a winning and exciting team that the Barons have put together seems to be working so don’t change anything!
PT: Who deserves a chance at breaking into the Oilers roster next season?
Fred: A lot of emerging talent on this team. I think that Paajarvi, Danis, and VandeVelde have a real strong chance of breaking the Oilers roster next season. It’ll be interesting to see who the Oilers draft no. 1 overall at this year’s NHL Draft and, in addition to their other picks, might complicate the picture a bit. But I think that some room on the Oilers roster should be made for higher talent players. I’m not a fan of No. 35 and I think that there is additional “dead weight” that could be moved to make room for players like Paajarvi, Danis, VandeVelde and a few others like Chorney, Plante, and Chorney.
PT: Describe your best team/player/coach experience this season:
Fred: I don’t know if I have a “best” experience this season when it comes to team/player/coach for this season.
PT: Do you have any additional comments regarding the team and players?
Fred: Watching OKC evolve from last season’s disappointing finish with the 6 game exit to Hamilton in the first round to the amazing regular season and playoff run this season has been incredible to watch. There is some real “scary” talent on this team and following the OKC Barons has been a real treat. Go Barons Go!
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?
Fred: Incomplete – I’d love to be more involved but the distance is hard to overcome.
PT: What would you like to change about the off-ice experience for next season?
Fred: Nothing. From what I gather from following the Baron’s online, the Baron’s have become a real fixture in OKC by being committed to the community.
PT: As a fan, what is your opinion of the social media aspect (Twitter, Facebook, Website)? Pass or Fail and Why?
Fred: A “pass” for sure. Although I live here in Reno, the social media aspects of the OKC Baron’s organization (Twitter, Facebook, and the website) has allowed me to follow the team and connect with other Baron (and Oilers and Stockton Thunder) fans!
PT: Do you have any additional comments on this subject?
Fred: Go Barons Go! Thanks to the Barons for making this fan proud! What a great season and good luck in the rest of the playoffs! And thank you for the opportunity to participate in this interview.