August 30, 2012 – by Patricia Teter
When Andrew Lord signed with the German team SC Riessersee in Garmisch-Partenkirchen this summer, OKC fans were extraordinarily happy to hear that he had returned to the ice once again. Even though Andrew had only played in the preseason game last season in OKC, he remained and will continue to remain a fan favorite here. His gregarious nature and ready smile will be missed.
This past January I interviewed Andrew and if you missed it, take a look. It shows exactly why he has been a favorite from the beginning: Andrew Lord – OKC Barons.
Thanks Andrew! And we wish you all the best in Germany!
August 30, 2012
PT: Thank you for agreeing to this interview and congratulations on your recent signing with SC Riessersee – 2 Bundesliga in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany for the 2012-2013 season. We are very happy to see you return to the ice, even if it is in Germany this coming season! What can you tell us about your new team and league?
Andrew: Thanks very much for the well wishes. I will greatly miss OKC and all the fans, teammates and coaches as I had an amazing 2 seasons there and wish I could be back for more. I wish the entire organization a great upcoming 12/13 season!
I have been in Garmisch for 3 weeks now and have loved every minute of it. The town is beautiful with mountains all around us and a few amazing lakes. The majority of people speak at least some English which has made the transition very easy. Munich is also only an hour away which is nice. The first two weeks was lots of training with 2 ice times a day and a workout in between. We’ve played two exhibition games so far, both against Bad Tolz which is only 45 minutes away and a big rival. We won both games! From what I’ve seen so far the players are much smaller over here but quite fast. The game is much more end to end and not nearly as much corner work and or inzone time because the ice is much wider. I’ve enjoyed my bigger role on this team and getting to play in all situations.
PT: How will playing with Riessersee in a German league differ from how you played in North America?
Andrew: Well from everything I’ve heard and from what I’ve seen so far it is a much different style of game with limited physical play and rarely any fighting. In the AHL and OKC I was trying to do anything I could to make an impact on our team and in the league which meant lots of rough stuff and fighting. I was a role player during my time in OKC and focused on the little details such as finishing my checks, playing good defense, blocking shots etc. I am now expected to play in all situations in Germany and be an offensive leader. This is very exciting for me as I have gotten away from this in recent years while doing whatever it took to try and make it to the NHL.
PT: You have always been a feisty player – will European hockey change that aspect for you?
Andrew: As far as fighting yes – fighting is not tolerated in Europe the same as in North America. That being said, I will definitely still always play with an edge as it’s the only way I know how to play! In our first two games I was so excited to play again since it has been so long – I had lots of energy and with it being a rival team there was lots of physical play which I really enjoyed. There were also a few times where fights nearly broke out but the refs broke them up. Haha!
PT: Are you excited to be in Germany, living outside North America? – We hope to see some photos of you standing at the top of Zugspitze soon! Ryan Keller will be in Geneva next season, and Kevin Montgomery will be in Norway. The three of you might have to get together to do a bit of snow skiing in the Alps.
Andrew: I’m super excited to see another part of the world and start my career overseas. I remember when I was younger always skating with pro’s in the summer that played over in Germany and Europe and thinking how great that would be. It’s definitely been difficult giving up on my dream of playing in the NHL, especially after missing this past season and not being able to show everything that I can offer. But this is sort of a second go around and a great opportunity to start fresh.
PT: Do you know German, or have you started to learn the language this summer?
Andrew: I’ve learned about 20 words now! Our coach speaks German in the locker room so I have been picking stuff up. I also have some German/English flash cards so I plan on learning the language as much as possible.
PT: Winters in southern Germany near Zugspitze should be great fun! A world away from Oklahoma and Vancouver weather I think. Are you prepared for serious winter weather?
Andrew: Yes, I can’t wait for snow season and to get up on the mountains. I will have to do some shopping here soon to pick up some warmer clothes though! We have been spoiled the last few weeks with great summer weather. Driving should be interesting as well with the BMW’s we have here – rear wheel drive! haha!
PT: Have you had time this summer to spend with your family and friends in Canada before you head to Europe?
Andrew: It is always great to get home to Vancouver and see everyone!! However it was way too short of a summer with only getting home June 1st after the long playoff run with OKC! And then having to leave for Germany beginning of August.
PT: You were in OKC for a season and a half and you have many fans who are very sad to see you depart. Even though you did not play this past season, fans considered you an integral part of the team and always a fan favorite. We wish you all the best in Garmisch-Partenkirchen! Please keep in touch and you will always have fans here in Oklahoma, wherever you go.
Andrew: Thank you very much! My time in OKC was so special getting to play one level below the NHL! I met many great people and had such a great experience. I hope to visit down the road and also look forward to seeing OKC win their first Calder Cup in the near future!