Earlier in June, we asked for Flames fans from around the world to tell us about their experiences cheering for the team from outside of Calgary. We did not expect to receive so many amazing replies from great fans all around the world.
So far, we’ve heard from fans spanning 102 cities and towns, 23 countries, and six continents. We’ve covered eight provinces and territories in Canada, and 19 states in the United States. The Flames community truly does cover the entire planet, and we’re lucky and proud to be part of that community. If you missed our post on the overall results and a coverage map, check it out here!
Full Global Flames Fan Series: Australia, England, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, Tajikistan, Brazil, China, the United States, and Canada outside of Calgary.
Next up in our Global Flames Fan Series are responses from our friends in Sweden! We actually received six responses from fans from Sweden in total. Enjoy!
How did you become a Flames fan?
My dad had a Canadian friend who came over to hunt in Sweden. The Flames had just won the Stanley Cup and Håkan Loob was a big deal over here, so he brought a signed baseball cap and jersey. I was 10 at the time and I’ve stuck with the team since.
My first ever hockey cards were Theo Fleury and Trevor Kidd which I got given back in ’95 by my cousin, been a fan ever since.
Hakan Loob was my childhood idol.
Tell us about your experience following the Flames from outside of Calgary.
Mainly forums (Calgarypuck), highlights on the web. The time difference makes it hard to watch games unless they are ultra late on the NA west coast (so early morning here).
In the past it’s been hard to keep up to date at times and watching games was tough, but overall it’s been great, especially when you run into another fan since they are likely just as starved for hockey conversations as you are.
The time difference is the hardest part. Home games starts 3-4 in the morning. So mostly its my morning news feed on my way to work or at breakfast.
Do you watch games? If so, where do you typically watch and with whom?
I watch on Viasat Hockay, a cable/satellite network in Sweden.
I do, I usually watch them with myself as I have few friends that are interested in hockey.
If its a weekend matinee. I usually watch it online. Before internet (yes, I’m that old) there wasn’t much info about the NHL here in Sweden. Some occasionally spot on the evening sports. But no real coverage. But now its mostly TSN, the Flames website and your great site.
What is the most popular sport where you live, and which teams? What challenges do you face following the Flames?
Football (soccer for you barbarians). The time difference is the biggest obstacle as well as shipping costs/tax etc if I want to buy fan gear. Flames have a small fan base in Sweden, its all Toronto, New York, Colorado, Detroit etc – basically successful teams where the Swedish superstars play/played.
Soccer is definitely the most popular. Although hockey definitely has a big following as well. I find most people only really follow the SHL here, the NHL isn’t all that popular. People might have a favourite team but they don’t really follow the league all that closely. Being a smaller market people tend to overlook the Flames. Most people I meet are either Rangers or Vegas fans.
Hockey and soccer are the biggest sports, depending on what time of the year it is. For me its all hockey. Farjestad BK (thanks to Loob again) is my favourite team.
The biggest challenge is the time difference. And the fact that Swedish sports journalists seem to dislike the Flames. They can’t say it’s because of the time difference because there are a disturbingly high amount of news coverage regarding Vancouver.
What is the best experience you’ve had as a Flames fan from where you live?
None really, since there are no other fans….Swedish Flames fans, where you at? We know you’re out there!
Being so isolated from other fans, I’m not sure I’ve had any really great hockey moments. I usually just get to watch the games by myself, which admittedly can be quite nice. I was pretty excited for the run back in ’04, but then again weren’t we all!
My and my friend went on a trip from here to the Holy city back in ’06. Went to two games at the ‘Dome, was interviewed by Rob Kerr at FAN960. Met a lot of great people. Some I still keep in touch with. We really had an awesome time in Calgary.
What is the worst experience you’ve had as a Flames fan from where you live?
Last season was a complete bummer… no matter where you live. Gulutzan years was also a tough one. Even worse than the late 90s.
Not sure I’ve had any bad experiences specifically linked to being a fan. Not that I can think of at least.
Game six – ’04. I’ll leave it at that…
Who is your favourite player and why?
Rasmus Andersson on the current roster. Good mix of skill and toughness, and of course he’s Swedish.
Favourite current player would have to be Andersson. Looks to be a total stud and I loved the personality he showed this year.
That’s hard. I’ll go with Tkachuk. He has got it all. Speed, finesse, scoring touch, hits and heart. Lindholm and Andersson close behind.
A big thanks to these Flames fans for providing such great answers to our questionnaire. There are definitely other Flames fans in Sweden; maybe someone needs to organize a group watch party for a Flames game sometime soon! The Flames currently have one of the largest groups of Swedish players on their roster, so maybe it’s time to recruit more fans in Sweden.
If you’re from Sweden and follow the Flames, we’d love to hear your stories too! Tell us about your experiences being a fan in the comments or on social media.
Stay tuned for the next Global Flames Fan Series article featuring our friends from Germany!