Thursday, September 23, 2010

An introduction to the Norwegian Elite League - part 3

Click for part 1 and part 2.

Storhamar Dragons

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Jersey


History
Storhamar was founded in 1957. They enjoyed a great period from the mid 90s until 2-3 years ago, but have faded the last 2 years. They won the Norwegian Championship in 95,96,97,00,04 and 08. They won the league in 92/93, 93/94, 94/95, 95/96, 00/01, 03/04 and 05/06.

Last season
They finished 8th and lost to Vålerenga in the semis 1-4.

Arena
Hamar OL-Amfi (Hamar Olympic Amphitheatre) was built in 1992 for the 1994 Winter Olympics. It seats 6 091 people. The arena is very beautiful and the facilities are great. Nothing bad to say about it, except that it gets empty and big at times.





Location
Storhamar are from Hamar, a city 2 hours North of Oslo, by the shore of Norway's biggest lake, Mjøsa.

Location in Norway (green dot):


Key personell
They have a no-name goalie staff and defense. The forwards are lead by veterans Pål Johnsen and Eirik Skadsdammen. Both have national team experience, but Johnsen is over the top and Skadsdammen is in the second tier of Norwegian players. Goalie Robert Hestmann and winger Joakim Jensen both have great talent, but have never really panned out.

Overview
This team is much weaker than in their glory years. They have no really great players and the team isn't deep enough either. Nevertheless, they're not terrible and I think they will finish seventh and lose in the first round.


Lørenskog

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Jersey


History
Lørenskog was founded in 1963. They have never won anything and usually been up and down between the Elite league and division one.

Last season
They finished 4th and lost 4-1 to Storhamar in the quarters.

Arena
Lørenskog ishall was built in 1984 and takes 1 350 people. It is decent, with decent facilities, but is and looks kinda cheap and simple.



Location
Lørenskog is a suburb right outside the Northeastern borders of Oslo. My band rehearses there.

Location in greater Oslo (red pin):


Key personell
The veteran goalie Tommy Lund guards the goal. He is probably among the weaker starters in the league. The defense has a lot of decent guys, the most notable is National team captain and former German league star Tommy Jakobsen. Among the forwards they are stacked. Knut Henrik Spets, Mats Frøshaug, Lars Erik Spets, Kenneth Larsen and Anders Fredriksen all have quite a bit of national team experience. Mats Frøshaug is a Canucks draft pick and a former teammate of mine, but he has yet to really pan out.

Overview
The team has pumped a lot of money into this year. They have stolen lots of players and the coach from Vålerenga and they look stacked. I think they have the strongest lineup in the league and that they will win the league, but lose in the semis.


Vålerenga

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Jersey


History
The club Vålerenga was founded in 1913, but they didn't take up hockey until the late 1950s. Since then they have dominated Norwegian hockey. They became Norwegian champions the following 26 times: 1960, 1962-3, 1965-71, 1973, 1982, 1985, 1987-8, 1991-3, 1998-9, 2001, 2003, 2005-7 and won the league the following 26 times: 1962-71, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1988, 1991-4, 1996, 1998-2000, 2002-3, 2005, 2007, 2009.

It should be said. This team is Norway's most popular hockey team. Their football team is the most popular football team. Everyone in Oslo with no ties to another team roots for them. They are my team's rivals and were the only team that could compete with us in my age group. They are arrogant, they have a horrible macho culture inside the club, would rather take players from other clubs than develop themselves and always have a lot of money (by Norwegian standards) and get bailed out by investors every time (often) they almost go bankrupt cause they don't understand economy. I hate them with all my heart and soul.

Last season
They won the league, but lost the finals to Stavanger 2-4.

Arena
Jordal Amfi taked 4 450 people and was built for the 1952 winter Olympics in Oslo. It got a roof in 1971. It is old and weird. The stands are very steep. It is assymetric. It gets a lot of critisism for being old, but the facilities for players are nice. There are few facilities for the fans, but it is very intimate and loud and very special. People want a new arena, but I like it and hope it stays. Oh, and it is a five minute walk from where I live.





Location
Vålerenga is a part of Oslo on the inner East side. It is a traditional working class part of the city, but has been shined up lately and a lot of young people live here, including, ironically since I hate the team, me. It's a very cozy part of the city.

Location in Oslo (green dot):


Key personell
The most famous guy in the organization is Norway's best hockey player ever, former Djurgården, Mighty Ducks and Blue Jackets great Espen Knutsen. He is the team's coach. Among the player, Patrick des Rochers, the team's goalie is the key player. The former Coyotes first round pick (1998, 14th overall) who has 11 NHL games for Phoenix and Carolina is arguably the league's best goalie. The defense is lead by veteran team Norway defenseman Lars Erik Lund. Up front the team is stacked with young Norwegian talent, while the experience is provided by new American aquisition Mark McCutcheon (has AHL experience), and Canadian former Caps pick (few AHL games) Blake Evans.

I know guys on each team in the league, but defenseman Anders Hilt Jørgensen is the one I know the best. He grew up 3 doors from me and his mom is married to my mom's cousin (not his father though). We went to school together and were good friends for a while. He's not very talented, but has enough skill to be a decent 5th-6th defenseman in the league due to good hockey sense and most of all, enormous amounts of will.

Overview
This team SUCKS with economy. They used way too much money the last few years and now they have to pay. Lørenskog raided their roster and their team is their weakest in many years. Still, they have a good, talented team and with support og a large fanbase they should do well enough to place fourth and then lose in the finals.

2 comments:

  1. These last 3 posts have been very interesting, and I enjoyed reading them. Thanks!

    Forlorn in VA

    ReplyDelete