Blog: The Hub of Hockey
Writers: Mark Marino, Tim Rosenthal, Anthony Travalgia, & LA Mullin
With the Bs and Bolts on in the background, what better setting is there to check out the Boston Bruins fan blog, The Hub of Hockey.
The Hub of Hockey is a dyed-in-the-black-and-gold-wool Boston Bruins fan blog. Not simply a life-long Bruins fan, THOH creator Mark Marino writes about the Bs both for fun as well as work. He freelances and currently writes about the Bruins at the Examiner.com. Marino is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and, for the record, Marino’s writing has also appeared on The Hockey Writers.
THOH is organized efficiently, with short samples of each blog post and a link to read more for those interested. The post categories are pretty standard fare – history, news, offseason, post game, previews, report cards. There is a short list of links to other Bruins blogs available for a fan’s perusal.
That does not mean things are standard around THOH. Usually, most blogs wait until the offseason to begin issuing report cards, but Marino offers up both a midseason and offseason version. In addition, he regularly provides individual report cards on Bruins players. From the beginning, THOH has looked back at the storied history of this Original 6 club with “This Day in Bruins History.” And, an interesting set of posts this playoff season was the trading of “Five Burning Questions” between Marino and Examiner.com’s Tampa Bay Lightning writer Althea Pashman.
This professional writing experience shows at The Hub of Hockey – both in the style of writing as well as the presentation. Marino’s work has also appeared on the web sites for CBS Sports and Pro Hockey News. Senior Editor Tim Rosenthal also writes at Inside Hockey and Easton Patch. Unfortunately, there is not any information on contributors Anthony Travalgia or LA Mullin besides their Twitter.
Unlike many fan-based blogs that have areas for fans to chat during games, THOH instead updates during intermissions and highlights different aspects of the previous period. The most recent updates (in this case for Game 5 on Monday night) there were few comments after each post. However, the style of the blog posts do not necessarily lend themselves to open discussion.
The Hub of Hockey has been running for about a year and a half now. Previously the sole contributor, Marino added some new voices to the site (Rosenthal, Travalgia, and Mullin), which mixes up the perspectives a bit. As the blog continues to grow, it is sure to keep readers coming back for the latest in Bruins news.
Final Thought: The Hub of Hockey is informative, gives a timely analysis, and provides readers with a no-nonsense approach to Boston Bruins news.
So, that’s The Hub of Hockey in my words. Here are a few words from Mark Marino.
Rebecca: Why did you decide to start Hub of Hockey?
Mark Marino: I started The Hub of Hockey, a Boston Bruins blog, in January of 2010. I was, and still am, freelancing for Examiner.com as their Boston Bruins Examiner since early 2009. But I wanted to branch out to more blog entries, and not just columns and articles.
Rebecca: How long have you been writing THOH? / What do you think THOH offers readers that differs from other blogs?
Mark: I was writing solo on my blog for about a year – maybe a little more. Just recently, especially for the playoffs, I’ve asked for some help. So with a few contributors for the blog now, readers can get a few different perspectives. We’ll post important news, updates and stories, but won’t regurgitate the same ‘ol same ‘ol.
I’d say we’re all knowledgeable hockey guys (and gal) who are passionate about the team, and more importantly, the sport.
Rebecca: What feature do you think “defines” THOH?
Without a doubt the banner. My friend from Colorado, Derek, made the original THOH banner, and my cousin John recently tweaked it. I always get comments on how cool the site, and especially banner, looks.
I think no matter what, the logo was, and will be, a trademark of me and the blog.
Rebecca: Is there a particular post or story that you are especially proud of – i.e. a scoop story, inspired writing, great interview, etc.?
Mark: I did a story on prospect defenseman Ryan Button during the rookie games and training camp. He is the most grounded, humbled, nicest player I’ve had the pleasure to speak to. So essentially, he did all the work for me. I had numerous conversations with him throughout the camps, and the posts were huge hits. His WHL team, at the time (Prince Albert Raiders) picked-up the stories on Button on their team’s main page, and had many fans from that area writing me.
That time of the season, and those stories especially, were the most fun I’ve had doing this. Ever.
Rebecca: Once the off season starts, why should readers continue visiting THOH?
Mark: Well, for one, we never really stop. I try to keep the content as fresh as possible. I do daily report cards for each player, as well as “This Day in Bruins History” posts, a look back at the season that was, a look ahead to the next season, impending free-agents, and much more.
Rebecca: As a blogger, are there any other blogs you read or find inspiration from?
Mark: Jesse Connolly from the New England Hockey Journal’s Black and Gold Blog does a spectacular job. His writing is on-point, and works tirelessly on the Bruins beat.
Also, around the league, I really like Rich Hammond of LAKingsInsider; Tom Gulitti from the NJ Devils blog Fire & Ice; and Josh Cooper of the Predators Insider.
Originally from Chicago, I’m doing time in the now professional hockey-less Birmingham, Alabama (but we have club hockey!). Between working, reading, and writing, hockey is that little distraction that keeps me sane. At least once a month, and especially when the Blackhawks are in town, I can be found in Bridgestone Arena cheering on the Predators (except, of course, when the Blackhawks are in town).