The Hockey News – a tip of the hat
I’ve been asked a fair amount this past year about how the idea to do a hockey news site with so many different bloggers germinated. The answer is fairly easy. I wanted to start a new blog and realizing how difficult it can be to write about something that you’re not passionate about I knew it had to be on a topic I loved. That narrowed it down to Golf, Hockey News, my son or goofing around on the Net.
It was around the first of January last year and with the winters as harsh as they are here in Canada, golf was not at the forefront of my mind. My Son, although gorgeous and brilliant, probably wouldn’t garner a huge audience. Hockey News I understood, I played, I watched a lot and thought this would be the the most natural fit. And speaking of The Hockey News, they are a big reason our format turned out the way it did. I was a THN print subscriber for many years in my early teens. I loved reading a bit about each and every team. This was what I wanted my blog to be like.
When I got around to actually building the site it quickly became obvious that if I wanted to be taken seriously I couldn’t do it myself. I could write about hockey news day and night but could never cover enough ground, nor have perspectives that were not Habs-centric. Some serious recruiting was in order. I built the site first then simply went around to a bunch of small hockey news and opinion type sites and asked if they would be interested in joining me. I specifically targeted guys that I thought could write about hockey news well but needed help with blog traffic, promotion and/or design. This way I could really make a pitch for helping them as I believed I could gain a much larger audience for them.
I must have said something right since our staffing has remained just over 30 writers since early last year. Some great writers have moved on but we seem to keep attracting good ones. One of our biggest surprises was Rick Gethin. Not only did he join us and write passionately but he took it upon himself to go and get credentialed by The Blue Jackets. This was not something I expected when we launched. A typical hockey news and opinion site with some upward traffic potential was all I looked at. I never considered us being recognized by the NHL. Since then we’ve also been credentialed at some Dallas games and keep attracting better and better writers.
The next mini-history bit I do will cover some of the contributors that have really made this little hockey news site stand apart. Chris Ralph and his fantastic NHL Entry Draft Guide is a great example. Here is Chris’ look at Taylor Hall, the potential No. Draft pick this summer.