My first attempt at hockey writing came back in 2005. It was a reaction to the Joe Thornton trade, and quite a sad paragraph or two, from what I can remember.
I was blogging about all kinds of things back then: theology, reflections on being freshly out of college newly married, sports and pop culture. It was all very earnest, but eventually something shifted and I began to get more serious about sports writing.
I started my own website and gathered a few contributors, and gradually narrowed my focus to the ice after being accepted for a position with The Hockey Writers, an exciting opportunity (at the time) that allowed me to cover a few NHL teams – albeit from a distance – as well as some junior hockey.
The latter was a dream job in a lot of ways, and I did not take for granted the fact I was able to watch and write about hockey for a living.
While the majority of the time I was aggregating news, I was able to get into some more feature-type writing (beginning with this take on Boston firing Chiarelli), and given assignments that really stretched my legs over the past year – breaking down specific plays, interviewing Mark Recchi and Dave Andreychuk at the Hockey Hall of Fame, returning there to talk to Sidney Crosby as he donated a 2017 Stanley Cup ring, and attending Maple Leafs practice to do a Q&A with William Nylander.
Along the way, I also gained the confidence to start a podcast, and was asked to do a few radio spots, highlighted by breaking down the big Matt Duchene trade as the details were emerging.
It wasn’t beat reporting or covering games at the rink, I didn’t vote on awards, and I was more likely to be blocked on Twitter by hockey men than become a prominent insider (pro tip: not worth the likes or RTs), but I’m very proud of the work I did there, and the dedication with which I approached the job while going through some very difficult health situations with my wife and our youngest son.
I’ve recently made a big career change and am now working for a marketing company from the comfort of home, giving me a lot more time with my family as I cut out the relatively insane five-day a week commute from Guelph to downtown Toronto.
Still, the itch to jump into the world of hockey writing remains, and that will probably never change.
All that to say I’m available for freelance writing opportunities; you can reach me here, and information can be found at the top right of this blog, and please feel free to reach out via email or social media.