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Hockey anyone?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TX Writer, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. TX Writer

    TX Writer Member

    I was just assigned the local CHL hockey beat today. I've covered hockey once or twice before, but nothing beat-wise. Does anyone know any good hockey writers, or any good start to further engulf myself in hockey? The season doesn't start till mid-October but I want to get a head start.
  2. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Just get to the know the players once it gets closer to training camp. Hockey players are generally good guys, especially at the minor-league level. The minor-league teams know they need you more than you need them so they're generally pretty cooperative and accessible. (And if they forget that, don't be afraid to politely remind them.) Let the players know they can trust you and you should have no problems. If you've never heard of it, get to know hockeydb.com. It will be invaluable when players are signed, traded, etc. All the coaches, GMs and media use it.
  3. huntsie

    huntsie Active Member

    Get a bit of an understanding of what you're watching. Players are pretty patient, but learn what icing and offside are, learn about penalties and power plays and goals and assists. Know some of the terminology.
  4. Boomer7

    Boomer7 Active Member

    Michael Farber of SI is an excellent hockey writer. And you might want to check out www.tsn.ca on a regular basis, just to see how the game is covered in a country where it's as big as football is in the U.S. Just make sure you're not using "centre" or "defence" in any of your stories. :)
  5. umiami06

    umiami06 Member

    It will be good to know where your team's players have been and what they did at those stops. hockeydb.com is a great site for that. It will give their career stats at every stop. You will be stopping there quite a bit. One great part about covering hockey is that the hockey community is pretty small, tight knit and connected to each other.

    If you haven't seen a lot of hockey, understand that the number of points a player puts up isn't always a great indicator of how good they are. For example, neither Sami Pahlsson nor John Madden scored more than 15 goals this year, but they are both earning a huge paycheck for their defensive play.
  6. amraeder

    amraeder Well-Known Member

    For whatever reason, I just find hockey a very easy sport to write. What's important is usually obvious (hmm.. there were two goals, maybe I should ask about them), there never seem to be a lack of story lines, and, as was said before, minor league and junior hockey players tend to be super nice.
    Maybe it was just the kids we had, but goalies seem to be a foutain of great quotes.
  7. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Tough guys tend to be good quotes too.
  8. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    In these days, following the league is much easier than when I was covering the ECHL about 7 years ago when not everything was on the Interweb. Read every game story, every day (although not all markets staff every game, you can usually get one gamer for most games). Then, use that stuff when you talk with the coach and players. Ask them about a big brawl, a suspension, a controversy. When they haven't heard, you give them the scoop as you've read it and you look like you know what you're doing.

    Also, see if the league's beat writers have an e-mail list and join. Good to trade notes on, ask about a traded-for player and generally network for more info.

    Use the broadcasters, who double as media relations guys. They watch their teams every game, ride the buses with them and talk with each other all the time. They're usually great sources of information, although realize that they're club employees and they're not normally going to give you accurate injury information on things like game-time decisions.

    And, as mentioned above, hockeydb.com is your bestest friend.
  9. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    Good advice, Del_B_Vista, but the CHL is nowhere near as advanced as the ECHL. The league is not that well run, but it is growing.
  10. spinning27

    spinning27 New Member

    Just don't reference the fourth quarter in any of your questions, and you'll be fine.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Or halftime.

    (Seriously. I covered an inaugural hockey game in the South where most of the crowd left at the second intermission because they thought the game was over.)
  12. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    He's not kidding. We had a non-hockey guy cover a state high school game once and he mentioned the "third quarter."
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