So here we are...
Maybe you have heard, and maybe you haven’t, but last week NBC Sports made the decision to eliminate the writing staff of Pro Hockey Talk, my main writing spot for the past five years.
It was a disappointing decision, but not one that was totally unexpected given the way the network has recently handled its other sports pages (also eliminating those staffs) and the fact it no longer has the NHL TV rights deal.
Quite frankly, I expected that decision to happen before the 2021-22 season when the TV deal shifted to EPSN and TNT. The fact it did not was a pleasant, even if temporary, surprise. I might be biased, but we had what I thought was a pretty great team with Sean Leahy, James O’Brien, and Marissa Ingemi before she moved on to bigger and better things, and I am very proud of the work we did right up until the very end. I also have no bitterness toward NBC. It was a great place to work overall and I loved the people I interacted with on a daily basis. This is not my first rodeo with this sort of thing. After 14 years of doing this I know how the industry works. It is not personal. Just business.
So what’s next?
Well, that is where things get cloudy. Because I am not entirely sure yet. I have a lead or two. There are some prospects. But nothing is ever a given and I do not really want to just sit back and wait. I had pondered the idea of doing something different with my life, but I honestly have no idea what that different thing would be. Even though I have had moments of feeling burnt out over the past few months, and even years, this is what I still love doing and what I want to do. It is what I do, such as it is.
In the short-term you will still find my work at PensBurgh and YardBarker. But I would also like to supplement that some while I figure out my next step and wait for something else to come along, which is what us brings us this. A subscription newsletter.
I understand. You probably already subscribe to a lot of things. You might not want to subscribe to another. You might not want to subscribe to anything, and certainly not me. I get it. But, if you want to read more of my stuff, maybe consider a subscription ($5 a month) until I get something more permanent set up. This is not the long-term goal.
Just to give you an idea of what I have planned initially (so far) and what you would be getting:
Daily posts (multiple posts on most days) of unique sports content and analysis on the most recent news, trends, and results. I want to focus on the sort of in-depth stuff I have tried to do and focus on with NBC the outlets I have worked for over the years (like this look at the Vegas expansion draft success; and this on the start of the Penguins’ playoff decline; and this; and this; and this; and this and more along those lines.
The main focus will be on hockey because that is still what I enjoy, but there will also be other sports mixed in with a slight focus on Pittsburgh, since that is where I am closest. The Steelers? Football in general? The Pirates? Baseball in general? Pitt? All of that. And more.
On the hockey front, my first project will be a team-by-team look at every team in the league, one team per day (starting on Friday, July 29), with a focus on a larger league-wide trend. Some examples as to what that will look like: The Vancouver Canucks, and how little mistakes add up into big mistakes. The Toronto Maple Leafs, and why good teams fail. The New York Rangers, and how great goalies get wasted. The Buffalo Sabres, and how it’s difficult to break the tanking cycle. The Florida Panthers, and how teams miss their window. Also many, many more until we get through the entire league.
There is more planned, but those are the basic nuts and bolts and the first big project for now to get started.
Is that all something you might be interested in? Do you like my writing and enjoy talking sports with me? Consider a subscription. It would be greatly appreciated.
Or, if you want me to write for your website or publication, I am happy with that as well.
As always, thank you for reading.
Buddy, let’s make it happen.