The World Junior Hockey Championship gets rolling soon, a Boxing Day start in Montreal and Toronto. It's a fabulous tournament, an event I have had the pleasure of covering in person on two occasions; 2006 and 2010. The tournament in Saskatoon was especially a highlight.
The HF information package was consistently solid, organized by managing editor Ken McKenna. None of us among the troops got rich, but I can assure that we were all enriched by the experience.
It has been a different hockey season to date for me, as the regular HF coverage articles and associated deadlines are no longer part of my life. I'll watch the tournament with the same interest I've always had, but again, it will have a different feel.
With the cities of Victoria and Vancouver being awarded the 2019 WJC, perhaps there will be an opportunity for me to get back in the saddle.
I suspect there have been some growing pains as the crew navigates the gamut of hurdles media wags can encounter. As a group, the contributing writers have enough knowledge and insight to ask some real hard questions, but it has been my experience that major junior teams and leagues are not always keen to accept what can occasionally come across as an intrusion.
Over time, I think the guys at DUBNetwork.ca will continue to establish it's credibility, which will eventually lead to even more open dialogue with teams and the league office. Part of working together is that "feeling out process" and unfortunately, it doesn't always evolve quickly.
The fellas at the Kelowna Daily Courier swung open the door for me this fall; a totally unexpected opportunity. As a freelance writer, I have generally worked with soft deadlines, producing ranking articles and player features. But when the Daily Courier came calling, they assigned me to cover Kelowna Rockets mid-week home games.
Larry Fisher and Doyle Potenteau have been invaluable resources during the first half of the WHL season.
The hockey world has provided some unique opportunities over the years, some great times and interactions with some very interesting people. From time to time, I'll post some of my archived interviews, both the written and the audio versions.
There is an exciting "newness" to things, but at the same time there is a huge void with the disappearance of the Hockey's Future gig. This hockey season has certainly been one of transition.
On the other hand, the golf business in my world can be summed up in one word for 2016: tumultuous. More on that later...