As Canada Hockey Now launches across the country, I’m thrilled to share my role covering the Calgary Flames and the National Hockey League for Calgary Hockey Now – part of the National Hockey Now Network.
One subscription will grant you access to all Canadian sites. Scott Cullen is in Toronto, Rob Simpson is in Vancouver, and our dynamic duo in Montreal, Jon Still and Mitch Gallo.
I’ve been writing about the NHL for two decades, with a good chunk of it spent at Sun Media in Ottawa and Calgary. I’ve also had bylines in places like The Hockey News, Bleacher Report, and Flames Nation.
The dream continues
Like every Canadian kid, I grew up dreaming of one thing.
Going to space.
Ok, so my first dream job was astronaut, not professional hockey player, and certainly not hockey scribbler covering the Calgary Flames. I watched shuttle launches, had an infatuation with the moon. And I wanted to mingle with the stars.
An aversion to tight spaces combined a growing passion for sports and reading – bonus points when it was a sports-themed book – led me down a different path. By the time I got to high school, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be a writer. I still wanted to mingle with the stars, but these ones were planted firmly on the ground.
Well, on the ice would be more accurate.
Jason Spezza’s laugh is an NHL addiction
Back when journalists actually entered NHL locker-rooms to talk to these larger-than-life figures, I set out on my path to cover a professional team. The journey was winding, with stops at weekly newspapers, and carving out the agate pages for the Ottawa Sun leading to occasional assignments with the Ottawa 67s and then the Senators. After hearing rookie Sens star Jason Spezza’s laugh at the announcement of his signing, and audibly dropping a lens cap while on camera at a presser for Alexei Yashin’s charitable efforts, I was hooked. There was no going back.
But NHL writers didn’t often move along from their dream jobs, so when an early dabble into a digital multimedia enterprise didn’t pan out, the call of the Rocky Mountains brought me west and my determined quest for the call up to the big league began anew, in a new city. Calgary.
Beating my way into the Calgary Sun newsroom with relentless applications and phone calls, my foot was wedged into the door. Designing pages, writing headlines and editing other people’s prose was far from the dream, but patience paid off. Working the sports desk during the magical Calgary Flames playoff run of 2004 offered a chance to make my presence felt on the YYC sports scene, but the lockout presented something new – an opening on the Flames beat.
A new chapter in Calgary Flames coverage
From 2005-2012, from lockout to lockout, where the Flames went, I followed. Some of you will remember me from that period of my life. It was a source of great pride to be able to connect a fervent fanbase with its hockey heroes, and I diligently dug into the human side of the sport to offer something as authentic and interesting as possible.
I’m making that same promise to the newer generations of Calgary Flames fans. Hockey is more than goals and assists, advanced stats and eye tests. I plan to give you it all, from every angle.
Although I’ve continued to write on the NHL as a freelancer, this opportunity to join Calgary Hockey Now is unlike any other. Joining this collection of incredible writers and journalists from across North America, and being a part of the launch of the Canada Hockey Now crews across our country, stirs up those same feelings I got when I joined the Flames beat for the Sun back in 2005.
The coach back then was Darryl Sutter. Maybe not much has changed.
Join me on this new adventure. Enjoy the free articles. Subscribe for our exclusive content and enjoy the work of all of every one of the incredible Canadian writers planted in the best hockey cities in the world.