I’ve felt somewhat like a journeyman making his way through countless leagues and teams the past few years, as I’ve been attempting to carve my own path through the hockey media world.
For the numbers folks out there: two schools, four consistent online writing positions, a couple podcasts, two jobs in radio, numerous freelance gigs, and a handful of other projects in three years.
I’ve been busy. And it’s been awesome.
Most of you have likely realized by now that, in my ideal world, covering hockey is not a hobby. And I’m very grateful to say that, since setting out to accomplish such a goal, I’ve gone from writing, hosting and simply working for virtually free to holding down multiple jobs in sports media that make up a large part of my living.
There have been a ton of stops along the way. Some seen as speed bumps, some as catapults, some as safe havens.
Silver Seven is where I truly evolved as a writer. It was the perfect outlet; a damn good looking website, a strong, passionate following, the freedom to produce any kind of content I so desired, and a team of writers that constantly encouraged each other to create, improve, and venture into unfamiliar territory.
That last point is what I worked towards the most here. In the Ottawa blogosphere, I wasn’t the best wordsmith, the most intelligent hockey mind or the top entertainer, but I saw an opportunity to bring something to the community that had yet to, to my knowledge, be explored: A journalistic approach from a non-traditional media member.
Two years ago, I wrote my first piece of this nature for Silver Seven; the story of Matt Carkner’s influence on the city of Ottawa. I continued that method with articles during the summer on Senators prospects; pieces on Thomas Chabot’s most important offseason ever, Logan Brown’s development in Windsor, and, a personal favourite of mine, Filip Chlapik’s Aha! moment that sparked a breakout season in the QMJHL.
The following season (2016-17, maybe you remember it), I became a fully credentialed media member and began writing a ton of articles with access to 1-on-1 interviews with players, coaching staff and visiting teams. My favourite has to be the end-of-the-year piece I wrote on the extreme highs and lows Bobby Ryan endured during the entire span of the regular season and playoffs.
Among many things, Silver Seven was an opportunity for me to showcase what I could bring to the hockey media table. I give a lot of credit to this site for helping me land jobs with Ottawa radio stations TSN 1200 and CFRA, and some fantastic freelance work with Metronews and the Ottawa Senators.
And now, a new opportunity has presented itself.
This week, I will be stepping into a job with NHL.com as their new Senators correspondent. I’ll be writing previews, recaps, breaking news and features for the site, which will take up nearly all my time designated for writing outside of the radio station.
So, unfortunately, I must say a sort-of goodbye to you, the entire Silver Seven community. I’m not leaving forever - I’ll be looking to contribute a feature once every while and when the Senators make it back to the postseason, I’ll be sure to put together some opening and closing playoff montages - but my presence on the site will be extremely minimal going forward.
I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who ever took the time to read my work and engage in conversation in the comment section. Silver Seven is such a fantastic community largely because of the enthusiasm and dedication of its readers.
To Travis Hughes, who hired me, Ross (last name unknown because he’s definitely a spy), who admirably captains the Silver Seven ship, and all my fellow writers - I greatly appreciate everything you’ve done for me and can’t wait to see how the site continues to grow and transform.
For me, Silver Seven was an escape from a preceding uncomfortable writing position, a sturdy stepping stone towards a career in hockey media, and a hell of a fun two and a half years.