Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

A New Start for Hockey Blogger/Podcaster Chris Wassel

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is say goodbye to something you love doing. 

For hockey blogger Chris Wassel, it may have been hard to say goodbye to his well known hockey podcast, The Hockey Program. However, with every end, there is a new beginning.

For Wassel, that new beginning is a new podcast with The Hockey Writers. Chris was kind enough to tell us a little bit about his new program as well as what it was like to say goodbye to The Hockey Program podcast.

PH: After several seasons, your radio show on Blog Talk radio, the Hockey Program, has come to an end. What was that feeling like for you?
CW: Honestly, it was tough. When you do something for any length of time routinely over a period of several years, it feels a little strange saying goodbye. We did catch some people a bit off guard but honestly this was something for the best. The time had come to put this chapter to bed so that we could move on to bigger and better things.

Ironically the CBA negotiations or lack of good negotiations made this an even easier decision. Sometimes, an external force really does make it easier.

PH: Your radio show was a must listen for puckheads everywhere on Wednesday and Sunday nights. How did you get the show to be that way?
CW: Truthfully, we thought of the fan first and foremost. The show started with an edge and let the fans dictate the course of episodes. What is the point of having a show if you do not at least acknowledge the listener. As the weeks became months, there was that reality that we were doing something right.

The most important thing was The Program was honest. There was no flip flop or filler, it was 110% straight on hockey talk made for the fans and by the fans. No matter what, interaction via social media helped us in so many ways. Whether it was Twitter, Facebook, or email, a lot of our topics came not from the mainstream but from the fans.

PH: With the end of the Hockey program radio show, you are moving onto a new venture with The Hockey Writers. What exactly will you be doing for them?
CW: I am keeping The Program as a blog only as it will work in conjunction with all the sites I write for. However, I will be debuting a new show on The Hockey Writers. Also, I am heading up their fantasy hockey operations in a new more "meat and potatoes" way. Advanced numbers are nice and we occasionally use them but most fantasy hockey owners want to get the info and get out.

That is not the only thing I will be doing. Also there will be a revisionist history series of "What Ifs". It will take a moment in history and simply twist it to a different outcome. There will be several more of these pieces throughout the season. Also we will have our Fantasy Hockey Chutes And Ladders as always along with a different take on injuries in hockey.

PH: What will you be looking to provide readers/listeners at The Hockey Writers? How do you plan to accomplish this?
CW: This is also all about giving the readers and listeners a different perspective while giving them a voice. That voice is so essential in fostering any kind of meaningful talk. The new commenting access via Facebook will also give readers and listeners easier access as far as jumping into the debates.

There must be a way to get everyone polarized and engaged. The CBA is an obvious lightning rod but that is not going to keep the people there. Great writing and podcasts that exemplify solid debates will. That can never be emphasized enough. Hockey has to be brought into the mainstream and the only way that can be done is if the casual fan becomes just as "into it" as the regular diehard hockey nut.

PH: Is there anything else you'd like to share with Kukla's Korner readers?
CW: As always, I want to hear what the readers are thinking. It is true that literally a lot of my ideas come from something they started. I would not be where I am if not for them and I am very thankful. It is why, on Twitter, if anyone has a question, I make it a goal to get an answer out to them as quickly as possible.

I am ready to roll for the hockey season. Let's hope the NHL starts on time! Thanks again, Patrick, for the opportunity.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: chris+wassel, fantasy+hockey, the+hockey+program, the+hockey+writers

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.