by Patrick Hoffman on 09/16/09 at 12:42 PM ET
Jim was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about his Rink Rap blog and the upcoming Rangers’ season. Check it out:
PH: What made you decide to start your own NHL Blog?
JC: It’s something I have wanted to do for quite some time now. I’ve worked in the NHL for 20 years, and believe that I have quite a bit of insight, as well as fun and interesting stories from the past and present, to share. Though I cover the Rangers for newyorkrangers.com, I have opinions and observations and stories concerning the entire league, and I like having an outlet to share all of that. And bottom line, it’s just plain fun penning Rink Rap!
PH: What are you looking to provide readers who visit your blog? What kind of features do you plan on implementing?
JC: I want to break news, provide insight that comes from a hockey insider, and help the fans get to know NHL players, coaches, execs, etc. better. Plus there will be plenty of stories from my time travelling the league as a broadcaster with the Islanders, host of NHL Live, and as a journalist. Each day will be different. There might be a full-length feature one day, a news-n-notes blog the next featuring quick hits on several topics, full-length interviews another day, trip down memory lane might follow that. And I am open to blogging on subjects that the fans want to hear about. If they suggest it, or have questions, I’ll get the answers.
PH: How does it feel to have the Ranger season so close to starting? What are you looking forward to the most?
JC: The start of any season is exciting. Remember, I worked for the Isles during some of their worst years ever, but that never stopped me from being excited to kick off another NHL season. This year, I am really looking forward to see how many kids will make the Rangers roster, and then see how they play and progress. I am speaking about Matt Gilroy, Artem Anisimov, and if they make it, Evgeny Grachev, Michael Del Zotto, and Bobby Sanguinetti. Like most hockey people, I am always excited about seeing kids develop. I am also intrigued to see Tavares, Duchesne, Hedman, Filatov and other talented youngsters from around the league.
PH: Can you give us a brief look at what you expect from the Blueshirts this season?
JC: Right now, it’s a work in progress. I think they will score more, and have a better power play, than last season (though that may not be saying much!). The additions they made in the off season should guarentee better offensive success. Just my opinion, but I see Chris Higgins having a strong year, Marian Gaborik a big year (if he remains healthy), and Marc Staal emerge as an NHL All Star. The key, as it has been for several years now, is Henrik Lundqvist, especially with the added Olympic pressure and workload on his shoulders.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.