by Patrick Hoffman on 02/08/13 at 09:00 AM ET
Making it in the hockey industry as a journalist is extremely tough to do these days.
With that said, it is a very admirable goal and one that is worth striving for. One budding hockey journalist that agrees with me is Austin Legendre. He may be just 14-years-old but when it comes to hockey, he knows his stuff, he works hard, is committed to becoming a professional hockey writer and does more than a good job of giving credit to all the professional hockey reporters out there.
In my book, he is someone worth learning more about. With that in mind, here is an e-mail interview I conducted with him:
PH: How did you get into hockey?
AL: It was in the 2004 Stanley Cup playoffs. Being 5 years of age at the time, I knew nothing about the game of hockey, but having a mom who was a die-hard Oilers fan watching the Oilers fail to qualify for the playoffs, she had no other choice but to cheer for the Flames.
The first game I can remember ever watching was Game 7 of the Western Conference Quarter-finals between the Flames and Canucks in which Martin Gelinas had won the game shortly into the 1st overtime period to advance Calgary into the 2nd round. Living in Calgary, everyone was driving around immediately after games with their jerseys on screaming out of their vehicles.
After the Flames advanced past the Red Wings in the 2nd round, we started to do the same. That's when I knew that hockey was my passion.
PH: Who is your favorite team/player? Why?
AL: Living in Calgary and watching the Flames make the Finals in my first year of ever watching the sport, that's an easy question. As far as my favorite player goes, it would have to be Sven Baertschi. The kid is a stud. Aside from the Flames, the Oilers are my other team. The young core they have is going to make the Oilers the powerhouse of the league for years to come.
PH: At just 14 years of age, it appears that you already know that you want to be a hockey journalist. How did this interest develop for you?
AL: Quite honestly, I have no idea. I would have to say that I developed the interest after watching TSN for so many years and reading hockey articles regularly. I can say however, that I knew for a fact that I wanted to become a hockey journalist as soon as Bob McKenzie had sent me an email explaining to me everything that I needed to do in order to get to where he is today. That was September 29th of 2011 when he emailed me. Ever since then, the other 38 hockey journalists (including Paul Kukla) I have contacted have filled me in on every little thing that I need to make happen in order to achieve my ultimate goal.
PH: Tell us about what outlets you are covering hockey for right now. What have you learned so far about covering the game from working/volunteering at these particular outlets?
AL: Right now, I am currently writing for hockeytracker.net. Although it's nothing much, it's a start. Ever since I first started writing in October of 2011, I have learned so much. At first, my grammar wasn't great at all but as the time has passed on and after having so many hockey journalists read my articles and tell me what I need to work on with my writing skills, it has progressively improved. Although I still have a long ways to go before becoming a "great" or even "good" hockey writer, I am slowly working my way up.
PH: A few weeks ago, you posted a video on YouTube that explained to people who you are. Why did you feel the need to do that?
AL: I guess I just felt the time had come to let people know what I was really about. I didn't want to hide my identity anymore like so many anonymous hockey bloggers these days for I did not want people to think of me as one of them, for I'm not and I wanted to prove that.
PH: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to being a hockey journalist? What are some of the outlets that you would like to one day cover hockey full-time for?
AL: I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that I wanted to be the "go to" guy for all the latest NHL news. Not only that, but I want to be known for my style of writing. Although I haven't developed THAT style yet, I am constantly working on it and if I continue to be committed to my work, it will eventually come. As far as what outlets I would like to cover hockey full-time for, I would have to say one of TSN or Sportsnet. I mean, they're the two best sports outlets out there, who wouldn't want to work for them? Although it's going to be a long road before I potentially get down that road, I am truly committed at doing whatever I need to do to get there.
PH: Is there anything else you'd like to share with Kukla's Korner readers?
AL: Nothing really, other than the fact that they have a great site to go to in Kukla's Korner.
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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.