by Patrick Hoffman on 05/17/11 at 02:01 PM ET
As all of you folks are well aware of, I am a big fan of NHL Home Ice. I love the content that the channel produces, I love the hosts and I love the general enthusiasm everyone at that channel has for the game of hockey.
Today, I am proud to present to you readers an e-mail interview I conducted with NHL Home Ice Hockey This Morning Producer Bruce Bolton. Bruce was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game, how he got the gig at NHL Home Ice as well as his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
BB: My father like most Canadian dads had me on the ice at a very young age and had a hockey stick in my hand as soon as I could hold a bottle. My love for the game then only grew when I started to play organized hockey. And then I fell in love with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the NHL during the 1993 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BB: First off with my response to the last answer its obvious that I bleed blue and white, as I am a big fan of the Leafs. In the sports world, I guess I would be called a homer born in Toronto as I cheer for the Leafs, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Buffalo Bills.
A main reason for my loyalty to these three teams is the fact that I started my faith/fan ship with these teams in the early 90’s when all three teams were experiencing success.
As for my favorite player growing up that would have to be number 28 tough guy Tie Domi. Most Leaf fans in my age bracket would say Doug Gilmour or Wendal Clark, however my story is different. One of the main reasons I stayed faithful to Domi over the years is because much like myself he didn’t put up many points, yet he still had a unique role on his hockey team. Tie played on every line when he was with the Leafs and did different things on each. And much like Domi, I love the physical side of the game and there is nothing wrong with a good dust up.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to work in the sports industry?
BB: Grade 10 careers class. At the time I was playing hockey, lacrosse and football and sadly realized that the pro athlete career wasn’t going to happen.
I ended up doing my careers project on sports broadcasting and focused on my three favourite hockey broadcasters Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and Bob McKenzie. The project went smoothly and I passed with a decent grade and from that project on, I took the proper steps to get into the industry.
PH: Prior to joining NHL Home Ice, where else did you cover sports?
BB: For a couple other media outlets where a few teams, leagues and events covered included: the Canadian Hockey League, Ontario Junior “A” Hockey League, Ontario University Athletics, Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, Toronto Rock Lacrosse, Oshawa Generals, CHL’s Canada vs. Russia ADT Challenge, Bowmanville Eagles, Whitby Warriors, closing ceremonies for Oshawa Civic Auditorium, Opening ceremonies for General Motors Centre, Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame, and Whitby Sports Hall of Fame.
PH: How did you get a gig at NHL Home Ice?
BB: I heard through a friend about an opening at the downtown studio as a weekend update host. I applied for the position had a job interview with Program Director with Joe Thistel and the rest they say is history.
PH: What are your primary responsibilities at NHL Home Ice?
BB: My main responsibility is serving as Technical Producer for Hockey This Morning, working along side Aron Papernick, Mike Ross and Mick Kern. With that comes a number of other responsibilities such as hitting the right buttons at the right time, playing some tunes, gathering sound and even going on air.
In addition to the Technical Producer gig, I also have other duties throughout the year such as preparing features and specials for the channel, and sometimes they even let me update the Twitter.
PH: When you are on the air, what are you trying to bring listeners?
BB: Hockey This Morning is on the air from 7am Eastern/4am Pacific -11am Eastern/8am Pacific from Monday- Friday. The main goal of the show I would say is to keep hockey fans entertained and informed about all the happenings first in the NHL and then in the hockey world.
We keep everyone updated in the AM through scores, analysis, highlights, lots of sound from around the hockey universe, our H.T.M Insiders and special guests. It’s the perfect way for the hockey fan to drop the puck each weekday morning and start the day off right.
PH: Now onto some actual hockey, what are your thoughts on the playoffs?
BB: Every year I say this but every year the Stanley Cup Playoffs only seem to get better, faster and more intense, which is great!
The first round was awesome with some games that will go down as classics. The second round was also solid but unpredictable, who would have guessed a pair of sweeps out of the east and the Detroit come back in the West.
All in all, we are sure in for a treat as we approach the finish line within the next month or so, when Lord Stanley is finally raised above another captains head.
PH: Come June, who do you see raising the Cup? Why?
BB: Now that we are into round three, this question is a lot easier to answer and I am going to have to go with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
At the beginning of the season, I had Chicago repeating and Pittsburgh was also high on my list, but I can no longer pick either. The reason for the Tampa pick is cause its all systems go right now in the Sunshine State. Every single member involved in the Bolts current success appearance focused, from coaches to 4th line players and everyone has their eye on the prize.
I throw them down as a favorite as well because they have experience and I put a value on guys that have gotten the job done before.
PH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
BB: For sure and I guess they already know this if they are a Kukla’s Korner reader, however I still have to say that KK.COM is one of the best sources for hockey information from around the globe.
Much like NHL Home Ice Kukla’s Korner serves the fans and hockey community with constant updates regarding all things puck. For that I thank you guys and ask that you keep up the great work.
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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.