by Patrick Hoffman on 10/12/11 at 10:00 AM ET
This man needs no introduction.
With that in mind, it was an absolute honor and pleasure to do an e-mail interview with Elliotte Friedman:
PH: How did you get into hockey?
EF: I’m Canadian. Don’t know if there’s another way to answer that question.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
EF: Initially, I liked the Maple Leafs. But when I was 10, my dad took me to a game at the Gardens against Chicago. It was a 2-2 tie, and after the game, several Blackhawks signed autographs for me. Reg Kerr, Tom Lysiak, Bob Murray, Doug Wilson. That made me a Blackhawk fan for life. Tough to admit that on a website full of Blackhawk fans.
My favourite players were Guy Lafleur, Borje Salming, Bob Clarke (loved the missing teeth) and Bob Gainey.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to cover hockey for a living?
EF: Very young. Well, I realized I wasn’t going to play at that level. So, reporting or commentating was my dream. I was one of those kids who
turned down the sound to “broadcast” the games at home. No wonder my family can’t stand me. I do miss covering some other sports like baseball and basketball, but it’s not as if I’m complaining.
PH: Prior to working at CBC, what outlets did you cover hockey for?
EF: FAN 590 radio in Toronto was my big break in 1994. In 1997, moved to The Score. Went to HNIC in October 2003.
PH: How did you get your current gig at CBC/CBC.ca? What are your primary responsibilities?
EF: Scott Russell left HNIC after the 2003 Stanley Cup Final between New Jersey and Anaheim.
So, there was an opening. A few months later, a CBC producer called to ask if I would be interested. He wasn’t offering me the job, but asking if I would apply.
So I did. There were two separate interviews, and I almost blew the first one. There was a human resources person who asked if I had a temper. I said, “Yes, but it’s usually directed at myself.” Let me give all of you some advice: if an HR person asks if you have a temper, say no.
Anyway, I was in Detroit the day Curtis Joseph first reported to the Red Wings when Joel Darling, then the executive producer, called to tell me I got the job. I was in the passenger seat of a van (our cameraman was driving) and almost caused him to drive off the road I was so excited.
As for responsibilities: they’ve changed a little this year. I’m not working as many games—instead spending more time in the studio. There’s the idesk between periods and the Hotstove. For the website, I write the 30 Thoughts on Mondays.
PH: You obviously have a big following on Twitter. How do you think Twitter has changed the landscape of hockey coverage on the Internet? Do you see it growing any further?
EF: I love twitter. And it hasn’t only changed hockey—it’s changed everything. You need it to follow players and other reporters. There are agents and executives who have accounts (but don’t tweet) to keep track of everything. It’s great for linking stories, like a wire service.
If you don’t use it, you’re not doing your job properly.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk, what are some of your thoughts regarding what has happened so far on the ice this season? What has impressed you? What has disappointed you?
EF: Too early. The best part of the hockey year is the start of the season and the start of the playoffs. So, it’s exciting now. But, it’s too early to draw conclusions.
PH: If you had a crystal ball, who do you think could end up winning the Cup this season? Why?
EF: My Eastern Conference picks are Pittsburgh, then Washington. My Western teams are Vancouver, than Detroit. But, the Penguins are my choice right now, because I think their players gained so much confidence from how well they played after both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin went down
last season. They finished strong, and probably should have beaten Tampa. They realize how good they were, and how good they can be once both are back. Confidence is critical in this game.
PH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
EF: I love the blog. Check it several times a day. 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 email@example.com.