by Patrick Hoffman on 08/26/11 at 08:32 PM ET
Harrison was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he became blogger and what he will be doing at Puck Daddy.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
HM: Okay. May 6, 1991. I was five. I turned on the television one day and landed on game three of the Campbell Conference Final between the Minnesota North Stars and the Edmonton Oilers. My family wasn’t a sports family, so this was really the first time I’d been exposed to hockey at all. I found it to be excellent. Minnesota walloped Edmonton 7-3, and I instantly decided that I liked hockey, and I really liked the North Stars, because they were clearly the best. My shallow opinion was briefly validated, too, when Minnesota won the next two games of the series to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. As far as I was concerned, they were unbeatable.
Then, of course, they went up against the Penguins and got their asses handed to them. I watched every game of that series, trying desperately to hold on to my belief that Minnesota was the awesomest, but when Pittsburgh scored their eighth goal in game six, I gave up and gave in. I decided I had been cheering for the Penguins all along. Next year, when my beloved Penguins repeated as Stanley Cup champions, I knew I’d made the right choice. Then, in 1993, the Penguins were eliminated by the New York Islanders in overtime. Somehow, this time, I couldn’t shrug it off by changing teams. I remember weeping like a friend had died when David Volek scored. It hurt for real. I knew then and there that hockey had me by the balls.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
HM: Until 1994, definitely the Penguins. I liked Jaromir Jagr, mainly because it was impossible to miss him when he was on the ice, what with the eye-catching skill and mullet. In 1994, however, I discovered that living in British Columbia meant I was actually supposed to cheer for the Vancouver Canucks, so I did. I’m sure it helped that they went to the Cup Final that year. Damn, I was fickle. I liked Sergio Momesso for some reason.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to get involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
HM: It’s been my dream since birth to be a writer, and my love of sports is equally innate, but hockey blogging only came into play a couple years ago. I’d been following some of the other Canuck blogs for awhile, but none of them quite provided what I was looking for. So, when my best pal Daniel Wagner suggested we start a hockey blog of our own, I was game. And when things started to happen for us, I realized hockey blogging was a realistic road to my dreams.
PH: How did you come up with the site Passittobulis?
HM: The name was Daniel’s idea, and the way he tells it, it came to him during game 1 of the 2007 playoff series between the Canucks and the Stars. That game went into quadruple overtime, and eventually it had gone on so long people started speculating over who the overtime hero would be. It was decided that it would be the unlikeliest guy possible—wacky old Jan Bulis. So, in order to hurry the game up, the crowd Daniel was watching with started shouting for the Canucks to pass it to Bulis so he could win the game and everyone could go home. Really, the full name is: For the love of pete, won’t someone please just pass it to Bulis? It’s 1am!
PH: What do you try to bring readers on a daily basis over at your site?
HM: Lots and lots of diverse, quality content. I think the mark of a good blog is one that produces attention-grabbing stuff on a daily basis and surprises you almost as often. That in mind, we work hard to make sure there’s something interesting on PITB every day. It’s easier said than done, of course. Some days the good ideas flow, and other days it’s like squeezing blood from a stone, but there’s usually no shortage of hockey-related stuff to write about.
PH: What was it like to be picked up by the Vancouver Sun?
HM: It’s a great feeling—flattering, validating, and thrilling—to know that the people you respect respect you back. It was kind of surreal, too. When we started the blog back in April of 2010, I made a list of places that could use a Canucks blog and might be willing to pay for it, and the Sun was at the top of that list. But I didn’t think we’d get a chance to convince the Sun so quickly. The Tanner Glass Scrabble challenge put us in the way of the newspapers, and then we just sort of went for it.
PH: You just found out that you are going to be an associate editor at Puck Daddy. How did that come about?
HM: I hit Wysh with my car, and when he came to, I told him that, just before he was the victim of a hit and run, he had named me associate editor. Okay, actually, I’m not sure. When we were negotiating with the Sun, I called Wysh for some bloggerly advice, and in the course of conversation, he brought up the possibility of writing for Puck Daddy. Two months later, it was official.
PH: Tell readers what you will be doing over at Puck Daddy.
HM: Writing. Lots of writing. I figure it’ll be a lot like the stuff I do for Pass it to Bulis, except that if it sucks, more people will tell me.
PH: Anything else you’d like to share with readers at Kukla’s Korner?
HM: If you ever want to send me a gift, I have a serious addiction to canned peaches. But so help me if the juice is sweetened with sucralose—that’s a dealbreaker, and you can expect your package returned with a nasty note attached.
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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.
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