by Patrick Hoffman on 03/17/11 at 06:11 PM ET
It is my pleasure to present an e-mail interview I conducted with hockey reporter Christine Simpson.
Simpson, currently a reporter for the New Jersey Devils on MSG and big sister to Stanley Cup champion Craig Simpson, was kind enough to take time out of her hectic schedule to tell us about how she got into hockey, where she has worked in the hockey industry, and her thoughts on hockey broadcaster.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
CS: By accident. It started by growing up in Canada the middle sister between 2 hockey playing brothers. Dave was drafted by the New York Islanders and Craig by the Pittsburgh Penguins & went onto play for the Edmonton Oilers & Buffalo Sabres. As a kid I was dragged to arenas throughout the winters to watch them both play and little did I know that learning to love the game through them would help lead me to my professional career.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team and player? Why?
CS: Growing up in London, Ontario the Leafs were the team we’d see the most on Hockey Night in Canada. Favourite player though I’d always have to say were my brothers.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to work in the hockey industry?
CS: Never really set out to work in hockey. My background was in marketing & PR. I worked at the Hockey Hall of Fame for 5 years as their marketing manager so it combined my love of hockey with my experience in marketing. I was also the Hall’s media spokesperson so I was interviewed by many TV networks and started to think maybe that would be my next step in my career path.
PH: Prior to joining MSG as a New Jersey Devils reporter, what outlets did you cover hockey for?
CS: First job in television was in Canada with Rogers Sportsnet doing hockey features, then worked as a rinkside reporter for ESPN, ABC & Versus, then hosted the “Captains” show on NHL Network and now enjoying my first season with MSG.
PH: What has it been like covering the Devils this season?
CS: Like nothing I’ve ever seen before. After such a disappointing first half of the season I cannot believe how they’ve turned things around in the second half. Throughout it all, even during the difficult times, the team has been wonderful to deal with. I couldn’t be happier for the players and their fans that they’ve at least made it fun here in the stretch run.
PH: Why do you think the Devils were able to turn it around this season (at least as of this writing)?
CS: Two words. Jacques Lemaire. It’s unbelievable how he has instilled a sense of calm and confidence in the team that was nonexistent early in the season. He should be a top contender for the Jack Adams Award in my opinion.
PH: You have interviewed many folks in the game of hockey. Who is your favorite interview and why?
CS: Wow, that’s tough. There have been many over the years. Wayne Gretzky was always a fave at anytime. My first interview with Alex Ovechkin on the White House lawn in his broken English before he played his first NHL game was memorable. Jiri Fischer of the Detroit Red Wings after his brush with death. There’s so many for so many different reasons.
PH: Being that your younger brother Craig, a Stanley Cup champion with the Edmonton Oilers, is also in hockey broadcasting, do you two ever critique each other’s work and give advice?
CS: I will sometimes call him for background if I’m interviewing someone he knows well. I interviewed him once for Versus when he was assistant coach of the Edmonton Oilers. That was pretty surreal. Otherwise I’d say we’re each other’s biggest fans.
PH: Any other thoughts you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
CS: Just that I feel so lucky to be working in the greatest game there is.
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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.