by Patrick Hoffman on 08/05/10 at 09:50 AM ET
It’s certainly the dogs days of summer as the days/nights are longer, the weather is more than heating up and unfortunately, the hockey season is still a bit away.
However, we here at Kukla’s Korner like to provide you with hockey content every single day and today is no different. I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with Brad Kurtzberg, the New York Islanders beat writer for Inside Hockey and author of Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals: Hockey’s Most Colorful Team.
Brad was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game of hockey, where he’s written, his thoughts on the Islanders and more. Enjoy:
PH: How did you get into hockey?
BK: As a fan, started when I was about 5, watching games on Channel 9 in New York with my dad. I was hooked at an early age and my love for the game just grew as I got older and understood more. The game is so exciting to watch (and play) and I think sometimes we take for granted what a high level the NHL game is played at.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BK: Not going to say because I don’t want people reading my next book to think I am biased. If I do the book right, Isles fans will think I grew up a NYR fan and Rangers fans will think I grew up an Islander fan—or something like that. I grew up in the thick of the NY hockey rivalry. My favorite players when I was a little kid were Brad Park and Bobby Orr.
PH: At what point did you know that you wanted to be a hockey writer?
BK: For certain, when I was in my early 20s. I didn’t like law school or practicing law and the thought of being able to do something I loved and had a passion for intruiged me.
PH: What outlets have you covered hockey for?
BK: I have written for Inside Hockey, Max Hockey, Huffington Post and Sportsradiony.com and been picked up by Fox Sports, MSG’s blogs and a few more. I started out writing for sites like allsports.com which didn’t pay but helped me get some good experience.
PH: How did you get the Islanders beat at Inside Hockey?
BK: Someone on the site reviewed my Seals book and we started talking about it. I asked if IH was looking for any help and one thing led to another. Living on Long Island, the Isles beat was a natural. I love every minute of it.
PH: What do you try to provide readers on a daily basis?
BK: I try to go beyond the final score and the headline. I want to give them insight and analysis and tell them why things were done or why they worked or didn’t work. I want to share my love of the game with fans and I hope they will share theirs with me.
PH: You’ve also written a book on the California Golden Seals titled Shorthanded: The Untold Story of the Seals: Hockey’s Most Colorful Team/. What was that like?
BK: It was fun. I did more than 110 interviews for that book and I was very grateful for the former players and owners and coaches giving me their time and sharing their memories. The Seals had a lot of unusual things happen to them and they were largely forgotten. I wanted to preserve that part of hockey history. So many people had a hand in the Seals story from Charlie Finley, Charles Schultz, Pat Summerall and Whitey Ford, just to name a few and that’s just off the ice. The Seals encountered Hell’s Angels, Hippies, streakers, white skates, the WHA, the NHL’s only on-ice fatality and so much more. It was a fun book to do and I’m glad I chose it for my first project.
PH: What other hockey related projects are you working on?
BK: I am working on a book on the history of the Rangers-Islanders rivalry. I hope to have the bulk of it written before the season starts and hopefully we’ll find a publisher soon. Working on it is like re-living all those great moments from the beginning of the rivalry.
PH: Now, onto the Islanders - what do you think of the moves the team has made during the off-season? How long do you think it will take the team to get back into the playoffs?
BK: The Islanders off season moves have been typical—they aren’t going to spend a lot of money, but they will spend it wisely. Garth Snow has a plan and he’s sticking to it. I think they need another offensive weapon or two, and another free agent addition isn’t out of the question if the price is right. They also may trade one or more of their defenseman to pick up some scoring help. The Isles can make the playoffs this year but their younger stars will have to mature and they will need to stay healthy but they are probably still a year away. There will come a time when to take the team to the next level, a little more money will need to be spent. That time is coming soon or the Isles may never get over that hump.
PH: Any last words for Kukla’s Korner readers?
BK: Thanks for choosing me for this interview. Keep watching hockey and feel free to contact me at any time over at Inside Hockey if you have any questions.
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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.