by Patrick Hoffman on 03/16/10 at 04:34 PM ET
Earlier this afternoon, I was lucky enough to receive answers to an e-mail interview I did with David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period. If you don’t know this already, The Fourth Period is a terrific hockey web site/magazine that is worth checking out on a daily basis.
David was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule and tell us about how he got into the game, how he started The Fourth Period and his current thoughts on surprising teams/players this year.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
DP: I was never a great player. I knew there wasn’t any hope in hell that I was good enough to take my game to the next level. That sucked, but I wanted to get into the game somehow. I figured, if I could do it on the ice, I might as well give it a shot off it. I got involved in hockey about 10 years ago when I started TFP. I really got it going for fun; I was still in school and I really could care less about most of my classes. I still did the work, but hockey was a priority. I was also an off-ice official in the OHL, and being that close to the game got my juices flowing even more. After noticing that more and more people kept visiting, I expanded it. I started interviewing scouts, GMs and players and they actually called me back. In fact, Scott Howson was the first to call back when he was working with the Edmonton Oilers. One thing led to another and it took off.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
DP: I grew up in Montreal, so cheering for anyone but the Canadiens was a sin. I’m still a huge Habs fan, but I have to keep those emotions bottled up most of the time.
As for the player, I idolized Mario Lemieux. He was an outstanding player, and to battle everything he went through only to return to doing what he absolutely loved, I absolutely admire that.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
DP: I was in high school, probably about 15 or 16. That’s when I realized I wasn’t going to make it as a player, but I still wanted to somehow get involved in the sport.
PH: Name some of the outlets you have covered hockey for.
DP: I was an NHL Analyst for FOX Sports Radio in the U.S. for 2 seasons prior to the NHL lockout. I was also an NHL Analyst and contributing writer for NBC Sports and their online property for 2 and a half seasons, prior to this year.
PH: How did you come up with the idea for The Fourth Period?
DP: As I stated above, I wanted to so badly get into the sport, so I started up the website. A few years ago, Dan Kingerski approached me about teaming up to do a radio show. We’re now seven years running strong and airing on seven radio stations across Canada.
The magazine got started right after the lookout. I came out with one issue to test the waters. It did well, but the company wasn’t ready. I spent the next few years aligning myself with the right people and properly planning a launch. We officially launched last summer, and our fourth issue comes our next month. The response we’ve received has been absolutely outstanding.
PH: What are you looking to provide readers who come to your site?
DP: Right now, if they want trade analysis, rumors, news and info, that’s what we bring to the table. Soon, and starting next season, we’ll be offering everything: stats, box scores, live gamecasts, etc. Plus, a lot of cool player info/behind-the-scenes material.
Plus, for the playoffs, be sure to check out all the special video features we have. We’ll also be at every Stanley Cup Final game for a third-straight year, offering up cool video coverage, including behind-the-scenes coverage.
PH: How do you plan on continuing to grow The Fourth Period?
DP: That, for the most part, is a secret. But we definitely will be expanding the website to offer as much information as possible, including stats, box scores, game reports, etc.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk - which teams/players have surprised/disappointed you this season?
DP: I still can’t get over how well the Avalanche has performed this year, or the Coyotes for that matter. The younger players have really stepped up significantly and provided a winning attitude in those locker rooms. The coaching has also been spot on, and whenever your goalie’s hot, the team usually follows.
I’m a little disappointed in the Flyers to date. I thought they’d be in a much better position than they are now.
PH: Look into your crystal ball, which 16 teams do you see making the playoffs this season?
DP: In no particular order:
East: WAS, PIT, NJ, OTT, BUF, PHI, MTL & TB
I’m going out on a limb with the Bolts, because I picked them at the start of the year, so I have to stick with them.
West: SJ, CHI, VAN, COL, LA, PHX, DET & NAS
The Flames shot themselves in the foot with the few moves they made this year, and with Detroit getting healthy, it’s only a matter of time before they climb.
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
DP: First off, KK’s a great site. I love it and read it regularly.
That being said, gear up for a very bumpy playoff ride! I’m looking forward to it. This post-season is going to be exciting and I can’t wait for it to get underway.
Oh, and pick up a copy of The Fourth Period Magazine!
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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.