by Patrick Hoffman on 03/31/10 at 12:18 PM ET
Joe was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into the game of hockey, what blogs/outlets he has covered hockey for, his thoughts on surprises/disappointments in the NHL and more.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
JY: I got into hockey when I was a kid. When I was six my father brought me to a RPI college hockey game. That team, lead by Adam Oates, went on to win the National Championship. That game turned into checking out an NHL exhibition in Troy, followed by watching games on television. The fascination with the game stuck with me ever since then.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
JY: Growing up it was really easy to pick favorites. It all started with Gretzky and Messier and those insane Oilers teams of the 80s. Somehow living in upstate New York I got to see a lot of the Oilers on cable TV. Being really good and putting up gaudy numbers did wonders for my fandom. Once Adam Oates reached the pros I followed him closely. If there was a guy to look up to though it was Steve Yzerman. He was guts, he was talent and he was leadership by example personified. He along with getting to grow up watching the Adirondack Red Wings lead me to be a Red Wings fan. (Boo, hiss, I know - shut up.)
PH: How did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
JY: I knew I wanted to get involved in some way when I was in seventh or eighth grade and I was doing school assignments meant to be a journal entry for English class and instead used it to do write-ups on games I went to. I figured if I’m this obsessed with it now, I may well put it to use. So when I got to college and had a chance to work as the color man on hockey games for the college station I jumped at the opportunity.
PH: Name some of the outlets you have covered hockey for.
JY: I’ve written for US College Hockey Online in the past. I also was once one of the voices for a couple of Division III college hockey teams and have done some work as the color analyst for RPI college hockey radio.
Aside from my own site, I contribute part-time to Hockey Wilderness (the Minnesota Wild site) over at Sports Blog Nation and just started writing part-time for Pro Hockey Talk at NBC Sports.
PH: Tell us about your blog Gross Misconduct Hockey.
JY: It started off as an angry fan site teeming over with snark and bad things to say about the NHL leadership. When you watch a league like the NHL there’s plenty of opportunities to laugh at the league for not having any common sense so it helps give me fodder to write about. That said, I’ve been using the site recently to preach the joys of college hockey and trying to teach fans a little more about it because it is getting better and gaining more attention, especially with the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four. Mostly what I’m doing is writing about stuff from the view of a fan that probably cares a little bit too much about the state of the game.
PH: What are you trying to bring readers who visit your blog?
JY: I’m trying to bring the readers some humor, some insight and the views of someone who’d happily lead a cult of hockey-crazed fans, just without the Kool-Aid and stupid robes and Nikes. I like to entertain and educate the readers and I hope that I’m able to do equal parts of that. I’m thankful to anyone that does take the time out to read anything I write, that’s for sure.
PH: Tell us about your involvement with Pro Hockey Talk. What will you be doing for them?
JY: I’ll be helping Brandon and James out there by collecting the big news of the day and providing my own knowledge and snark to the proceedings there. It’s great to see NBC Sports take such a huge interest in the fan’s perspective of things and they picked out two fantastic writers that each bring their own style and smarts to the operation. Getting to team up with them to analyze and poke fun in our own sort of way is pretty fantastic.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk - which teams have surprised you the most this season? Why? How about disappointed?
JY: I’m probably going to throw down the jinx hammer here, but Colorado is definitely a surprise. I know this is the question I’m supposed to pick Phoenix but once they hired Dave Tippett to coach the team I knew they were in good hands. They did well for about 60% of the season last year so a good coach setting them straight into the playoffs isn’t shocking to me. Ottawa has been a big surprise this year and Dallas has been a pretty large failure. Buffalo’s success as well has been pretty surprising as well given that they’re not getting the most out of Thomas Vanek. Ryan Miller has been other-worldly for the Sabres.
PH: Quick - who do you think will win the Cup this year?
JY: I really dislike making predictions since the playoffs are always such a clusterfark full of surprises and let-downs but my top four favorites are Pittsburgh, Washington, Chicago and Detroit. Where have we seen this before? Oh, right, last year.
PH: Any last words you’d like to share with the readers of Kukla’s Korner?
JY: Avoid the clap.
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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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