by Patrick Hoffman on 03/31/10 at 11:07 AM ET
If you can’t tell, I love doing e-mail interviews with hockey personalities, beat writers, bloggers, etc. Since it’s my birthday today (27 years old), I figured I’d give you folks another e-mail interview I conducted.
To begin the week, I did an e-mail interview with Dan Tencer, an Edmonton Oilers radio broadcaster/talk show host for 630 CHED in Edmonton. Dan was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about he got into the game of hockey, how he’s made it into a career and he also tells us his thoughts on this year’s edition of the Oilers.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
DT: I played minor hockey starting when I was 6 years old and can remember attending Oilers games prior to that. Like most other Canadians, the passion for the game seemed to be inherent in me and I’ve always loved the fast-paced, fluid and intense competition that the game allows for. After my playing “career” ended in my teens, I switched to officiating for a bunch of years until the hassle of dealing with over-the-top coaches and parents didn’t make it fun or worthwhile any more. There’s a bunch more I can say about that, but it’s for a different article.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
DT: Have loved the Edmonton Oilers with an unhealthy passion since I was young. I always had a soft spot for Vladimir Vujtek because I had his hockey card and loved his name, but I think Curtis Joseph is probably my favorite Oiler of all time.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to cover hockey for a living?
DT: As far back as I can remember, I was captivated by the radio duo of Rod Phillips and Morley Scott here in Edmonton and grew up emulating their broadcasts. I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to work in the type of job I have now and broadcasters like Rod, Mike Emrick, Chris Cuthbert and others are a big part of my ongoing enjoyment of the game.
PH: What outlets have you covered hockey for?
DT: I’ve worked at 630 CHED radio in Edmonton for nearly 6 years and have worked on the Oilers Radio Network for 5 years, 4 of them as an on-air talent. I’ve also written for HockeyBuzz.com (might have done my career more harm than good) and EdmontonOilers.com. For the last 2 seasons, I’ve produced an in-house video feature for the Oilers that runs just prior to games at Rexall Place and starting this season I’ve hosted a short vignette on the 16 Oilers PPV games.
PH: What is your current gig at CHED? What are your responsibilities?
DT: I host, along with Bob Stauffer and Rob Brown, “The City Ford Face Off Show” which airs 90 minutes prior to all Oilers games, and “Overtime Openline” which airs immediately following all games. During the games, I host intermissions and “The Telus Post Game Show” on the Oilers Radio Network. On weeknights when we are not airing hockey games and in the off-season, I host “Inside Sports” from 8pm-11pm. In addition, I produce daily reports for all 4 stations in our cluster and do some writing for our web site.
PH: What is it like to work in hockey? How much are you able to enjoy what you do?
DT: It’s a great job, truly. When a workday consists of watching an NHL practice or game, talking to the best players in the world and having your own multi-hour soapbox on the top station in the city…well, it’s hard to complain. I’m able to really enjoy it since the thirst for information and knowledge from the fan base here is unending, so I can literally talk hockey with relative ease and tremendous response 365 days a year. The only complaint I have is that the hours are long (not hard) and it really screws with life away from the job.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk - what the heck happened to the Edmonton Oilers this season?
DT: More than 500 man games lost due to injury on a team that was a marginal playoff contender to start the season. It’s pretty simple…the mix wasn’t right, the talent wasn’t good enough and then they got decimated by injuries. It was an exact recipe for 30th place. But, as former coach Craig MacTavish told me last week, the absolute best thing that could have happened to the franchise.
PH: What do the Oilers have to do during the offseason to improve?
DT: Make the draft picks count. There’s no way to go from 30th to 1st in one off-season, so the focus still needs to be on 3-5 years from now. Make sure you scout well and then follow it up by developing the players to the fullest extent necessary. If it means guys spend an extra year in junior or overseas or in the AHL, so be it. If this team drafts well, and is patient with its players, they could be an elite franchise in a few years. In terms of being competitive next year, they’ll likely fight for a playoff spot if they can stay healthy.
PH: Are you ready for playoff hockey? Predict the 16 teams that will qualify and give us a prediction on who you think could win it all.
DT: 1st round NHL playoff hockey is the best time of the year…so many games! I think the top 8 in each conference right now will be the top 8 that make it…I don’t see Atlanta or the Rangers squeaking in and I don’t see Calgary breaking the threshold either. I can’t pick anyone other than Washington coming out of the East and I’ll go ahead and take Vancouver coming out of the West. Washington for the Cup.
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
DT: Don’t stop reading the web site! My colleague Morley Scott turned me on to the site just after the lockout and I’ve been reading every day since…it’s a great place to keep up to date on stories from every corner of the NHL. Also, follow me on Twitter! Twitter.com/DanTencer
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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.