by Patrick Hoffman on 08/27/10 at 03:50 PM ET
Richard was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, blogging, Five Hole for Food as well as his experience covering the World Hockey Summit.
PH: How did you get into the game of hockey?
RL: I grew up in the UAE so I hadn’t heard of hockey until I moved to Canada in 1999. I fell in love with the game after watching the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics Gold Medal game and the rest is history!
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
RL: My favourite team has always been the Canucks. My favourite Canucks player ever was Todd Bertuzzi. My favourite current Canuck is Jannik Hansen and my favourite player in hockey would have to be Ryan Smyth.
PH: How did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
RL: I didn’t. I just started writing my own blog and then JJ Guerrero at Canucks Hockey blog asked me to join him and together we’ve made CHB what it’s become today.
PH: How did you help come up with CanucksHockeyBlog.com?
RL: I got an invite from JJ to make the site better, add voices and to collaborate with him to make our blog even more unique and one of the premiere blogs and after taking that opportunity the rest has taken care of itself.
PH: What are you trying to provide readers/viewers who come to the site?
RL: We’re not a news breaking site. We can’t be. What we do try to do though is give people quality analysis and a perspective of the team and game that they won’t find anywhere else. We’re all about quality.
PH: What other outlets do you cover hockey for?
RL: Canucks Hockey Blog is affiliated with the Vancouver Canucks so other than working with the Canucks to provide them content I stick to CHB and covering Vancouver’s team.
PH: Tell us about Five Hole For Food. How did you get involved with that?
RL: Five Hole for Food is a cross Canada road trip that travels across the country playing road hockey raising food for local food banks. It’s a charity I founded this summer and after a successful inaugural year we’re very excited to turn it into an annual event with even more stops along the way next year. Last year we played hockey in 9 cities over 11 days driving from Montreal to Vancouver. Next year we’re adding four more stops as we include Atlantic Canada in the tour.
PH: What was it like to be a part of Five Hole For Food? Why was it such a success?
RL: It was fairly surreal to create an opportunity for myself which allowed me to play hockey across the country. The trip was largely powered by social media as it was organized by Twitter folk in each city. Playing hockey from coast to coast and getting to meet all the Twitter people I talk to on a day to day basis was simply fantastic. The event was unique and I think that was it’s draw. Last year we got the ball rolling and moving forward I’m sure it can only get bigger and better.
PH: You also got a chance to cover the World Hockey Summit. How did you get selected to do that?
RL: Molson Coors Canada contacted me and asked me if I’d be interested in covering the hockey summit for them. They brought in three other bloggers and we were afforded the opportunity to cover the summit and really be the eyes and ears of fans of the game everywhere.
PH: What was it like covering the event? What do you think will come from it?
RL: It was phenomenal getting to be in the same room as some if not all of the world’s greatest thought leaders in hockey. The discussion was in depth, the range of topics was extremely broad.
The amount of ground covered during the four days was incredible. The issues raised in many cases weren’t things we didn’t already know. Nothing new was tabled, but the fact that the world leaders of the sport saw the need to gather and try and initiate change is a big first step to trying to increase safety of young players, increase player retention and development at the junior level, and to grow the sport globally. Those were just some of the issues tabled.
I think the area we’re most likely to see change in is the women’s game. It’s paramount to continued global development of the sport that the women’s game isn’t dropped from the Olympics and that it sees global development and the IIHF publicly committed another 2 million to womens’ hockey at the summit which is a start in and of itself.
PH: Any last words for Kukla’s Korner readers?
RL: Go Canucks Go!
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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.