by Patrick Hoffman on 06/04/10 at 03:08 PM ET
Ryan was kind enough to tell us about how he got into the game, how he started his blog and podcast as well as his thoughts on the current landscape of hockey blogs and podcasts.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
RP: As a kid in Cincinnati, I used to play travel hockey for my local team in Northern Kentucky. I attended countless Mighty Ducks and Cyclones games with my father, which helped me get into hockey a lot. Also, my older brother was a goalie before I started skating, and even played in college for MTSU a couple years back. So, yeah, my family has been around hockey ever since I can remember!
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
RP: Well, because Cincinnati didn’t have an NHL team and nearby Columbus was just getting the Blue Jackets, I was always an Avalanche fan before moving to Nashville. To this day, Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg remain two of my all-time favorite hockey players. I was thrilled to have been able to see Forsberg in Preds colors in 2007 – even though that time didn’t last long.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
RP: It wasn’t until 2008 – when I decided to start up RLD Hockey (formerly known as Red Light District) – until I thought I’d want to be a hockey writer/blogger. Before blogging came about, I always wanted to be a hockey announcer. Gary Thorne was the voice of hockey in my younger years, and his great calls gave me the itch to one day become a broadcaster.
PH: What outlets/blogs have you covered hockey for?
RP: Other than RLD Hockey, I currently share my work with From The Point and Inside Hockey. Earlier this season, I was with Crash the Crease and Fan Huddle.
PH: How did you come up with RLD Hockey?
RP: To be honest, randomly! One day I was bored and decided to try forming this thing called a ‘blog’. I didn’t really know what to expect, but just wanted to share my crazy hockey thoughts! To this day, I’m glad I made that decision!
PH: What are you trying to bring readers who visit your blog on a daily basis?
RP: Basically, every day at RLD Hockey I post my predictions and analysis of everything in the NHL. We try to do different features as well; right now we’re doing a ‘30 teams in 30 days’ feature, looking towards the off-season.
PH: How has your blog grown/evolved since you started it?
SL: It has been a process, but we’re getting there. To think I had only 5-10 daily site visitors back when I started (compared to the current traffic numbers) is pretty unbelievable. Twitter has been the main source in bringing new people to the site… words can’t describe how helpful it has been! I was the only writer to start out, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to add a few talented bloggers along the way. We also hope going to the Awards and Draft this summer will help the blog grow even further!
PH: You also have a podcast called RLD Hockeytalk. How did you start that?
SL: Earlier this year I was looking to add a new feature with the site, and I decided to follow the footsteps of other bloggers by adding a podcast.
It started back in February around the startup of the Olympics, and the response has been fantastic. It takes place on Tuesday afternoons at 1 PM ET, but will have a new start time of 8 PM ET later in the summer. We’ve been fortunate to have some top-notch guests on the show in the last couple months!
PH: What are you trying to bring listeners who listen to your show?
SL: I want to bring our listeners similar coverage to what the blog has to offer… predictions, analysis, etc. But getting the opinions of various credentialed writers is how we take it a step further and get inside the happenings around the league.
PH: How do you think hockey blogs/podcasts will evolve even further?
SL: To me, hockey probably has the best fraternity of bloggers out of any other sport. We have the most passionate fans, and it translates to the countless number of blogs currently out there.
I’m not quite sure how blogs can evolve further, but the league has had to take a different approach to considering bloggers within the realm of media participants, since there are so many of them now (along with the decrease of newspaper outlets, too).
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
SL: After you check out the great production of the Kukla and his staff, I’d appreciate you taking a peak at RLD Hockey if you haven’t already. We go top shelf every day to bring our readers daily analysis of everything going on in the hockey world! I hope you enjoy what we bring to the table.
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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.
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