by Patrick Hoffman on 11/05/10 at 10:05 AM ET
As we all know, YouTube is extremely popular with all the kinds of videos you can imagine.
Steve was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he started video blogging, what he does for Leafs TV and his take on this year’s Leafs team.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
SD: Ever since I can remember I’ve known hockey! I don’t remember anybody going “Steve, this is what hockey is” so it feels like it’s always been there. It’s engrained in Canadian culture. I was really little for the Leafs’ in the early 90’s, but I still remember some games, especially the Leafs-Kings series… but I won’t get into that.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite Toronto Maple Leaf? Why?
SD: Felix “the Cat” Potvin. I wanted to be him so badly as a kid. Every road hockey game I wanted to be goalie because of him. He was always coming up with the big saves and he was always exciting. Goal-scorers are exciting, but if you score once every two games you’re considered an elite scorer. Goalies stop like 30 shots a night. That’s why I idolized Potvin.
PH: When did you know that you wanted to work in the hockey industry?
SD: It might sound weird but only a couple years ago. I was in radio and Television arts in school but I never though sports broadcasting would be my thing. I really liked writing so I always thought I’d get into sitcom writing or something. After I did some interning though, it was pretty clear that I wanted to get into sports broadcasting. It doesn’t even feel like work half the time because I enjoy it so much!
PH: Tell us about how you got started as a hockey video blogger. What made you decide to do it? What kind of feedback have you received?
SD: I started because after the Leafs lost the first game of the 2007-2008, the Toronto Sun wrote something like “Better luck next year!” That kind of set me off a bit so I did a short little video goofing on the hysteria and overreaction in this market. I did another video for the second game, too. By the third game, I decided to try and make a video for every game that season. My YouTube channel slowly went from a few dozen subscribers, to a few hundred, now to well over 5,000. It’s been pretty nuts.
PH: How did you end up getting a full-time position at Leafs TV?
SD: I interned with Leafs TV last year for school. It made sense because I had already been on their show Leafspace a bunch of times and they knew I went to school for television stuff, too. I did a fair chunk of my interning before the allotted interning time period my school made, so I was going to school and interning for a while. Thank God for the coffee machine Leafs TV has in the kitchen. Between school, interning, and then going to the Olympics, I bled double-double for a couple months. I guess I learned enough things and did a good enough job that Leafs TV decided to bring me on. It’s pretty sweet! Every student worries about coming out of school with a job and thankfully I do.
PH: Tell us about some of your responsibilities at Leafs TV.
SD: Leafs TV has me doing all sorts of different stuff, but it’s awesome because I’m learning lots of new things. They have me doing camera work on shoots, which I didn’t do well at in school but I’m really enjoying learning. I do some editing too, particularly the “Game in Six Minutes” feature where a Leaf game is edited down to six minutes. I do some live on-camera stuff for the Leafs TV pre-game and post-game show. I do live chats called “Leafspace Live” where I talked to all kinds of fans during Leafs games. Those have been crazy so far, tons of fan response. I always love seeing what other fans think, even if I disagree with it. And of course I always do a post-game video from my bedroom after every single Leafs game. Those go on YouTube, the Leafspace website, and even in episodes of Leafspace on Leafs TV. I like to stay busy so this job has been awesome so far! And I get to spend more time with the coffee machne I mentioned before.
PH: How else are you involved with the game of hockey?
SD: I do lots of videos and social media stuff with Nike as well. I interview a lot of Nike athletes, talk about training and preparation and stuff, but I also try to get to know them as people a little bit. Nike sent me to the World Juniors last year in Saskatoon, they sent me to the Olympics in Vancouver, including the gold medal game. Yes, I was there. I’ll talk about it until I’m old and grey and my grandkids tell me to shut up. I’ll be heading back to the World Juniors again this year with Nike in Buffalo. Can’t wait!
PH: Now onto some actual hockey talk - what do you think about the Leafs this season? How much will the injury to Dion Phaneuf hurt the team?
SD: The Phaneuf injury is crushing to the Leafs. People have ripped him for his +/- and missed shots, but there’s no denying that the Leafs defence is leaps and bounds better than it was last season, and Phaneuf is their ice-time leader. I’ve seen how Phaneuf is around the team when I was at Leafs media day, and I think they’ll really miss just having him there. Here’s a storyline for you though: Phaneuf’s expected to be out 4-6 weeks. If it’s closer to six, he could miss his first game back in Calgary. It sounds like he’ll be back by then, though. Mark December 16th down on your calendars, folks.
PH: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Kukla’s Korner?
SD: Before I went to the World Juniors in Saskatchewan, not even a year ago, I had never been on a plane. Since then, I’ve been to four different provinces, interviewed hockey stars and gold medalists, sat in the Leafs media gondola, and worked with a lot of amazing people. The last thing i want to do is end on a sappy note, but I feel really lucky and I have so many great people in my life helping me get it done. I started making videos for fun. Four seasons into making them it still is. Whether I’m editing a video at home on my laptop, or picking up hot dogs during an interview with Alex Bilodeau in a gold Caddy, I’m a happy guy right now.
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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.