by Patrick Hoffman on 02/28/10 at 12:54 PM ET
This past weekend, I was able to do an e-mail interview with Brian Monzo. Monzo is a hockey blogger and radio producer with WFAN New York, as well as the producer of NHL Live.
Monzo was kind enough to tell us how he got into the game of hockey, how he got involved with radio and his current thoughts on the New York Rangers. Take it away Monzo:
PH: How did you get into hockey?
BM: I got into hockey from playing with my friends as a kid. We all played baseball and basketball, but for whatever reason, we all took a liking to playing street hockey. Warm or cold, we loved it. Playing NHL 94 also a huge part of helping me learn the NHL and the players.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
BM: The Rangers were and are my favorite team. Originally I was a Darren Turcotte fan, but quickly moved to Adam Graves in 94. Still one of my favorite guys in the business.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey as a writer/blogger?
BM: When I was college, I was originally a journalism major. It was OK, but I didn’t love it. A councelor told me to take an ‘Intro to Radio’ class. I was instantly hooked. As far as blogging, once I was comfortable producing in a major market, I wanted to expand my love for hockey. I helped create SNYRangersblog.com, which was a great small blog and helped me learn how to write and form thought. I wanted to expand to a bigger audience and a more recognizable name, so I started blogging for WFAN.com, along with many popular names in the NY market. I do primarily the Rangers, but do all NHL. It has been great and something I don’t consider ‘work.’
PH: Besides WFAN, what other outlets have you covered hockey for?
BM: Like I previously mentioned, I did SNYRangersblog.com, and still do videos for SNY.tv today. I used to cover games for the AP and WFAN by going to games, getting audio and feeding it to the station. That was a great way to meet a lot of helpful people. I also produce ‘NHL Live’ on Sirius-XM and the NHL Network. It is one of the proudest things I do. I have fun doing it, work with people like Rob Simpson, EJ Hradek, Don LaGreca, Billy Jaffe, Deb Placey and NHL Radio director Gregg Baldinger. For a short period of time I covered high school sports at WPHT in Pompton Lakes, NJ and also was a board operator for Sirius Radio.
PH: How did you get the gig at WFAN? What are your responsibilities at the station?
BM: I started as an intern in the traffic department. Not fun—but it helped me learn and explore another area in the business. I was doing a sportstalk show at my college, and was lucky enough after that intership to score another internship in programming. From there, I was hired part-time, producing weekend overnights and picking up random shifts here and there. I got hired full-time in 2006 in the production department and was moved to programming as the lead weekend and evening producer in February 2008. The best part about that was working with Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo on Saturdays when he did solo shows, occasionally. I get to produce for Steve Somers, Adam ‘the Bull’ Gerstenhaber and occasionally one of my best friends, Marc Malusis. I also produce Evan Roberts on weekends, as well.
PH: What do you try to bring to listeners/ readers who come to WFAN’s site?
BM: I just try to give information, while being entertaining as well. The average reader is not going to read a long, dragged out blog. I try to find something about the Rangers or the NHL and give some thought and fact about it. It is hard at times, but it is fun.
PH: What was it been like blogging for SNYRangersBlog.com? How did that make you a better writer/blogger?
BM: SNYRangersblog.com was a great stepping stone for me. I really didn’t know exactly what I was doing, and what my style was when it was started. But I was given a chance to do so. SNY’s blog network is outstanding—metsblog and theknicksblog are two must read to NY sports fans—and it gave me somewhere to start. I was always in that producer role, now I was the writer and it helped me form a style.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk - what can the Rangers do to improve?
BM: Good question. The Rangers always do the same thing, and that is try and compete with medicore players. Vinny Prospal and Erik Christensen are nice players, but they aren’t helping the Rangers win the Stanley Cup. I love the building from within concept but they also need a top center, and unfortunately Brandon Dubinsky isn’t that guy. With the overhaul of the Tampa Bay organization, I would love to see them try and get Vinny Lecavalier.
PH: Where do you see the Rangers finishing come April? How far do you think the team can go in the playoffs if they make it?
BM: As per usual, I think they will sneak into the playoffs and get eliminated in the first round. They finally have some firepower in Marian Gaborik, and anything can happen with Lundqvist in nets, but being realistic they are still some time away from being a really good team. They have some building blocks, especially on defense, but it will take time to become a force.
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
BM: Hockey is the best sport in the world. Everyone who knows that comes to KK.com. It is a floodgate of hockey information. If you are a hockey fan, keep doing your thing and pushing for your team. If you are interested in being part of the business, just network everyone you can…and hit me up on Twitter—BMonzoNHL660.
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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.