by Patrick Hoffman on 12/08/09 at 10:36 AM ET
During my time here at Kukla’s Korner, I’ve let it be known how much I enjoy listening to XM NHL Home Ice. I’ve been lucky enough to interview personalities such as Shawn Lavigne, Mick Kern, Mike Ross, Jamie Shalley and Terry Mercury.
This past week, I was privileged enough to do an e-mail interview with Scott Laughlin, formerly of the great “Hockey This Morning” show and now the host of Power Play. He was kind enough to tell us about how he got hooked on hockey, how he got his start in the industry, what he does at Home Ice and his thoughts on the current season.
PH: How did you first get into hockey?
SL: I was on skates at the age of three and my dad was an avid hockey fan and player. He also worked at CCM for over 20 years which meant that I was always fortunate enough to get my hands on the latest in hockey technology growing up. I can remember being the first to wear the CCM girdle (CCM’s version of the Cooperall) and getting laughed at by my teammates in PeeWee hockey. I always got the newest of equipment sometimes before it even hit the stores. I was very fortunate.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team? How about your favorite player?
SL: I grew up a die-hard fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs and my idol was Borje Salming. Through my father I had the opportunity to meet Salming and to go into the Leafs’ dressing room at the age of 9. But alas, as a shy kid, I wimped out and didn’t take advantage of the opportunity. Ironically, when the All-Star game was held in Toronto to start the decade I interviewed Salming in that very same dressing room as a group of Alumni practiced for some All-Star festivities. See, it wasn’t so bad, but there’s a difference in being 31 and interviewing your idol and talking to him when you’re only 9.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in hockey?
SL: My parents enrolled me in Cub scouts and then into a hockey house league. I had the love for hockey and Cubs became an afterthought.
PH: How did you first get involved with the hockey media? What are some of the outlets you worked for?
SL: Believe it or not, I’m doing what I set out to do with my career. Like seemingly every kid in Canada I had the dream of playing in the National Hockey League, but when it became clear that dream wouldn’t become reality (I was a 160-pound dripping wet defenceman playing Midget hockey) I decided the next best thing would be to broadcast the NHL. So, here I am. I started out in 1992 at the now-defunct Standard Broadcast News writing and recording sports for Canada’s radio stations, then moved on to Global TV as a sports editor and producer, on to The Score as an anchor/reporter, then on to The Team sports radio network, and then back to Global TV for a second time around (this time as a sports reporter), and then finally to NHL Home Ice. Other than that I haven’t moved around too much! Ha ha! Call me the Larry Brown of the broadcast world!
PH: How did you get involved with XM’s Home Ice Hockey Channel? Tell us about your various responsibilities and the shows you are a part of.
SL: I got involved with the folks at NHL Home Ice through relationships that were forged at The Score and The Team. I host “The Power Play” each and every weekday afternoon from 3-6 Eastern, now simulcasting on The NHL Network from 4-6 Eastern. This comes after a rewarding four seasons of broadcasting the morning show at NHL Home Ice. I’ve also hosted the NHL Alumni Hour and our special Hockey Confidential 1-on-1 hour-long interviews.
PH: What are you trying to bring hockey fans that listen to your channel/various shows?
SL: I’m trying to provide (in no particular order): energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and information, and hopefully some sort of entertainment value.
PH: What direction do you think XM Home Ice will go in over the next couple of years? Do you think your channel will explore any new media opportunities as it seems to be the way hockey content is going in.
SL: I’m very excited about the direction in which we’re headed. Our first foray into television has been going along nicely and nhlhomeice.com is progressing as expected.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk: In your opinion, which teams/players have been pleasant surprises so far? How about which teams/players have been disappointments?
SL: Patrick Marleau has really impressed me with the way he’s produced in spite of being stripped of the captaincy during the off-season. Vincent Lecavalier is at the top of the list as far as disappointments go. In fact, he’s not on my Olympic team if I’m picking today. Biggest surprise as a team would have to be Colorado followed closely by the Coyotes who’ve thrived with a new head coach in spite of all the off-ice turmoil. Number one disappointment would be Carolina.
PH: Any words of wisdom for our readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
SL: Just keep on reading Kukla’s Korner. I check in to the site a couple of times per day and it’s a must-read for what I do because Paul and his people do a great job of gathering information from around North America to provide readers, making it very easy to keep tabs on every NHL team. Kukla’s Korner makes information-gathering so easy!
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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.