by Patrick Hoffman on 04/20/10 at 11:00 AM ET
It’s not very often that a hockey blog is modeled after the hit movie “Anchorman”, which is why it was great to do an e-mail interview with Stayclassy.net’s creator, Kevin Burgundy.
Kevin was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us how he got into the game, how he came up with the blog and his thoughts on the regular season and of course, the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Over to you Mr. Burgundy:
PH: How did you get into hockey?
KB: I grew up in Ottawa and begun playing minor hockey at the age of seven with my brother. In 1992, the Ottawa Senators returned to the NHL after a long hiatus and Disney produced the first of three Mighty Ducks movies. If that’s not enough to create a life-long passion for hockey, I don’t know what is.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
KB: My favorite player was and still is former Vancouver Canuck Pavel Bure. To me, the Russian Rocket was as dynamic a player in his prime as Alex Ovechkin is today. Bure’s game 7 overtime goal against the Calgary Flames in their 1994 playoff series remains one of my all time favorite goals.
As far as favorite team… I don’t really have one. The team I feel the largest connection with is the Ottawa Senators, largely because I grew up watching them change from the league’s worst organization to a model franchise. In saying that, my favorite teams today are ones that build, draft and develop players properly. I enjoy seeing teams grow the right way - teams like the Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, etc… I guess you could throw the Senators into that mix too.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved with hockey in some form?
KB: From the moment I was introduced to this great thing called road hockey, I knew I was hooked. I quickly began learning how to skate and thus, a minor league career that almost got me somewhere was born. No matter what I do, hockey will somehow and someway be part of my life, be it playing adult hockey or watching way too much hockey on a nightly basis.
PH: What outlets/blogs have you covered hockey for?
KB: I created Stayclassy.net in January of 2009 and have been writing with vim and vigor since. In October of 2009, I began writing for HockeyIndependent.com, too. Between my work on Stay Classy and Hockey Independent, as well as my frequent Twitter rants (@Stay_Classy), it’s probably more Kevin Burgundy than anyone should ever be subjected to.
PH: Tell us about how you started Stayclassy.net. How did you put it all together?
KB: Unfortunately, many decisions in my life have been based on regrettable bets and bad arrangements. Stayclassy.net was sort of like that. One night, on our way to a World Junior Hockey game (the 2009 WJC’s held in Ottawa), a close friend of mine (@Wes_Mantooth on Twitter) bet me I wouldn’t start an Anchorman based blog. (A bit of back story here: It’s our favorite movie and the source of many inside jokes. It’s pretty much the reason we’re friends!). Obviously I took the bet to prove him wrong. Funny thing was after I purchased the domain, I had to decide what the blog’s content would be. “Wes” suggested hockey since I was always tell him what to think. Fast forward to today – I’m being interviewed by Patrick Hoffman. I think I’m ready to cash out!
PH: What are you trying to bring readers who come to visit your site?
KB: Some intelligent hockey commentary (a less professional way of saying analysis) with a few jokes that hopefully carry some degree of humour. I stress the some part… In reality, I’m helping waste some of my reader’s work day and distracting college/university students from their studies. I take great pride in this.
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk – what teams/players surprised/disappointed you this season? Why?
KB: Teams: It might be tempting to say the Los Angeles Kings, but if that’s the case, I’d say you haven’t been paying attention to their development over the last few years. My stand out teams this year include the Colorado Avalanche (young and fearless team), Phoenix Coyotes (speed and commitment to a team system) and Nashville Predators (for competing with the Sharks, Hawks, etc… with a modest payroll).
The teams I’m most disappointed with include the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes. I expected the Hurricanes to challenge for a playoff spot as they are a better team than they showed in the first half of the season. The Blue Jackets frustrate me because of the talent of some of their young stars. They should not be among the league’s bottom teams.
Players: I was very impressed with rookies Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Matt Duchene, Jimmy Howard and Tuukka Rask. Add in Ryan Miller, Drew Doughty, Craig Anderson, Nicklas Backstrom (who’s quickly becoming one of the league’s top 5 players, in my mind), Steven Stamkos, Ryan Kesler and of course, Henrik Sedin. I was disappointed by the play of Vincent Lecavalier, Andrew Cogliano, David Backes, Scott Hartnell, Bryan Little and Keith Ballard. Actually, just two of Keith Ballard’s worst plays of the year. I think you know which plays I’m referring to.
PH: How have you been enjoying the Stanley Cup Playoffs so far?
KB: This is the best Stanley Cup Quarter-Final Playoffs I’ve ever seen, I think. The speed and tempo is lightning fast. The difference between the 1st and 8th seeds is razor thin. The momentum swings in each game have been incredible. Sorry - I’ll turn off my Pierre McGuire mode. Yes, I’ve really enjoyed the Playoffs so far.
PH: Come June, who will raise the Cup? Why?
KB: Yikes… I hate this question. Most people will say Chicago or Washington, but the more I watch the Playoffs, the more I get the feeling an ‘under the radar team’ like Buffalo, Phoenix, Nashville or Philadelphia might win it all. If it’s between these teams, I’ll say Phoenix. I really hope I don’t regret this pick.
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
KB: Don’t use my Stanley Cup predictions for your bets and pools! And Stay classy, interview readers!
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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.