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Talking Puck with Katie Baker of Grantland.com

As we all know, there are a lot of terrific hockey bloggers out there.

One that has really become one of the best this season is Katie Baker of Grantland.com. Katie was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to tell us about how she got into hockey, how she became a hockey blogger, how she got the hockey blogging gig at Grantland.com and more.

PH: How did you get into hockey?
KB: I was in fifth grade during the parallel playoff runs by the Knicks and Rangers in 1994 and that’s really one of the things that got me hooked. Basically every night for like three months there was either a big basketball or hockey game on, and that’s when I started listening to WFAN and begging my dad to bring home the Post and New York Times every day from the office. As the years went by I got even more into hockey thanks in part to the growth of the Internet—IRC, Usenet, etc—which connected me with other fans.

PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
KB: Rangers. I loved Brian Leetch a lot but Mark Messier was always my favorite. I went through kind of an awkward phase in my adolescence where I read a ton of books on the 80’s Oilers and I always felt horribly robbed that I had been too young to really see those teams operate. So Messier was a link to that, and I mean, he was just a complete badass. He was a borderline mythological figure in my eyes. This paragraph can also be used to describe Esa Tikkanen, btw.

PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be a f/t writer/blogger?
KB: I always loved to write. As a kid I would make little books and all that, and throughout high school and college I wrote for the school newspapers. (Even throughout my teens I did a ton of “writing,” if you can call it that, on various message boards.) I also read as much quality writing, and sportswriting in particular, that I could. My junior year in college was the big fork in the road. I got two summer internships, one in finance and one at a sports magazine. I took the finance job and hoped at the time that in five years time my writing would still be the same and I could always go back and try that out if I wasn’t happy with what I was doing. That’s basically what happened, although it took six years not five.

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