Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Alanah McGinley on 06/17/08 at 02:48 PM ET
In preparation for the NHL Entry Draft this weekend, I threw together a short Q&A for both Erin Nicks and Patrick Williams, who are covering the event for Kukla’s Korner.
First, meet Erin Nicks. (Even Gary Bettman has learned to stay out of her way…)
Erin has lived in Ottawa for the past 11 years. Previously known for her weekly column in the Ottawa Sun which focused largely on issues pertaining to the Ottawa Senators and the NHL, she now runs The Universal Cynic—an Ottawa-based blog combining day-to-day NHL stories with humourous tidbits and pop culture. TUC has been featured on websites for Slate, The Globe And Mail, ESPN and Deadspin.
Will you confess to having a favourite NHL team?
I grew up as a Detroit Red Wings fan, so I’ll always have a soft spot for them. I keep tabs on the Senators a great deal, but I’ve found lately that I’m more interested in following the careers of specific players as opposed to actual teams.
What was your first hockey news job?
I dabbled on the fringes of sports media for some time before I began writing, but my first print piece was an interview with Ted Bulley (Bulley played for the Blackhawks, Capitals and Penguins through the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s).
What’s your perfect hockey job?
I’m happy in any situation that allows me to transition seamlessly between the league’s serious stories and lighter fare.
Any embarrassing, humorous, horrid media moments to share?
I’ve nearly bowled over NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, as well as CBC announcer Bob Cole (entirely separate incidents). I was wearing heels at the time and honestly, I didn’t see them coming.
Can you tell me what you’ve enjoyed about attending the NHL Entry Draft in the past?
The last draft in Ottawa (2005) was very special for a number of reasons. Obviously Sidney Crosby created an incredible amount of buzz, but due to the lockout, the draft was scaled-back and closed to the public. It created much more of an intimate environment, and I felt very fortunate to be a part of it.
Is Steve Stamkos really the “It” guy of the 2008 Draft, or do you like someone else?
I think so. We’ve seen how important it is for forwards to play a solid two-way game—people tend to concentrate on Stamkos’ offensive skills, but it’s obvious that he takes pride in maintaining defensive responsibility as well. Combine that fact with his speed and stick-handling ability, and he’s bound to make an impact from the get-go. This may be the Year of the Defenceman, but due to the demands of that position, it takes time and grooming for blueliners to blossom, regardless of their perceived talent.
Stamkos’ presence in the NHL will likely be sensed far sooner.
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