Kukla's Korner

The Confluence

Turn Out The Lights, The Party’s Over:  I’m Stepping Down

Now that we’re in the summer doldrums, awaiting the start of training camp, I’ve had lots of time to think things through.

And so it’s after a lot of thought that I’ve made a decision:

I’m stepping down.

Why?  Well, let’s start with the reason why I’m


stepping down.  My stopping of The Confluence has absolutely nothing to do with Paul, Kukla’s Korner, Abel to Yzerman, George Malik, or anything else Red Wings-related on this website.  Those guys have been great colleagues and I’m happy to call them friends, and will continue to do that.

When I started The Confluence blog on Blogspot five years ago, it was out of a passion for Pittsburgh Sports.  Originally, it was a blog for not only the Penguins, but the Pirates and Steelers as well.  It eventually narrowed down to solely a Penguins blog, but to me, at the time, the new fad of blogging gave me an outlet to talk about my favorite teams with people that (mostly) agreed with what I discussing.  If I was pissed off about something, hell, I just jotted it down.  Conversely, if there was good news to discuss, I did that as well.

But blogging by yourself year after year takes a renewed passion, it takes continuous energy.  There are some times when blog articles basically write themselves.  The Penguins Stanley Cup year of 2009 was like that.  The Pens kept rolling along, and it was quite easy to put a decent post together.  But in all honesty, quite frankly those are things that I just don’t have anymore.  At least if you want to do a decent job and you don’t want to cheat your readers.  If you’ve been reading the blog over the past year, you’ve read where I’ve had long writer’s slumps.  Well, that’s gone on for a year now, and I don’t see it ending anytime soon.

So that’s the primary reason. 

But I would also like to say something about the “State of Blogging” as well.  In my view, bloggers in the last couple of years have slowly but surely separated themselves from their readership with a conceited attitude like they’re “above” normal fans.  Not just hockey bloggers, and not just Pittsburgh bloggers, but those two categories are most definitely included.  Not all, but many.  Why?  Well, I think Twitter has certainly exacerbated the attitude.  Read your Twitter feeds, regardless of what pro season it is.  It’s full of statements from bloggers, not beat writers, such as “As I expected Player X is on the fourth line” or “Player X WILL NOT be traded”.  Huh?  You’re a frickin’ blogger, bro, nothing more.

OK, off my soapbox.

So what’s next?  Right now, I have no idea.  I’ll talk with some of my blogging buddies to get their input.  Maybe a guest spot here or there.  May not be strictly hockey anymore, who knows.

I’ll still be on Twitter (@TheConfluence).

Thanks to my regular readership. I realize it hasn’t been easy reading a Penguins blog on a website with 37 Red Wings blogs, I truly appreciate your loyalty.

Thank you,

Filed in: , | The Confluence | Permalink
  Tags: nhl-hockey, pittsburgh+penguins


KelseyAnn's avatar

Good luck and best wishes, Tony!

Posted by KelseyAnn from Ahwatukee, Arizona on 07/17/11 at 11:48 PM ET


Sorry to hear that you’re stepping down, Tony.  Enjoy your well-earned free time.

You’ll always be the Godfather of Penguins blogs and you’ve taught me a lot I won’t forget.

Cheers, and all the best, glad you’ll still be around for twitter.

Posted by Jimmy Rixner on 07/17/11 at 11:55 PM ET

Seaner in Sharkville's avatar

Although I’m clearly not a Pens fan, your blog was well done. Good luck to ya.

Posted by Seaner in Sharkville from Silicon Valley on 07/18/11 at 12:04 AM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

Great job on your blogs and best of luck to you Tony.

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 07/18/11 at 12:11 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Best of luck to you, Tony. It won’t be the same around here without you to keep us Wings fans in our place.

Thanks for all you’ve done.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/18/11 at 12:29 AM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

We’ll miss you, Tony. Hopefully KK gets another Pens blogger, but I’m sire it won’t be the same. It was great reading your logical perspectives on all things Pens, and you did a great job putting up with guys like Evil Pens—I know I couldn’t handle that! Good luck with everything.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 07/18/11 at 12:31 AM ET


Good luck, Tony! Been reading and commenting on here for years… I’ve always enjoyed your posts—hopefully you’ll still chime in as a guest from time to time to with the Pittsburgh point of view here..

Posted by penguinsfan on 07/18/11 at 12:49 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Reading blogs can be heartbreaking.  Many of the good ones end just like this.

Tony yours was one of the good ones.

Good luck in wherever you go from here.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 07/18/11 at 01:26 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Its always nice to have differing viewpoints around a website like this to keep things in perspective.  KK will be poorer without you.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/18/11 at 01:52 AM ET

Lindas1st's avatar

Say it ain’t so Tony? sick
Although most of Paul’s aggregates stories are what brought to KK “The Confluence” is what made me stay and become a member, Thank you.
The bright side is I will never forget the ‘09 Cup run, reading your blog was one of the many highlights of that season. grin
From one Pens fan to another- best of luck on whatever the future holds for you.
Again, thanx alot Tony - you the man. wink

Posted by Lindas1st from New England on 07/18/11 at 02:52 AM ET


Thanks Tony!  It won’t be the same here without you…

Posted by pens fan in baltimore on 07/18/11 at 07:24 AM ET

Paul's avatar

Best of luck Tony.

And yes, we will be looking for a new Pens blogger in the next few weeks.  Stay tuned.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 07/18/11 at 07:44 AM ET

TeamDub's avatar

I just knew your sub-par Corsi numbers would come back to bite you.

Errr, wait…

Posted by TeamDub from The gratch. on 07/18/11 at 07:45 AM ET

MarkK's avatar

So long, Tony. It won’t be the same without you here on KK. Best of luck in whatever you decide to tackle next.

Posted by MarkK from Maryland on 07/18/11 at 08:12 AM ET


It’s sad news to read that you’ll be stepping down, I loved reading your work. Good luck with everything


Posted by steve on 07/18/11 at 08:41 AM ET

Russian Rocket's avatar

Thanks for the hardwork and time Tony.  You will be missed.

Posted by Russian Rocket on 07/18/11 at 09:41 AM ET

VooX's avatar

Great work, Tony, your contributions were entertaining and will be missed.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 07/18/11 at 09:55 AM ET


I enjoyed your blog while it was going, Tony. Hope you do manage a guest spot here or there. I think it would be neat to see you come back on one of the 37 Wings blogs to give a different perspective, especially if the Wings/Pens end up in a series together again! Best of luck in your future endeavours.

Posted by Iggy Rules on 07/18/11 at 09:56 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

Thanks for doing a great job Tony. Good luck with your next enterprise.

Posted by Tripwire32 from the binary digisphere on 07/18/11 at 10:07 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

AWWWW this sucks, But have fun in the real world & life I will without a doubt miss youon here Tony !! & I echo the sentiments of everyone above me too ! red face

Posted by Evilpens on 07/18/11 at 10:39 AM ET


well that is going to make it harder to come to this site now…. damn.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/18/11 at 10:58 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

Naah Paul will find someone good to take over for Tony

Posted by Evilpens on 07/18/11 at 11:10 AM ET


Tony, I followed you from MVN and will miss you.  I hope you continue to do guest blogs and maybe an occasional appearance at Faceoff-Factor in addition to KK.  Will miss you, man!

Posted by Rebel from TN on 07/18/11 at 01:20 PM ET

red_wings_49's avatar


your contributions have been very helpful… thanks for all the work you have done.  But, before you go, have you thought about trying to get some more people to help you out with the blog?  I know there are a few pens fans out there, and maybe a decreased workload would do you some good… hell, be their manager in the time of need. 

Hope you come back, but if you don’t… good luck in the future!

Posted by red_wings_49 from Mad Heights, MI on 07/18/11 at 01:36 PM ET

Tony's avatar

Yeah, I’ve thought about that option, don’t see it going there though…

Thanks everyone for the kind words, very much appreciated….

Posted by Tony from Virginia Beach, VA on 07/18/11 at 01:42 PM ET

Alanah McGinley's avatar

Very sorry to hear about this, Tony.  Take care.

Posted by Alanah McGinley from British Columbia on 07/18/11 at 02:04 PM ET

hockeychic's avatar

Sorry to read this, Tony.  Really appreciate your good work over the years.  You will be missed.

Posted by hockeychic from Denver, CO on 07/18/11 at 05:59 PM ET


Sorry to see you go, Tony.  As for your “state of blogging” - you are dead on!  It’s getting harder and harder to separate the actual beat writers who have access to the team, and bloggers who put themselves into the same category.

Posted by tmpens from Pittsburgh on 07/19/11 at 12:27 PM ET

Hippy Dave's avatar

Thanks for the hard work over the years, Tony, best of luck in your new endeavors.

Posted by Hippy Dave from Portland by way of Detroit on 07/19/11 at 02:22 PM ET


Just wanted to add my chorus to the well-wishes, Tony.  Always a good read here.

See you on the twit-box.

Posted by docciavelli on 07/19/11 at 04:00 PM ET

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About The Confluence

Welcome to The Confluence, a Pittsburgh Penguins blog since 2006.

Originally at Blogspot, then at MVN, TheConfluence has over 1500 articles reporting Penguins news as well as jumping on my soapbox to opine constructive Penguins criticism.

I am blogger- credentialed with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  My posts are regularly linked by hockey websites such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Yahoo!‘s Puck Daddy, and I’ve done numerous guest blogger spots on such websites asthe New YorkTimes.  I am a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

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